Posted August 15, 2012 by Matthew A. Ramirez in Books & Comics

Batman Comics: Where Do I Begin?

Batman Comics: Where Do I Begin?

Batman is everywhere these days, yet people can’t get enough of him. The Dark Knight Trilogy has brought Batman an overwhelming number of followers. But let’s say the movies aren’t enough…what now? Comics are the best way to revisit your favorite heroes, but most of these heroes have an overwhelming amount of history. So where do you begin? I recently wrote a where-to guide for X-Men. Next up: Batman.

Any comic book reader will tell you that a good place to start would be your local comic book store. A simple “I’m looking to read some Batman origin stories” will suffice, but let’s say that isn’t what you had in mind. Well type up Amazon on your web browser and look up…


Batman: Year One

This is DC’s reboot of this famous super-hero. Frank Miller built roads for the future Batman to come. Even today, many story arcs revolve around this one and use it as an inspiration. It’s pretty self-explanatory so as you can guess, it shows Batman’s first year of action. Batman Begins is supposed to get its inspiration from this collection. If you’re looking to an immediate continuation of Batman: Year One, go ahead and read The Man Who Laughs.


The Long Halloween

Despite being written by another set of authors, The Long Halloween is very Year One-esque. This is supposed to expand the setting you saw in Year One, and it even reveals Two-Face’s origin. You’ll get to meet Gotham’s heart of crime, and if you can’t get enough of that there is…


The Dark Victory

This concludes your Gotham introduction, and you are left with the Gotham you and I are familiar with today. Crime ridden and dangerous. You witness the fall of a lot of the famous crime families, and even get introduced to Robin. The Long Halloween and The Dark Victory represent Batman’s year two.


The Killing Joke

Some may say this is the ultimate Batman classic. The story and the consequences found here affect Batman even today. This is the 101 guide for Batman and the Joker’s relationship. Even more exciting, it reveals the Joker’s origin story (though this isn’t entirely a fact). The continuity of this comic in relation to the others I mentioned is debatable, but regardless, still a must read.


A Death in The Family

Before reading this, you might consider reading Batman #408. Though only an issue, it introduces the second Robin, Jason Todd. The story in A Death in The Family is all about Todd and how he affects Batman. I’d rather not reveal the rest, but this is most definitely a must. Very much like The Killing Joke, the events here affect Batman from here and on.

When done reading all of the above, you should consider reading Hush and The Dark Knight Returns. Hush requires knowledge from all of the previous comics in order to fully understand it. On the other hand, The Dark Knight Returns is one of the greatest stand-alone graphic novels ever so yes, do read.

This concludes your Batman 101 session. Enjoy!

– Matthew A. Ramirez

Matthew A. Ramirez

Matthew is a Star Wars fanatic first, human second. He lives and breathes for video games, books, and anything out of this world. His life is heavily influenced by his Peter Pan Syndrome. He's a Slytherin and a Lannister. He currently studies at Florida International University as an elementary education major and pursues web design & development during his free time. He lives in Miami, FL with his girlfriend, Ana and their cat, Khaleesi.