It’s no surprise that Batman is one of the most popular comic book characters in all of history. The Dark Knight has legions of fans, and his comics are more read than any others on earth. So to celebrate this iconic superhero, we’re counting down the 10 best batman comics you can read and should have on your bucket list.
10 Best Batman Comics
There are over 2000 issues and over 300 Batman stories have been written in the past 80 years. Choosing the best comics is not an easy way around. This list only consists of stories that we think are the best. With that out of the way, let’s get started.
10. Batman: Hush
As one of the best Batman comics ever written, Batman: Hush was an instant hit. A famous villain makes his way back to Gotham City and is attacking members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery. The Caped Crusader starts looking for a mystery man who has been sending him riddles about their next encounter. After he finds out that this person might be a close friend of his, the Dark Knight will do anything to stop them.
Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Jim Lee in 2002-2003, Batman: Hush is a true masterpiece of modern comics storytelling. The book created an atmosphere with a deep emotional resonance that hinted at eternal truths about people’s nature and heroism.
The book also featured one of the best fight scenes in comic book history. An animated movie was released in 2019 based on this iconic masterpiece which was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment Ink. If you haven’t watched it yet, find that now!
9. Batman: The Court of Owls
The Court of Owls is one of the most popular arcs in Batman’s storied history. This story arc sees Bruce Wayne coming to terms with the new information he receives about his past and how it relates to Gotham City, as well as the death or disappearance of loved ones from his life at a very young age. The Court does not see itself as the villain in this story, but it is up to the Dark Knight and his allies to decide for themselves if they agree.
Created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in 2011-12, This arc has a lot of twists and turns that you won’t see coming! The Court of Owls manages to be one of Batman’s best comics because it ties itself closely with themes from previous arcs like Hush and The Death of Jean-Paul Valley.
This comic is an absolute must-read for any Batman fan, as it sets the stage for many more to come!
8. Batman: Son of the Demon
Batman: Son of the Demon tells a story that can only happen with Batman as protagonist; the Dark Knight’s son being born from his encounter with Talia Al Ghul. Talia’s pregnant with Batman’s child and the two agree to raise their son together, but Ra’s will not tolerate this new family living under his roof. In order to protect them both from him, they’re forced apart for years until tragedy brings Bruce home again in an effort to finally stop Ra’s from taking over the world.
Written by Mike W. Barr, this story stands out for the emotional impacts it delivers. Especially since this comic marks one of Bruce Wayne’s rare moments as a father. Raised by two parents who are willing to put their lives on the line for him, Damian has an upbringing that many would envy. In addition, readers will get the chance to see Bruce and Talia as a couple, which is an element of Batman lore that’s rarely explored in comics.
This story may be the best Batman comic ever written, but it’s not for everyone because of its emotional and brutal moments. If you’re a fan of the Dark Knight or looking to try an iconic graphic novel, this is one that deserves your attention.
7. Batman: Under the Red Hood
This is a Batman comic that will give you the chills. After being on hiatus for over a decade, writer Judd Winick and artist Doug Mahnke created an epic storyline involving one of Batman’s most terrifying foes: The Joker. This heartbreaking story shows how far The Clown Prince of Crime has fallen into madness and what lengths he’s willing to go to in order to punish The Dark Knight.
Published between 2005 and 2008, this particular Batman story has an interesting take on the Bruce Wayne personality. This particular story follows a man who is obsessed with what it would be like to kill Batman, but instead of seeing an evil ‘hero,’ he sees a broken human being.
This comic features many different artists and writers, which is always interesting because the tone can change from chapter to chapter. This story also has quite a few surprises in store for readers that are pulled in by the art and words. There has been an animated movie created with the same title in 2010. To date, it’s one of the best Batman stories ever told.
6. Batman: The Long Halloween
The best comics are the ones that have managed to tell exceptionally interesting tales with a lot of heart. And The Long Halloween is one such comic book. It revolves around Bruce Wayne being framed for murdering his girlfriend, spilling the identity of Batman, and meeting Harvey Dent just before he becomes Two-Face.
Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, the comic book is a masterpiece. More than any other Batman comics on this list, The Long Halloween manages to show how much pain Bruce Wayne was in when he first became Batman and how important Harvey Dent’s role as Gotham’s White Knight.
It’s an excellent read if you are a Batman fan, and it’s also considered one of the best because it can be read on its own with no previous knowledge. It’s an excellent choice if you want to give yourself or someone else a good gift for Christmas.
5. Batman: Knightfall
Knightfall is the story of how Bane broke Batman. This arc follows Batman’s confrontation with Bane in his most epic battle of all time.
In this story, Bane seems to know Batman’s every move and is able to predict his thoughts. And because of the way in which he has been trained, Bane can even anticipate what Bruce will plan ahead for him.
Written by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Alan Grant; illustrated by Kelley Jones and Graham Nolan, “Knightfall” is a six-issue DC Comics storyline published between 1993-1994.
The story literally shook the readers when the Cape Crusader was actually beaten. Bane’s telling of this story was so awe-inspiring and intriguing, it made people wonder at what point Bruce Wayne would finally succumb to his injuries. it’s truly a wonderful read with deep emotions beneath.
4. Batman: Year One
Batman: Year One was written by Frank Miller and illustrated by David Mazzucchelli in 1986, as part of DC Comics’ “Modern Age” relaunch.
The narrative revolves around Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City after a long abroad, as he dons his cape and cowl in order to become the city’s new protector. The Dark Knight begins by showing us how tough it was for this character before he became the famous hero that we know and love. This is the best place for new readers to start if they want a quick introduction to Batman’s world.
This comic has sold more than a million copies and it’s easy to see why. The story is exciting, the artwork beautiful for its time and we’re introduced to some of Batman’s most famous villains in this book – including Catwoman! This is an iconic story that will feel fresh every day even if you’ve read it more than once.
3. Batman: A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family is one of Batman’s most iconic comics. It was written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Mike Zeck. The story follows Bruce Wayne as he tries to get over his parents’ death, but it doesn’t go so well for him. Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents, is found and Batman goes to confront him. It doesn’t go as planned though as he dies in front of Bruce’s eyes.
A Death in the Family is considered one of Batman’s best comics because it stands out for being a very personal story. The way that he deals with his parent’s death and trying to get over it, but not letting go completely, really makes this an iconic comic book.
The story was released in 1988 and it became a bestseller almost immediately after release. The comic sold over one million copies right in its first year alone! If you are a Dark Knight fan this is a must-have story to have in your collection.
2. Batman: The Killing Joke
The Killing Joke is an iconic Batman story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland that was originally published in 1988. It features the Joker’s attempt to drive Commissioner Jim Gordon insane. This comic, in particular, offers a different type of character for the Caped Crusader – one that has flaws and serious mental handicaps.
The Killing Joke is also one of the most controversial comics in all of history, as it features Barbara Gordon being sexually assaulted by the Joker, leading her to become paralyzed from the waist down. It was heavily criticized at first for featuring a sexual assault, but the criticism has died down in recent years.
Even if you’re not into comics, it’s worth giving this one a try. It’s an excellent comic for those that want to see a different side of Batman – and the Joker. It will certainly change the way you perceive Batman and his enemies, as well as people with mental issues. This comic is not for kids – there are some graphic scenes that may be hard to read.
1. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
In 1986, the legendary Frank Miller came up with an idea of how Batman would look like in a post-apocalyptic world. This was when he decided to write and illustrate his magnum opus that is entitled The Dark Knight Returns. What this comic portrays best are all the values that Batman embodies: protecting Gotham from harm at any cost, upholding justice, and fighting against the corrupt system.
The story begins when Gotham is overtaken by a gang of criminals and the government has no means to stop them. It’s up to batman who has been retired for many years. With his old age catching up on him physically as well as mentally, he still does not want to see his beloved city fall into complete anarchy again.
The whole comic is about Batman’s struggle to take back Gotham from the bad guys and his refusal of being left powerless in a world that has grown increasingly heartless.
This series was written and drawn by Frank Miller for DC Comics between 1986 – 1987. In the United States alone, “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” has sold close to three million copies since. It’s a must-have edition for the actual fans.
The Caped Crusader is the very reason that Detective Comics (DC) has gained this much fame for the last 80 years. It has given so many iconic stories that readers have fallen in love with. So, which Batman comics are your most favorite? Which do you think is the best Batman story ever?