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Top 10 Batman Comics You Should Read

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Clayton Martino Whether you are a first-time reader or an avid Bat-fan, these are the Batman stories everyone should read! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Batman comics and Story lines. For this list, we are looking at the most famous issues and story arcs in Batman's comic history. Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your idea for our next video
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Top 10 Batman Comics You Should Read


Whether you are a first-time reader or an avid Bat-fan, these are the Batman stories everyone should read! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Batman comics and storylines. For this list, we are looking at the most famous issues and story arcs in Batman’s comic history.

#10: "Batman: Hush" (2002-03)

If you want to start reading the Batman comics but aren’t sure where to kick-off, “Hush” is a great place to start. Introducing one of Batman’s most personal villains, Hush is one of Bruce Wayne’s childhood friends who becomes one of the Dark Knight’s smartest nemesis’. Throughout the story readers also get to meet iconic characters like Poison Ivy, the Joker, and Two-Face. Severely outnumbered, Batman teams up with Catwoman, with whom he becomes romantically involved.

#9: "Batman: The Cult" (1988)

It’s rare for a villain to get the upper hand on Batman, but that is exactly what happens in this story. The main villain is Deacon Blackfire who, with the help of his cult of homeless followers, has kidnapped Batman. The story begins with Batman already in captivity, and we witness Batman succumb to Blackfire’s brainwashing techniques. The comic also includes the assassination of several Gotham City politicians and an attempt on Commissioner Gordon’s life, making it one of the more violent and disturbing stories in Batman’s history.

#8: "Batman: A Death in the Family" (1988-89)

While the deaths of his parents inspired Bruce Wayne to become the Caped Crusader, the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin that haunts Batman’s carrier. A controversial character, Jason Todd’s death was actually voted on by fans, and the resulting poll lead to the 1988 storyline, Batman: A Death in the Family. In it Joker is at his most evil as he tortures and murder’s Batman’s sidekick, leaving Batman questioning his own motivations.

#7: "Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth" (1989)

The comic that served as the inspiration for the 2009 video game “Batman: Arkham Asylum”, this story sees Batman venture into the heart of the asylum to stop a riot started by the Joker. This comic is the perfect showcase for the villains of the Batman universe, revealing how real their psychological afflictions really are. Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is the insight into Amadeus Arkham, the founder of the asylum, and the facilities’ disturbing past.

#6: "Batman: Knightfall" (1993)

Bane is one of the few villains who can match the Dark Knight in terms of strength, endurance and fighting skill. What makes Bane so dangerous, however, is that he is also highly intelligent. Knowing his chances of defeating Batman in a direct assault are slim, Bane tips the odds in his favour by forcing Batman to deal with a number of different villains, including Poison Ivy, the Riddler, and the Joker in a single evening. His plan works succeeds and when Bane confronts Batman he quickly gets the upper hand, breaking the Bat in one of the most iconic pages in comic history.

#5: "Batman: Dark Victory" (1999-2000)

A direct sequel to the classic “The Long Halloween”, this story follows Batman as he attempts to stop another serial killer called the Hangman. It also tells how Dick Grayson was orphaned and became Robin. We clearly see how important a character Robin is to Batman on both a crime fighting and personal level. The comic features many iconic Batman villains, including the emergence of Harvey Dent as Two-Face and the fallout from this transformation.

#4: "Batman: The Long Halloween" (1996-97)

Holidays are supposed to be a time when people can spend time with their friends and families. In Gotham, however, crime never takes a break. Each issue in the story arc takes place during another holiday and features another murder. Add in the development of the relationship between Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon and a look at the fall of Harvey Dent, this story has absolutely everything you could ever want in a Batman comic.

#3: "Batman: Year One" (1987)

One of the best moves DC ever made was hiring Frank Miller to retell the story of the Dark Knight’s early days. Miller stripped Batman of all the psychotic villains, fancy gadgets, and even the batmobile. Instead, he focused on Batman’s early attempts at fighting crime, including several failed attempts at being a vigilante. It also provided insight into the early career of James Gordon, who arrived in Gotham at the same time as Batman. The pair form an uneasy partnership that remains a staple of the Batman universe.

#2: "Batman: The Killing Joke" (1988)

The Joker is Batman’s greatest enemy, and “The Killing Joke” is the best Joker story. This is the definitive look at the Joker before he became a psychotic menace and writer Alan Moore brings us one of the more disturbing Batman stories ever told. The Joker goes after Batgirl, the alter ego of Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara, in her own home. Gunning her down in front of her father, Barbara is left paralyzed from the waste down, ending her carrier as Batgirl.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

"Batman: The Man Who Laughs" (2005)

"Batman: The Court of Owls" (2011)

"Batman: Year 100" (2006)

"Batman: The Black Mirror" (2011)

"Batman: Son of the Demon" (1987)

#1: "The Dark Knight Returns" (1986-87)

While all the comics on this list are must-reads, this one stands above the rest. “The Dark Knight Returns” created by Frank Miller follows an aging and retired Bruce Wayne as he returns to his crime-fighting ways. We see all the classic Batman villains, but the highlight is showdown between Batman and Superman. The Man of Steel is taked by the government to take down Batman in an epic climax that answers a question comic book fans have asked for decades: who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?

Do you agree with our list? What is your favourite Batman Comic? For more great Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.


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