May 22 2012
by Luis Loza
As iconic and recognizable as he is nowadays, there are still lots of stories in Batman’s history that are unknown to the everyday person. While the countless movies, shows, and games that feature the Dark Knight do cover a lot of ground, there’s nothing like the original comics themselves. This list is meant to offer a good starting for the prospective Batman fan to enter the vast world of comics available. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, I did try to make sure that a variety of stories were covered for different tastes.
1. Crisis on Infinite Earths – Marv Wolfman
The most logical place to start is the beginning. Well, actually it’s the end, but also the beginning. CoIE is the bold attempt by Marv Wolfman to not only have a fitting event for the 50th anniversary of DC comics, but to also wrap up all the different continuities in the universe into a more easily understandable package. The extensive history and backlog of old stories is something that keeps many would-be readers from taking the plunge into comics. Whether or not Crisis succeeded in eliminating those concerns is debatable, the truth is that this large of an event was mostly unheard of in comics and was mind blowing at the time. Now, be warned that the Bat plays a minor role in the grand events. However, Crisis will set you up for the countless of crisis crossover events to come in the future.
2. Batman: Year One – Frank Miller
This is the obvious starting point in the history of the Bat. The definitive origin, Year One follows Bruce Wayne in his transformation from mere man to an icon after a lengthy hiatus fromGotham. We also follow the story of one James Gordon on his transfer back to Gotham after over 15 years inChicago. These parallel tales of two men trying to clean up their city of crime and corruption create one of the most compelling stories in all of comics, let alone Batman’s history. There is no way around it. If you want to read Batman, you must read this story.
3. Batman: The Long Halloween – Jeph Loeb
Another story that takes place in the early years, The Long Halloween follows another year for the Caped Crusader. This time, a murderer with a holiday theme is terrorizingGotham. Batman works with Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent to try to bring him to justice. Not only does it feature the fall of Harvey Dent, but is also a wonderfully woven tale that presents a still green Batman. If you like this one, be sure to check out Dark Victory, which continues the story and features the origins of the Boy Wonder.
4. Batman: Birth of the Demon – Dennis O’Neal
Ra’s Al Ghul is known to be a big villain in the history of the World’s Greatest Detective, if not his biggest adversary. However, few really know the history of the Demon’s Head. Birth of the Demon offers insight into that very subject. If possible, I recommend picking up the collected ‘Demon Trilogy,’ which shares the same title as this story. If you pick up the trilogy, know you may need to brush up on the history of Batman and Talia Al Ghul a little beforehand.
More Unreal Posts