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Movies. Video games. Pajamas. With the wide variety of media that has been infiltrated by Batman, chances get higher all the time that the next Batman fan you meet won't have ever read a Batman comic. If you or someone you know is looking to meet Batman between the pages of a graphic novel, read on to see my top choices & why I recommend them for getting to know Batman in his original medium.


(Frank Miller)

As you may guess from the title, this is a telling of how Bruce Wayne is inspired to become Batman, what he goes through to achieve that goal & what life is like after he first puts on that cowl. Almost everyone knows the basics of that plot already, but it is truly well done here & I think that it is Frank Miller at his best. Aside from the Batman aspect, I urge everyone to read this comic for the reason that it's not only a portrait of Batman, but also of Jim Gordon (Holy first impression, Batman!). The man is awesome. None of the movies capture who Gordon really is & I think that the Christopher Nolan films really missed the boat by not letting him shine. 

(We won't even discuss Pat Hingle...)


(Jeph Loeb)


These are two of my absolute favorites, in part because Tim Sale's artwork is enough to make me stare in awe for hours. Meanwhile, when you're not drooling over the pages, you get wrapped up in a plot of mystery & murder, watching as The Great Detective desperately pushes himself to his limits to stop the madness. Each has a character's origin story at its center, with a wide periphery of villains & allies alike, so you get a good taste of Gotham at its most fantastic. If you find you enjoy these two, seek out Batman: Haunted Knight, another Loeb & Sale collaboration.


(Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Alan Grant)

Before Batman Begins came out, I had to stretch farther to justify telling people to read this comic. This comic was my gateway to Batman, earning it a special place in my heart, but for you it may serve as a course on who Ra's Al Ghul really is. He earns his title of my favorite villain by continually striving to rid the world of at least 90% of its population. Other highlights include travelling to various places around the world, characters like Nightwing, Oracle, Lady Shiva, & Huntress, sub-plots keeping the story grounded, someone who is more than he first appears... the entire world at stake! This is a Batman story for those who want a break from the tedium of Gotham.

(Mark Waid, Dan Curtis Johnson, Christopher Priest, John Ostrander)

Look at the cover of this comic & tell me that it doesn't look like it needs to be read. I dare you. After a weird opening bit about... really tiny people... this comic really gets going. For people more familiar with other characters in the Justice League, this may be a more comfortable place to start reading about Batman than the more dark & brooding tales that I've already listed, but we can all learn a bit about The Dark Knight's soul by reading this tale about how one of Batman's greatest strengths gets used against him by one of his most brilliant enemies, the way Batman feels about the other JLA members & how they feel about him. It's a great way to get to know what defines him & his perspective.

Article by Valerie Minnich. Many thanks for your kickass Bat-contribution! 

Follow Valerie on Twitter @the_valerie


  1. I agree with Numbers 1 and 2, but I would include No Man's Land in there as well.

  2. I was really excited to read No Man's Land, but found it disappointing, to be honest. To me it's worth reading after you're already into Batman, because it was a big deal & one wants to know about that part of the Batman timeline, but it didn't make me feel anything.

  3. where's the educational button?
    and the love button. i need that one too...
    so, consider them clicked!


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