Getting into comics can be very confusing. Aside from the plethora of titles that you’ll come across, there are also a lot of spin-offs and reboots to think of. It seems like a new issue comes out every week! One common superhero that newbies try to get into is the iconic Batman. Aside from his popularity, a new Batman movie (which will star Robert Pattinson) will be coming soon so you might want to brush up on the billionaire detective’s story. Whether you’re an old or new Batman fan, this guide will help you get into the comics. Feel free to view the infographic but if you want to know more, we have also written an in-depth guide below.
1. Batman: Year One (Essential)
If you haven’t read a single comic book or you have no idea who Batman is, this is a good starting point. It tells about Batman’s origins and recounts his first year of fighting crime in Gotham city.
2. Batman: The Man Who Laughs (Essential)
This book tells about our favorite superhero’s first meeting with the Joker. It was intended to be a sequel to Batman: Year One and it will give you a good overview on Joker especially if you choose not to read The Killing Joke.
3. Batman: The Killing Joke (You may skip)
This is an origin story of one of Batman’s famous villains–the Joker. It chronicles his attempt to drive Jim Gordon and Batman insane while flashing back on how he came to be. A lot of critics claim that this is the definitive Joker story but you may skip it if you’re not that interested in the villain.
4. Batman: The Long Halloween (Essential)
The events from Long Halloween takes place a few months after Year One. It features a villain nicknamed ‘Holiday’ who kills one person each month. This book gives you an overview of how our favorite bat worked with Jim Gordon and D.A. Harvey Dent. Readers will also encounter famous villains like the Joker, Scarecrow, and Riddler, to name a few.
5.Batman: Dark Victory (Essential)
Set right after the events in The Long Halloween, Dark Victory focuses on the killings made by The Hangman. It also features a few action scenes from Two-face and Catwoman. It also introduces Dick Grayson, an important character in Batman comics.
6. Catwoman: When In Rome (You may skip)
If Catwoman piqued your interest in Dark Victory, then this is a good book to read next. It chronicles her adventures in Rome to find the identity of her father. It is important to note that the events in this book take place in parallel to the latter events in Dark Victory.
7. Batman: A Death in the Family (Essential)
This controversial book tells about the death of a member in the Batman family of comics. The storyline in the book is considered by many fans to be one of the most important events in Batman. One fun fact about this book is that the creators let the readers vote on the ending of the story.
8. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Essential)
In this book, Frank Miller reinvents Batman into a darker and more gloomy one. It takes place 10 years after his retirement when he decided to come back and fight crime once again. It features a few of our favorite villains like the Joker and Two-Face. It also shows an encounter with fellow DC superhero, Superman, who was working for the government.
Other people might recommend reading The Dark Knight Returns earlier but if you want to read chronologically, this is the way to go.
9. Batman: The Court of Owls (You may skip)
Back in 2011, DC decided to do a reboot on the whole universe. DC canceled all of the existing titles and debuted the New 52 series. The Court of Owls provides an interesting overview of the universe’s new era.
The comic books above are enough to immerse you in the Dark Knight’s gloomy world. But do take note that this only serves as a guide and not a fixed rule. You may start with however you want. What’s important is that you have fun reading about the life of one of the world’s greatest superheroes.
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