Get Started In BATMAN

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated May 2019

Known by several other common names you may also recognize: the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader or the World's Greatest Detective, Batman is one of the most popular superhero characters ever created. His simple origin is timeless, and his high status among all the DC heroes is evidence that one doesn't need superpowers to be a superhero. Accidentally wandering into Gotham City's notorious 'Crime Alley,' Tragedy befell the Wayne family on their way home from the cinema when an apparent mugging resulted in the murder of Bruce's parents. Bruce vowed to avenge their senseless deaths, and that vow led him on a path of righteous vigilantism with a fear-inspiring Bat-persona. Batman debuted in 1939 in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27 and has since become a world-wide icon of popular culture.

Batman has honed his mind and body to the apex of human excellence with a brilliant deductive mind and as one of the greatest martial artists alive. His costume is bullet- and fireproof and augmented with state-of-the-art sensor and communications technologies. Batarangs and jumplines are just some of his awesome tricks of the trade. Batman also maintains a fleet of versatile, high-tech vehicles, including the Batmobile and the Batcycle, in his futuristic Batcave headquarters.

Batman has taken on several sidekick apprentices known as Robin throughout the years, beginning with Dick Grayson and including Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damien Wayne. The 'Bat Family' of allied, costumed vigilantes is large, but Batman's gallery of adversaries is perhaps even more famous. Villains such as the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Two-Face are nearly as well-known as Batman himself.

A live-action television show in the 60's portrayed a campy version of Batman, but Frank Miller's BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS [1986] successfully returned Batman to his darker roots. Batman has perhaps the most media adaptations of any of the superhero characters. Tim Burton's film franchise throughout the 1990's was immensely popular, and Christopher Nolan's 2005-2012 trilogy is also highly regarded. Batman is also a foundational character in the films of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Although, even if you include his early films from the 1960's, Batman has more solo animated films and television series. There are no signs that the rate of production of Batman stuff will slow down or that Batman's popularity will fade.

Related GSIs: RICK AND MORTYTEEN TITANS

Related Tags: ADULT COLORING BOOK VARIANT COVERS [2016]ALAN MOORE (W)ALEX ROSS (CA)AMANDA CONNER (CA)ANDY KUBERT (CA)ART ADAMS (CA)BATMANBATMAN '66BATMAN '66 VARIANT COVERS [2014]BATMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2014]BATMAN DAYBATMAN FAMILY TITLESBILL SIENKIEWICZ (CA)BOMBSHELLS VARIANT COVERS [2014]BOMBSHELLS VARIANT COVERS [2015]BRIAN AZZARELLO (W)BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W)CARTOON TIE-INCROSS-PROPERTY CROSSOVERSDARWYN COOKE VARIANT COVERS [2014]DC 100-PAGE GIANTS [2019]DC ACETATE COVERS [2019] (21)DC ACTION FIGURE REPRINTSDC AFTER WATCHMEN: WHAT'S NEXT? REPRINTS [2009]DC ANIMATED UNIVERSE (DCAU)DC BLACK LABEL PRESTIGE FORMAT GRAPHIC NOVEL MINI-SERIESDC BLACK LABEL [2018-2019]DC DCEASED VARIANT COVERS [2019]DC DOLLAR COMICS [2019]DC ELSEWORLDSDC FACSIMILE EDITIONSDC INK [2019]DC NEW 52DC REBIRTHDC RETAILER REPRESENTATIVE PROGRAM (RRP) VARIANT COVERSDC VILLAINS MONTH [2013]DC ZERO MONTH [2012]DEATH OF THE FAMILY [2012]ED BRUBAKER (W)EISNER AWARD NOMINEEEISNER AWARD WINNERFLASH 75TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2015]FRANK CHO (CA)FRANK MILLER (CA)FRANK MILLER (W)FRANK MILLER (W/A)GRANT MORRISON (W)GREEN LANTERN 75TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2015]HARLEY QUINN VARIANT COVERS [2015]HARLEY'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK (POLYBAGGED) VARIANT COVERS [2015]JIM LEE (CA)JOKER 75TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2015]JUSTICE LEAGUEJUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE VARIANT COVERSKURT BUSIEK (W)LEGO VARIANT COVERS [2014]LOEB/SALE CREATIVE TEAMLOONEY TOONS VARIANT COVERS [2015]MAD MAGAZINE VARIANT COVERS [2013]MAD MAGAZINE VARIANT COVERS [2014] (21)MICHAEL TURNER (CA)MONSTERS OF THE MONTH VARIANT COVERS [2014]MONSTERS OF THE MONTH VARIANT COVERS [2015]MOVIE POSTER (DC) VARIANT COVERS [2015]NEAL ADAMS VARIANT COVERS [2016]NEW 52! VARIANT COVERS [2016]NIGHT OF THE OWLS [2012]PREDATOR FRANCHISEROBINROBIN (DAMIAN WAYNE)ROBIN (DICK GRAYSON)ROBOT CHICKEN VARIANT COVERS [2014] (22)SCOTT SNYDER (W)SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED VARIANT COVERS [2014] (20)SELFIE VARIANT COVERS [2014]STEAMPUNK VARIANT COVERS [2014] (18)SUPERMANSUPERMAN FAMILY TITLESTEEN TITANSTEEN TITANS FAMILY TITLESTEEN TITANS GO! VARIANT COVERS [2015]TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLESTERRY/RACHEL DODSON (CA)WARREN ELLIS (W)YEAR OF THE VILLAIN [2019]ZERO YEAR [2013]

Current Series

This is a curated list of the current series to help you get started with Batman comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS are Batman's two flagship titles with a continuous publishing history going all the way back to 1939. The massive popularity of Batman allows him to carry two ongoing series as well as multiple mini-series and one-shots in any given month. There is always plenty of Batman series to choose from. The list below contains the most recent mini- and limited series. In general, these limited series can take place in-continuity or take place outside of the DC Universe proper. They can tie into the flagship titles, a publishing-wide event storyline, or any number of other media such as books, movies, video games, and animated television series. Batman is also a popular DC character involved in cross-property crossovers with other publishers. (These types of mini-series are nearly always outside of DC continuity.) The descriptions in the list below can help you sort out the perennial array of the latest Batman comic book series.

PublisherFrequencySeries 
DCOngoingBATMAN [2016](flagship title)
DCOngoingDETECTIVE COMICS [2016](flagship title)
DCOngoingBATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019]
DCOngoingBATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019](team-up series)
DCOngoingBATMAN GIANT [2019](anthology series with new material and classic reprints)
DCOngoing (Digest)BATMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MANGA [2018-DIG](English translated, manga-style, digest sized collection of the Japanese serial story)
DCAnnualDETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL [2018]
DCAnnualBATMAN ANNUAL [2017]
DCAnnualBATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ANNUAL [2019]
DCLimited (3)BATMAN: DAMNED [2018-SC](out-of-continuity, magazine-sized softcover mini-series from Brian Azzarello)
DCLimited (6)BATMAN WHO LAUGHS [2019](Bruce hunts the popular METAL villain)
DCLimited (6)BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019](cross-property crossover mini-series)
DCLimited (3)BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH [2019](out-of-continuity, prestige format, Black Label mini-series)
DCLimited (8)BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019](sequel mini-series to BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT)
DCLimited (6)BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019](compiles serialized Brian Michael Bendis story from the Wal-Mart exclusive giants)
DCLimited (6)BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL [2019](story/art by Neal Adams)
DCLimited (12)BATMAN'S GRAVE [2019](maxi-series from Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch)
DCLimited (4)BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT [2018]
DCOne-Shot (Softcover)BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER--THE GRAPHIC NOVEL [2019-SC](based on the Marie Lu novel)
DCOne-ShotBATMAN SECRET FILES [2018]

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Batman. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Batman.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
BATMAN #70
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May 2019BATMAN [2016] #70   (THE FALL AND THE FALLEN, Part 1 (start of a story arc))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #71
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May 2019BATMAN [2016] #71   (THE FALL AND THE FALLEN, Part 2)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #72
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Jun 2019BATMAN [2016] #72   (THE FALL AND THE FALLEN, Part 3)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #73
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Jun 2019BATMAN [2016] #73   (THE FALL AND THE FALLEN, Part 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #74
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Jul 2019BATMAN [2016] #74   (THE FALL AND THE FALLEN, Part 5)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #75
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Jul 2019BATMAN [2016] #75   (CITY OF BANE, Part 1 (start of a story arc))UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN #76
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Aug 2019BATMAN [2016] #76   (CITY OF BANE, Part 2)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #77
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Aug 2019BATMAN [2016] #77   (CITY OF BANE, Part 3)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #78
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Sep 2019BATMAN [2016] #78   (CITY OF BANE, Part 4)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #79
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Sep 2019BATMAN [2016] #79   (CITY OF BANE, Part 5)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #80
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Oct 2019BATMAN [2016] #80   (CITY OF BANE, Part 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #81
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Oct 2019BATMAN [2016] #81   (CITY OF BANE, Part 7)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
BATMAN ANNUAL #4
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Oct 2019BATMAN ANNUAL [2017] #4   (stand-alone stories)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
BATMAN #82
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Oct 2019BATMAN [2016] #82   (CITY OF BANE, Part 8)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #83
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Nov 2019BATMAN [2016] #83   (CITY OF BANE, Part 9)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN #84
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Dec 2019BATMAN [2016] #84   (CITY OF BANE, Part 11)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
BATMAN #85
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Dec 2019BATMAN [2016] #85   (CITY OF BANE, Part 12)PRE-ORDER$4.99
$3.24
      
DETECTIVE COMICS #1003
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May 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1003   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1004
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May 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1004   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #2
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May 2019DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL [2018] #2   (stand-alone story)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
DETECTIVE COMICS #1005
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Jun 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1005   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1006
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Jun 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1006   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1007
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Jul 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1007   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1008
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Jul 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1008   (start of a story arc)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1009
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Aug 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1009   (TAKE YOUR SHOT, Part 1 (start of a story arc))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1010
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Aug 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1010   (TAKE YOUR SHOT, Part 2)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1011
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Sep 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1011   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1012
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Sep 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1012   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1013
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Oct 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1013   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1014
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Oct 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1014   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1015
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Oct 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1015   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1016
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Nov 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1016   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1017
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Dec 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1017   PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
DETECTIVE COMICS #1018
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Dec 2019DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #1018   PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #1
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May 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #1   (series beginning)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #2
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Jun 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #2   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #3
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Jul 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #3   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #4
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Aug 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #4   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #5
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Sep 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #5   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6
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Oct 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #6   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ANNUAL #1
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Oct 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ANNUAL [2019] #1   (stand-alone story)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #7
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Oct 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #7   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #8
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Dec 2019BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #8   PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1
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Aug 2019BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019] #1 MARQUEZ BATMAN CVR  (series beginning)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #2
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Sep 2019BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019] #2   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3
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Oct 2019BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019] #3   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #4
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Oct 2019BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019] #4   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #5
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Dec 2019BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2019] #5   PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
BATMAN GIANT #1Quick ViewOct 2019BATMAN GIANT [2019] #1   (series beginning)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN GIANT #2Quick ViewNov 2019BATMAN GIANT [2019] #2   UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
BATMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MANGA VOL 02
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Mar 2019BATMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MANGA [2018-DIG] VOL 02   UNAVAILABLE$8.44
BATMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MANGA VOL 03
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Sep 2019BATMAN AND THE JUSTICE LEAGUE MANGA [2018-DIG] VOL 03   UNAVAILABLE$8.44
      
BATMAN: DAMNED #3Quick ViewMay 2019BATMAN: DAMNED [2018-SC] #3   (Part 3 of 3)IN STOCK$6.99
      
BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #5
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May 2019BATMAN WHO LAUGHS [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #6
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Jun 2019BATMAN WHO LAUGHS [2019] #6   (Part 6 of 6 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #7
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Aug 2019BATMAN WHO LAUGHS [2019] #7   (Part 7 of 7 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #1
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May 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 6 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #2
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Jun 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #3
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Jul 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #4
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Aug 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #5
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Sep 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #6
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Oct 2019BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III [2019] #6   (Part 6 of 6 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1
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May 2019BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 3 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$3.89
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #2
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Jul 2019BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 3)UNAVAILABLE$3.89
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #3
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Nov 2019BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 3 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$3.89
      
BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1
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Jul 2019BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 8 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #2
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Aug 2019BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 8)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #3
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Sep 2019BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 8)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #4
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Oct 2019BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 8)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #5
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Dec 2019BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 8)PRE-ORDER$4.99
$3.24
      
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #1
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Jul 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 6 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #2
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Aug 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #3
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Sep 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #4
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Oct 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #5
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Nov 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #5   (Part 5 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
BATMAN: UNIVERSE #6
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Dec 2019BATMAN: UNIVERSE [2019] #6   (Part 6 of 6 (mini-series end))PRE-ORDER$4.99
$3.24
      
BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #1
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Aug 2019BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 6 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #2
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Sep 2019BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #3
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Oct 2019BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL #4
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Nov 2019BATMAN VS. RA'S AL GHUL [2019] #4   (Part 4 of 6)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
BATMAN'S GRAVE #1Quick ViewOct 2019BATMAN'S GRAVE [2019] #1   (Part 1 of 12 (mini-series beginning))IN STOCK$3.99
BATMAN'S GRAVE #2
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Nov 2019BATMAN'S GRAVE [2019] #2   (Part 2 of 12)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
BATMAN'S GRAVE #3
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Dec 2019BATMAN'S GRAVE [2019] #3   (Part 3 of 12)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT #4
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Oct 2019BATMAN: CREATURE OF THE NIGHT [2018] #4   (Part 4 of 4 (mini-series end))UNAVAILABLE$4.54
      
BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER--THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
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Jul 2019BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER--THE GRAPHIC NOVEL [2019-SC]   (stand-alone story)UNAVAILABLE$11.04
      
BATMAN SECRET FILES #2
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Jul 2019BATMAN SECRET FILES [2018] #2   (stand-alone story)UNAVAILABLE$3.24

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Batman comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Batman. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

The suggested reading order in the case of Batman is chronological by publication date of the original material, but you could easily start with Volume 1 of any series below. The amount of Batman compilations that are in print at any time is massive. This list concentrates only on the flagship Batman ongoing titles of BATMAN (no DETECTIVE COMICS included). See the key storylines for great material outside of these series, and it's a pretty good bet those storylines are still in print in some form.

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 01Quick ViewAug 2016BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 02Quick ViewFeb 2017BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 03Quick ViewAug 2017BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 03
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 04Quick ViewFeb 2018BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 04
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 05Quick ViewSep 2018BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 05
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE VOL 06Quick ViewDec 2019BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE [2016-TPB] VOL 06
  
PRE-ORDER$39.99
$25.99
      
BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER VOL 01Quick ViewAug 2018BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER [2018-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER VOL 02Quick ViewFeb 2019BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER [2018-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER VOL 03Quick ViewAug 2019BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER [2018-TPB] VOL 03
  
UNAVAILABLE$19.49
      
BATMAN: PRODIGAL Quick ViewJan 2019BATMAN: PRODIGAL [2019-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
BATMAN: HUSH Quick ViewAug 2019BATMAN: HUSH [2019-TPB]
NEW EDITION
  
UNAVAILABLE$19.49
      
BATMAN VOL 01: THE COURT OF OWLSQuick ViewMar 2013BATMAN [2011-TPB] VOL 01: THE COURT OF OWLS
CURRENT PRINTING
  (NEW 52)
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1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Batman, if it's within your budget. Batman first appeared in 1939 in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27 and has monopolized that title ever since. His self-titled series, BATMAN [1940], would debut in 1940 and has been ongoing since also, right alongside DETECTIVE COMICS. Both DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27 and BATMAN [1940] #1 are out of reach for the average person, but they both have been reprinted numerous times and can be found in a number of compilations that are still in print.

  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27  (1st appearance of Batman)

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. Unlike many superheroes of his day, Batman's first appearance did not explain his origin. (And his first appearance was not technically his in-Universe chronological costumed debut.) Six month's later, readers were rewarded with just 12 panels of origin material in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #33. Batman's origin has been expanded, retold and reinterpreted over the years, and the entire DC Universe has been rebooted several times. As a major cultural icon, Batman's origin story has shifted, evolved and been elaborated over time. The further the present day gets from 1939, the more outdated Batman's classic era origin feels, inviting a more contemporary reinterpretation and deeper levels of conspiracy attributed to the murder of Bruce's parents. Batman's origin began in the Golden Age with elements detailed in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #33 and BATMAN [1940] #47. This Batman would later be retroactively known as the 'Earth-2' Batman, after DC had established their Multi-Verse in the Silver Age. Frank Miller was the first to introduce a wholesale revamp of Batman's origin in YEAR ONE. Scott Snyder wrote another sweeping retelling in the NEW 52 era. From the Golden Age through several 'Crises' and several relaunches, Batman has seen the supporting cast of his origin meld and change, but the simple traumatic nature of his 1939 origin remains central.

  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #33   (the 12-panel Golden Age account of how Batman (Earth-2) became a crime fighter)
  • BATMAN [2011] #1   (reprints the material from DETECTIVE [1937] #33)
  • BATMAN [2011] #38   (Batman gives Robin his 1-sentence origin)
  • BATMAN [1940] #47   (THE ORIGIN OF THE BATMAN!, fleshes out Golden Age origin)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #235   (introduces more details concerning the motive of the murder of Batman's parents; introduces Thomas Wayne's 'bat costume')
  • BATMAN [1940] #232   (origin retold in 9 pages)
  • SECRET ORIGINS [1973] #1   
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #439   (4-page origin recap)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #457   (origin recap with more info on 'Crime Alley')
  • UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN [1980] #1   (recaps origin, fills in missing bits and pieces of Caped Crusader's career)
  • UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN [1980] #2   (recaps origins of Alfred and Robin)
  • UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN [1980] #3   (recaps origins of Batmobile, Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, and Lucius Fox)
  • BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] #1   (Frank Miller gives some snippets of Batman's origin, immortalizing Martha's falling pearls and Bruce's fall into the future Batcave)
  • SECRET ORIGINS [1986] #6   (Golden Age origin reinterpreted; extrapolates Batman's pre-Detective Comics #27 debut)
  • BATMAN [1940] #404-407   (YEAR ONE, Frank Miller's full, post-Crisis, retcon origin)
  • SECRET ORIGINS OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES [1989-TPB]    (contains the original THE MAN WHO FALLS story from Denny O'Neil, a 16-page overview of Batman's origin and early career and an inspiration for the BATMAN BEGINS movie)
  • BATMAN [2011] #21-27, 29   (ZERO YEAR, the New 52 origin of Batman by Scott Snyder is a clean slate retelling)

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Batman comic books. The two flagship titles for Batman are DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN. These two series have been running with Batman stories since the 1940's, but the popularity of Batman has allowed him to historically carry even more concurrent ongoing series above and beyond his flagship pair. A grand view of Batman's publishing history reveals a few major milestones of note. First, the Silver Age is generally regarded to have begun in Oct 1956, but Batman was being published continuously before and through the transition period, creating the Earth-Two and Earth-One alternate versions of Batman and his supporting cast with subtle differences. Then, 1985's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS [1985] #1-8 attempted to reconcile the Golden Age inconsistencies with the Silver Age. Then, Frank Miller's YEAR ONE story arc in 1987 redefined Batman's post-Crisis origin and set a major reference for all future writers. Next, FLASHPOINT destroyed and remade the Multiverse as the NEW 52 in 2011. Finally, 2016's REBIRTH is the most current relaunch of the DC Universe. Both BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS have restarted at #1 throught these milestons. DETECTIVE COMICS has most recently returned to its legacy numbering. The following list summarizes only the main Batman series over the decades. See the Secondary Publishing History for even more Batman series.

  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27-881   (Batman takes over the title beginning with issue #27, his 1st appearance)
  • BATMAN [1940] #1-511, 0, 512-559, 1M, 560-713   (long-running, self-titled series accompanying DETECTIVE COMICS)
  • BATMAN ANNUAL [1961] #1-28   
  • DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL [1988] #1-12   
  • LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1989] #1-36   (rotating creative teams with stories mostly in the early (post-Year One story) career of the modern Batman; continued in BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992])
  • LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL [1991] #1-2   
  • BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT [1992] #1-31, 0, 32-79, 1M, 80-94   (third ongoing series in then-current continuity exploring the psyche of Batman Family characters)
  • BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992] #37-64, 0, 65-214   (continued from LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1989])
  • BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT ANNUAL [1993] #3-7   
  • BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL [2007] #1-54   (rotating creative teams with stories mostly in the early (post-Year One story) career of the modern Batman)
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN [2009] #1-26   (Dick Grayson dons the mantle of Batman after Bruce Wayne's apparent death in the BATMAN R.I.P. story event)
  • BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [2011A] #1-5   (return of Bruce Wayne as Batman focusing on Gotham City)
  • BATMAN, INC. [2011] #1-8   (return of Bruce Wayne as Batman with a global focus)
  • BATMAN [2011] #1-12, 0, 13-23, 23.1-23.4, 24-52   (New 52 relaunch)
  • BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [2011B] #1-29   (New 52 relaunch)
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN [2011] #1-12, 0, 13-23, 23.1-23.4, 24-52   (New 52 relaunch)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [2011] #1-12, 0, 13-23, 23.1-23.4, 24-52   (New 52 relaunch)
  • BATMAN INCORPORATED [2012] #1-3, 0, 4-13   (New 52 relaunch)
  • BATMAN ANNUAL [2012] #1-4   
  • DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL [2012] #1-3   
  • LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [2012] #1-13   (print version of digital-first weekly serializations from various creative teams; each issue is a stand-alone story)
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ANNUAL [2013] #1-3   
  • BATMAN ETERNAL [2014] #1-52   (published weekly for one year)
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL [2015] #1-26   (published weekly for half year)
  • BATMAN [2016] #1-   (Rebirth relaunch)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [2016] #934-   (Rebirth relaunch with a return to legacy numbering)
  • BATMAN ANNUAL [2017] #1-   
  • DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL [2018] #1-   

Secondary Publication History

If you've already enjoyed some of the series listed in the Main Publication History above, series from this secondary publication list are very good places to further your exploration. The popularity of Batman has allowed DC to feature him in multiple series simultaneously throughout the years. In addition to the main flagship titles, Batman has appeared in many other lengthy series. Beyond this (and too exhaustive to include here), Batman has had countless mini-series, cross-overs, graphic novels, and one-shots. The followig list focuses on Batman and does not include the plethora of 'Batman Family' series which focus more on Batman's supporting cast.

  • WORLD'S BEST COMICS [1941] #1   (Batman/Superman team-ups; continued in WORLD'S FINEST [1941])
  • WORLD'S FINEST [1941] #2-323   (Batman/Superman team-ups; continued from WORLD'S BEST COMICS [1941])
  • BRAVE AND THE BOLD [1955] #67-200   (beginning with issue #67, series becomes a Batman team-up book)
  • BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [1983] #1-32   
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #1-36   (based on animated television series, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES)
  • BATMAN CHRONICLES [1995] #1-23   
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES [1995] #1-25   (based on animated television series, THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN & ROBIN)
  • BATMAN: GOTHAM ADVENTURES [1998] #1-60   (based on animated television series)
  • BATMAN 80-PAGE GIANT [1998] #1-3   (annual anthology series)
  • BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS [2000] #1-74   
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [2003] #1-17   (second series)
  • SUPERMAN/BATMAN [2003] #1-87   (team-up series)
  • BATMAN STRIKES [2004] #1-60   (based on animated television series)
  • BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2007] #1-14   (series continues as just OUTSIDERS [2009])
  • BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD [2009] #1-22   (based on animated television series)
  • BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM [2009] #1-21   (Batman stories told from supporting characters' views)
  • ALL-NEW BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD [2011] #1-16   (based on animated televisoin series)
  • BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2011] #40   (final issue of OUTSIDERS [2009] reverts to BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS)
  • BATMAN '66 [2013] #1-30   (based on the 1960's live action television series)
  • BATMAN/SUPERMAN [2013] #1-3, 3.1, 4-32   (team-up series)
  • BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS [2019] #1-   
  • BATMAN'S GRAVE [2019] #1-12   (maxi-series from Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch)
  • BATMAN GIANT [2019] #1-   (anthology series with new material and classic reprints)
  • BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS ANNUAL [2019] #1-   

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Batman, any one of which can be a good place to get started. 'Storyline' implies a sequence of issues or story parts linked for a satisfying story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Although the Golden and Silver Ages also presented serialized stories, they had not yet evolved into the story-arc driven production that comic books have become in the modern age. We reluctantly exclude from the following list stand-out single issues from these earliest periods (see the Key Issues section for them), but do include some stand-alone issues from the 1970's, the era in which Dennis O'Neil's helmed an influential stint as writer then editor for Batman. Some other influential writers of the main flagship titles include: Frank Miller, Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder. You'll also find on the following list various selections from across the wide spectrum of Batman material, including mini-series and alternate universes. But all the items are focused on Batman as the main character.

Key Storyline cover 1 for BATMANKey Storyline cover 2 for BATMANKey Storyline cover 3 for BATMANKey Storyline cover 4 for BATMAN
1971DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #410   (A VOW FROM THE GRAVE!, fan-favorite Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams story)
1971DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #411   (INTO THE DEN OF THE DEATH-DEALERS! Denny O'Neil/Bob Brown introduce Talia al Ghul and the first mention of her father, Ra's al Ghul)
1971BATMAN [1940] #232, 235, 240, 242-244   (the original 'DEMON SAGA' sprinkled across several issues from Denny O'Neil is the classic Ra's al Ghul material)
1973BATMAN [1940] #251   (THE JOKER'S FIVE-WAY REVENGE, classic Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams team-up revitalizes the Joker for the Bronze Age)
1976DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #457   (THERE IS NO HOPE IN CRIME ALLEY, Denny O'Neil recaps Batman's origin with more detail on 'Crime Alley')
1977DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #469-479   (compiled in BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIONS [1999-TPB], some very strong pre-YEAR ONE tales of Batman facing off against Hugo Strange)
1986BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] #1-4   (Frank Miller's genre-defining, extrapolation of Batman is still influential today)
1987BATMAN [1940] #404-407   (YEAR ONE, Frank Miller's essential retelling of Batman's origin puts the 'Dark' back in Dark Knight)
1988BATMAN [1940] #417-419   (TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST, an archetypal Batman story introduces the KGBeast)
1988BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE [1988]    (Alan Moore's psychologically intense one-shot serves as an inspiration for Heath Ledger's Joker performance)
1988BATMAN [1940] #426-429   (A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, Batman experiences his biggest and psychologically enduring crime-fighting failure when...the fans actually voted to kill off Jason Todd)
1989ARKHAM ASYLUM [1989-HC]    (Grant Morrison's first Batman story before later becoming the regular Batman writer is heavy on deconstruction and symbolic references and is the definitive Arkham Asylum story)
1989BATMAN [1940] #440-442, NEW TITANS [1988] #60-61   (A LONELY PLACE OF DYING, the origin of the third Robin, Tim Drake, from Marv Wolfman)
1989GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT [1989]    (forerunner for DC's Elseworlds imprint, an alternate universe, Victorian-era Batman hunts Jack the Ripper)
1990BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992] #6-10   (GOTHIC, brilliant blend of horror and mystery from Grant Morrison with literary elements from outside comics woven in throughout)
1991BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992] #16-20   (VENOM, O'Neil's exploration of Batman's commitment to the 'crusade' in Caped Crusader)
1991BATMAN VERSUS PREDATOR [1991] #1-3   (the title says it all really)
1992BATMAN: BIRTH OF THE DEMON [1992-HC]    (Denny O'Neil writes Ra's al Ghul's origin with gorgeous art from Norm Breyfogle)
1993BATMAN [1940] #491-500, DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #659-666   (KNIGHTFALL, PART ONE: KNIGHTFALL, Batman is crippled by Bane in the first of a classic trilogy of major event storylines running through several Bat-family titles and later partly inspiring Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT RISES)
1993DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #667-675, BATMAN [1940] #501-508   (KNIGHTFALL, PART TWO: KNIGHTQUEST)
1994BATMAN [1940] #509-510, DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #676-677   (KNIGHTFALL, PART THREE: KNIGHTSEND)
1996BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996] #1-12   (Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's outstanding year-long mystery could be considered in part a basis for Nolan's Dark Knight movie trilogy)
1999BATMAN: DARK VICTORY [1999] #1-13   (Loeb and Sale's equally-awesome sequel to BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996])
2000JLA [1997] #43-46   (THE TOWER OF BABEL, Mark Waid's Batman story as a Justice League member where the villain obtains Batman's top secret collection of superhero weaknesses puts Batman at odds with his supposed allies)
2002BATMAN [1940] #608-619   (HUSH, Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's mysterious villain wreaks havok on Batman's life amidst a budding romantic attraction to...Catwoman)
2005BATMAN [1940] #635-641, 645-650   (UNDER THE RED HOOD, Judd Winick's twisted tale of the return of a former Robin, Jason Todd)
2005BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS [2005]    (crime writer guru Ed Brubaker's ultimate modern Joker epic is the perfect balance between the Joker as psycho and as prankster)
2006BATMAN: THE MONSTER MEN [2006] #1-6   (expanding on a story from BATMAN [1940] #1, Matt Wagner writes and draws Batman's first encounter with supervillains--villains much more dangerous than the simple street-level crime he's been fighting so far)
2006BATMAN [1940] #655-658   (BATMAN AND SON, Grant Morrison's lasting addition to the Batman mythos...the reinterpretation of Damian Wayne, love child of Batman and Talia al Ghul)
2009BATMAN [1940] #686, DETECTIVE COMICS [1939] #853   (WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER?, Neil Gaiman's 2-part Batman story from the last issues of their repsective series is a Roshomon-esque amalgamation of Batman eulogies that pay homage to his 70-year publishing history)
2011DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #871-877   (THE BLACK MIRROR/THE HUNGRY CITY, Scott Snyder's exclusive DC contract begins with a bang in these great Batman--albeit Batman (Dick Grayson)--tales)
2011BATMAN [2011] #1-7   (THE COURT OF OWLS, possibly the best of the entire relaunch, Scott Snyder's award-winning New 52 relaunch of Batman will make you want to read the whole 52-issue series)

Media Source Material

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Batman, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. WARNING: This section may contain spoilers!

Batman is one of the biggest box office superhero franchises with a number of movies which--for the sake of discussion--can be broken into four distinct movie eras. First, there was a pair of serial films in the 1940's along with a television series film adaptation in 1966. Next, there was a series of four successful films from Warner Bros. from 1989-1997 initiated by writer/director Tim Burton. Then, there was writer/director Christopher Nolan's popular trilogy of movies from 2005-2012. Currently, Batman is a key member of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), a cinematic universe of inter-related movies in a shared universe that began in 2013 but with Batman debuting in 2016 in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016).

The Serial Era

Media source material cover for BATMAN

Batman starred in two serial films in the 1940's: BATMAN (1943) and BATMAN AND ROBIN (1949). Serials were not feature length movies which are the standard of today. Serials were broken up into chapters and shown in theaters most often with 'cliffhanger' endings in order to draw the target audience back to the theater the following week. Taken as a whole, they tell a long, winding story. The plot of BATMAN (1943) fit the era, an original story with Batman being a U.S. government agent combatting Japanese agents at the height of WWII. The story contained an original villain, Dr. Daka, and Bruce Wayne's love interest was Linda Page. In comics there is no source for the movie's Dr. Daka, but a Prince Daka was retroactively incorporated in continuity decades later in ALL-STAR SQUADRON [1981] #42-43 with a storyline that continuity-wise predates the serial storyline. Linda Page's first comic appearance was in BATMAN [1940] #5. A sequel serial film, BATMAN AND ROBIN (1949) sets the dynamic duo against a villain called the Wizard and also features appearances by Vicki Vale and Commissioner Gordon. The Wizard in the serial is not related to DC's comic book character of the coincidentally same name. Vicki Vale's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #49. Commissioner Gordon's first comic book appearance was alongside Batman himself in the now infamous DETECTIVE COMICS [1939] #27. These serial films are quite dated but notable for contributing at least one lasting aspect to the Batman mythos. The Batcave with its secret entrance in the Wayne mansion was introduced in the second chapter of the BATMAN (1943) serial film. While its specific layout has evolved and expanded over the years and is always up for interpretation from the latest comic book creators, some of the Batcave's basic attributes were introduced into Batman lore from this serial. The Batcave was later introduced in comics in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #83.

The first full-length, feature film starring Batman, BATMAN (1966), was an adaptation of the 1960's television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, released in theaters just after the television series had completed its first season and comprised of virtually all the series' cast. Heavily influenced by its serial predecessors, the 1960's Batman television series and the associated movie have a similar, heavily stylized comic book tone, replete with gaudy colors and sound effect word balloons.

The Burton/Shumacher Era--The Burtonverse

Warner Bros. produced a more contemporary Batman movie franchise from 1989-1997 with four films, the first two directed by Tim Burton and the second two directed by Joel Shumacher and featuring three different actors for the lead role: Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. The films exist in an unofficial 'Burtonverse.' Following on the heels of the successful Superman movie franchise (1978-1987), the Batman movie franchise laid even more foundation for what would ultimately evolve into the comic book cinematic universes of today.

Media source material cover for BATMAN

The first movie in the Burton/Schumacher 'Burtonverse' was BATMAN (1989) and it is primarily an origin story of the Joker as Batman is already established as a crimefighter. The Joker's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #1, and the amoral trickster has had a long publishing history of his own, evolving and changing with the decades. The Joker's origin story was told in comics in 1951 in DETECTIVE COMICS [1939] #168 where you'll find the iconic elements such as his previous Red Hood persona and falling into a vat of chemicals at the Ace Chemicals plant. The BATMAN (1989) movie gives the Joker's alias as Jack Napier, skips the Red Hood backstory, and takes place in the Axis Chemicals plant. One of the Joker's enduring tricks-of-the-psychopathic-trade is 'Joker Venom,' a broad term for any number of chemicals the Joker uses to negatively affect his victims, most commonly resulting in death from laughing. The BATMAN (1989) movie calls the chemical Smilex. Joker Venom first appeared in comics in BATMAN [1940] #1. The movie does not explore Batman's origin per se but does imply that Jack Napier was the mugger who killed his parents, a starkly different interpretation from any of Batman's comic book origins. At the end of the movie, Commissioner Gordon unveils the Bat-Signal. The Bat-Signal's first comic book appearance was DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #60, but it has had several different introductions in DC's post-Crisis continuities.

Media source material cover for BATMAN

The second movie in the Burton/Schumacher 'Burtonverse' was BATMAN RETURNS (1992) and it is primarily an origin story for both the Penguin and Catwoman. Penguin's first comic book appearance was DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #58. His post-Crisis comic book origin is considerably different than the movie origin and was told in SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL [1989] #1. Catwoman's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #1. Catwoman reveals her origin story in BATMAN [1940] #62, but later in BRAVE AND THE BOLD [1955] #197 reveals it was made up and clarifies her story. To muddy the matter, this comic book character is the Golden Age (Earth-Two) Catwoman who would marry Bruce Wayne and give birth to Helena Wayne (Huntress). Catwoman's modern origin was revamped in Frank Miller's YEAR ONE storyline from BATMAN [1940] #404-407. Also, the CATWOMAN [1989] mini-series and her self-titled ongoing series have tidbits which elaborate on this origin further. Elements from several of these stories can be seen in the movie's depiction of Catwoman's origin.

Media source material cover for BATMAN

The third movie in the Burton/Schumacher 'Burtonverse' was BATMAN FOREVER (1995) and it focuses on the two villains Two-Face and the Riddler as well as introduces Robin (Dick Grayson). The tone of Schumacher's two movies was intentionally lighter than the dark tone of Burton's previous two. Harvey Dent had made appearances in the previous films in this series, but his villainous side had not yet been portrayed. Two-Face's first comic book appearance is DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #66. The Riddler's first comic book appearance is DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #140. The movie gives his origin, but it is different than the backstory given in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #140. Bruce Wayne/Batman's love interest in BATMAN FOREVER (1995) is Chase Meridian. Her character was created specifically for the movie and has no comic book counterpart. Dick Grayson's first comic book appearance and origin is in DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #38. The movie version is a pretty faithful adaptation, except the movie substitutes Two-Face for the mafia boss who murdered Dick's parents in the comic book. Two-Face actually killed another Robin's father (Jason Todd's father) in post-Crisis continuity, as detailed in BATMAN [1940] #411. Two-Face apparently dies in the movie, but the Riddler is captured and imprisoned in Arkham Asylum. Arkham Asylum's first comic book appearance is BATMAN [1940] #258.

Media source material cover for BATMAN

The fourth and final movie in the Burton/Schumacher 'Burtonverse' was BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997). Completing a veritable tour of all the iconic villains of Batman's rogues gallery, this movie features Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane. If that wasn't busy enough, the movie also introduces Batgirl. Mr. Freeze's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #121, but he was called Mr. Zero and was just one of many frivolous villains created for the Dynamic Duo to swiftly defeat. The 1960's Batman television series renamed the character Mr. Freeze, garnered him increased popularity, and the name carried over into the comics. Mr. Freeze's most common origin story actually stems from the animated television series, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, where he suffers a cryogenic accident trying to save his wife's life. His post-Crisis origin was then revamped to closely match the version created in the television series. Poison Ivy's first comic book appearance is BATMAN [1940] #181. Bane's first comic book appearance and origin is in BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE SPECIAL [1993] #1. The movie combines Bane's and Poison Ivy's origin along with the super-steroid, Venom. In comics, Bane's comic book origin is intimately involved with the drug Venom, but not with Poison Ivy's origin. Poison Ivy's origin was revised post-Crisis in SECRET ORIGINS [1986] #36. Venom's first comic book appearance is BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992] #16. There have been many girls bearing the name 'Batgirl' in the comic books, the common theme being her first name is Barbara and she is the daughter/niece of another of Batman's supporting characters. The BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997) movie depicts Batgirl as the Alfred's niece, Barbara Wilson, which is a unique interpretation for the movie and not seen in any comic books. All four of the characters introduced in the movie had prestige one-shot comic books released to coincide with the movie and give the comic book version origin of the character. This set of one-shots includes: BATMAN: BANE [1997], BATMAN: BATGIRL [1997], BATMAN: MR. FREEZE [1997] and BATMAN: POISON IVY [1997]. The Batgirl one-shot gives the backstory of Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter. Since 1997, there have been many, many variations of these four characters' origins told in DC's different relaunches and reboots. Although the movie actually made money, it was still considered a critical failure and concluded the 'Burtonverse.'

The Dark Knight Trilogy--The Nolanverse

Christopher Nolan wrote and directed a highly regarded trio of movies from 2005-2012, affectionately referred to as the Dark Knight Trilogy. Nolan's modern take on Batman relies less on a 'comic book' look and feel and more heavily on the modern science fiction genre to produce what he called 'a more credible universe that doesn't appear to have any boundaries.' In this regard, BLADERUNNER was a particular source of cinematographic inspiration. Plot-wise, the Dark Knight Trilogy draws inspiration from a wide array of comic book source material. Without adapting any one source completely, the lengthy epic is an amalgamation of many with subtle connections to sources everywhere.

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The first movie in the Dark Knight Trilogy is BATMAN BEGINS (2005), and it is a rebooted origin story of Batman and his early involvement with the villains Ra's al Ghul and the Scarecrow. BATMAN BEGINS (2005) has three overarching comic book sources of inspiration: the YEAR ONE storyline from BATMAN [1940] #404-407, THE MAN WHO FELL story (an original story included in the SECRET ORIGINS OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES [1989-TPB] compilation), and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996] mini-series. Bruce falling down a dry well as a child and discovering the future Bat-cave originated in the YEAR ONE storyline by Frank Miller in the BATMAN [1940] series. The image of Martha's string of pearls falling slowly and fatefully during her murder originated in BATMAN: THE DARK NIGHT [1986] #1, also by Frank Miller. Joe Chill is the petty mugger who murders Bruce's parents. His first comic book appearance was DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #33, but he was not named until BATMAN [1940] #47, both key early pieces of Batman's origin from the Golden Age. DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #235 later revealed that Chill was a hitman, not a mere mugger. The movie's powerful mafia chieftain, Carmine Falcone, made his first comic book appearance in BATMAN [1940] #404, the first part of YEAR ONE. He also appears in BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996]. Falcone's character in comics is heavily based on Marlon Brando's character from the 1972 film THE GODFATHER. Bruce's love interest in the Dark Knight Trilogy is Rachel Dawes. She is an original character with no comic book equivalent. The movie character Henri Ducard's first comic book appearance was DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #599. In the movie Ducard is involved in Bruce's training with the League. Ducard performed this role in the comics as well, but does not turn out to ultimately be Ra's al Ghul, as in the movie. Ra's al Ghul's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #232. His post-Crisis origin was told in the BATMAN: BIRTH OF THE DEMON [1992-HC] hardcover. The League of Assassins, also commonly known as the League of Shadows, made its first comic book appearance in STRANGE ADVENTURES [1950] #215. In the movie, Lucious Fox is an ostracized Wayne Enterprises executive. Fox's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #307. He was a specialist executive brought in to save the failing Wayne Enterprises, a role he basically takes on at the end of the film. The second villain in BATMAN BEGINS (2005) is the Scarecrow. Scarecrow's first comic book appearance was WORLD'S FINEST [1941] #3.

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The second movie in the Dark Knight Trilogy is THE DARK KNIGHT (2008), and it introduces two iconic villains, the Joker and Two-Face. Briefly appearing at the beginning of the movie, the 'Batmen' vigilante group dressed as Batman are very similar to the Sons of Batman group which first appeared in comics in BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] #2. (This comic book source will have more influence in the third movie of the trilogy.) After a brief mention as an emerging threat at the end of the previous movie, the Joker appears in THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) already in his trademark make-up and persona. Although he verbally gives a few details of his origin, it's more character development than true backstory. The movie is primarily the tale of how the Joker initially came to homicidal notoriety in Gotham. The persona that actor Heath Ledger portrays is heavily influenced by Alan Moore's BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE [1988], although the plotline of the graphic novel is markedly different than the movie. Another source for the Joker's character in the movie is Ed Brubaker's BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS [2005]. In line with the movie's plot, the graphic novel tells the tale of the Joker and the Batman's first encounter, with the Joker killing prominent members of Gotham. Another influential comic book source for the movie is Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996]. Like BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE [1988], this source shares very little plot symmetry with the movie. Instead, BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996] deftly portrays the Batman-Gordon-Dent collaboration as well as a retelling of Dent's transformation into Two-Face. A couple other movie characters have comic book counterparts. Sal Moroni is the mob boss who replaced Falcone from the previous movie. Moroni's first comic book appearance was DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #66. Police Commissioner Loeb had a cameo in the first movie of the trilogy and is killed by the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT (2008). Loeb's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #404. In comics, Loeb was in the mob's pocket, but there is no indication that the movie version is corrupt. Batman's cell phone spy technology doesn't have a real comic book analogy, but Batman created something similar in the comics if you're interested in exploring further the ethical ramifications of such a system. Spinning out of the events of IDENTITY CRISIS [2004] #1-7, Batman created the Brother MK I Satellite, a semi-autonomous artificial intelligence surveillance system, to spy on all metahumans. Control of the MK I would later be stolen and the satellite would gain true consciousness as 'Brother Eye,' controlling an army of metahuman-hunting OMAC androids in OMAC PROJECT [2007] #1-6.

Media source material cover for BATMAN

The final movie in the Dark Knight Trilogy is THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012), and it introduces Catwoman, Bane and Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Talia al Ghul. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012) has a few overarching comic book sources, even if--again--the plotlines of the comics don't match this movie exactly. The classic BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] mini-series from Frank Miller tells the tale of Batman coming out of retirement, which is the basic setup of the third movie in the trilogy. However, the comic book takes place further in the future than the movie. Bane previously appeared in Shumacher's film, BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997), but that was more of an origin story. Bane is best known for crippling Batman by breaking his back in the KNIGHTFALL crossover event storyline. This is a key event in the movie and took place in BATMAN [1940] #497. As previously mentioned, Bane's first comic book appearance and origin was in BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE SPECIAL [1993] #1. Another major crossover event storyline with a seemingly large influence on the plot of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is NO MAN'S LAND. In this comic book epic that ran through all the Bat-family titles for an entire calendar year, Gotham became disconnected from the rest of the country as a result of an earthquake, causing lawlessness with villains claiming small territories over which to rule. This is similar to how Bane isolates Gotham and rules from the sewers after setting Blackgate Penitentiary's criminals free. The Catwoman from THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is the same character we saw in Burton's BATMAN RETURNS and shares many similarities, but Nolan's Catwoman eschews an origin and gets right to her more modern, on-again/off-again playful interactions with Batman. Catwoman's first comic book appearance was BATMAN [1940] #1. The GCPD officer in the movie, John Blake, has much in common with Batman's sidekick, Robin, but there is no clear reflection of a single comic book version of Robin. Although the movie seems to set Blake up as Batman's successor, Nolan has stated he never had any intentions of continuing the 'Nolanverse.'

The DCEU Era

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With the success of its competitor's Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) well underway in 2012, DC enacted plans for their own cinematic universe: the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). MAN OF STEEL (2012) launched this shared universe. Batman appears first in the second film of the series, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016) and prominently in its follow-on ensemble movie, JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017). BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016) has an original premise but draws inspiration from Frank Miller's BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] mini-series as well as the DEATH OF SUPERMAN storyline for Superman. Batman is rebooted again for the DCEU, but his origin is as familiar as an old friend by this time. The Batman in the DCEU is a little older and a lot wearier, having been operating in Gotham for a couple decades. In the movie, Bruce's short dream of a post-apocalyptic future has its source in the videogame INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US. In this alternate reality, the Joker tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane, and this drove Superman over the edge, becoming a tyrant over the whole world. Batman leads a group of heroes in an insurgency against Superman. Superman and Batman fight in the comic book adaptation of the videogame's prequel storyline in INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US [2013] #12. Superman breaks Batman's back in that fight (one of Batman's apparent weak spots). Batman and Superman have tussled more than a dozen times in comic books over the decades, many times frivolously in the pages of WORLD'S FINEST, but most famously in BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT [1986] #4. The aged Batman beats the gray-haired Superman pretty easily with some kryptonite and a mechanical suit of armor. This is apparently the fight that BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE (2016) was modeled after. The two super-heroes also clashed later in comics in LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL [2005] #3, in which Lex manipulates Batman into thinking that Superman is a threat to humanity. This is a similar plot setup for the fight in the movie. The third movie in the DCEU, JUSTICE LEAGUE has no clear comic book source material for Batman worth mentioning, but Batman is still a major character in the DCEU, his plot elements will no doubt continue to draw from comic book source material.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Batman, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

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  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #27   (1st appearances of Batman, Commissioner Gordon, the 'Batmobile' (ordinary red car))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #28   (2nd appearance of Batman)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #29   (3rd appearance of Batman)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #31   (classic Batman cover)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #33   (origin of Batman)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #36   (1st appearance/origin of Dr. Hugo Strange)
  • BATMAN [1940] #1   (origin of Batman reprinted; 1st appearances of Joker, 'Cat' (Catwoman) (no costume))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #38   (1st appearance/origin of Robin (Dick Grayson))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #40   (1st appearance/origin of Clayface (Basil Karlo))
  • BATMAN [1940] #2   (2nd appearances of Joker, Catwoman (no costume))
  • BATMAN [1940] #3   (3rd appearance of Catwoman (1st in costume (pre-classic)))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #46   (death (apparent) of Dr. Hugo Strange)
  • BATMAN [1940] #4   (1st mention of Gotham City (in BATMAN))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #48   (1st use of the term Batmobile; 1st mention of Gotham City (in DETECTIVE COMICS))
  • BATMAN [1940] #5   (1st appearance of the Batmobile (bat-head front))
  • WORLD'S FINEST [1941] #3   (1st appearance/origin of Scarecrow)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #58   (1st appearance of Penguin)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #59   (2nd appearance of Penguin)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #66   (1st appearance/origin of Two-Face)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #69   (classic Joker cover)
  • BATMAN [1940] #16   (1st appearance/origin of Alfred)
  • BATMAN [1940] #20   (1st appearance of the Batmobile (on cover))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #83   (1st appearance of 'skinny' Alfred (in DETECTIVE COMICS))
  • BATMAN [1940] #21   (1st appearance of 'skinny' Alfred (in BATMAN))
  • ALL-AMERICAN COMICS [1939] #61   (1st appearance of Solomon Grundy)
  • BATMAN [1940] #35   (1st appearance of Catwoman's classic costume)
  • BATMAN [1940] #47   (origin of Batman only slightly expanded)
  • BATMAN [1940] #49   (1st appearances of Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), Vicki Vale)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #140   (1st appearance/origin of Riddler)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #156   (1st appearance of the new classic Batmobile)
  • BATMAN [1940] #59   (1st appearance of Deadshot (original costume))
  • BATMAN [1940] #62   (origin of Catwoman (Earth-Two))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #168   (origin of Joker)
  • BATMAN [1940] #63   (1st appearance/origin of Killer Moth)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #184   (1st appearance of Firefly (Garfield Lynns))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #203   (1st appearance of Catwoman (Earth-One))
  • BATMAN [1940] #92   (1st appearance/origin of Bat-Hound)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #225   (1st appearance/origin of Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onzz))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #265   (origin of Batman with new facts)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #230   (1st appearance of Mad Hatter (imposter))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #267   (1st appearance/origin of Bat-Mite)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #233   (1st appearance/origin of Batwoman (Kathy Kane); 1st appearance of the Batcycle)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #235   (origin of Batman expanded)
  • BATMAN [1940] #105   (2nd appearance of Batwoman)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #259   (1st appearance of Calendar Man)
  • BATMAN [1940] #121   (1st appearance/origin of Mr. Zero (Mr. Freeze))
  • BATMAN [1940] #126   (1st appearance of Firefly (Ted Carson))
  • BATMAN [1940] #129   (origin of Robin retold)
  • BATMAN [1940] #139   (1st appearance of Batgirl (Betty Kane))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #298   (1st appearance of Clayface (Matt Hagen))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #311   (1st appearance of Cat-Man)
  • BATMAN [1940] #155   (1st appearance of Penguin (in Silver Age))
  • BATMAN [1940] #156   (1st appearance of Doctor Hurt (unnamed, retcon))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #328   (death (apparent) of Alfred)
  • BATMAN [1940] #171   (1st appearance of Riddler (in Silver Age))
  • BATMAN [1940] #181   (1st appearance of Poison Ivy)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #359   (1st appearance/origin of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon))
  • BATMAN [1940] #189   (1st appearance/origin of Scarecrow (in Silver Age))
  • BATMAN [1940] #197   (appearance of Catwoman (1st in green catsuit costume))
  • BATMAN [1940] #200   (origin of Batman and Robin retold)
  • BATMAN [1940] #203   (contains the Batcave blueprints)
  • BATMAN [1940] #208   (origin of Batman revised by Gil Kane)
  • BATMAN [1940] #213   (30th anniversary issue)
  • BATMAN [1940] #222   (appearance of the Beatles (take-off))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #400   (1st appearance/origin of Man-Bat)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #405   (1st appearance of the League of Assassins (League of Shadows))
  • BATMAN [1940] #227   (popular Neal Adams cover (homage of DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #31))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #411   (1st appearance of Talia al Ghul; 1st mention of Ra's al Ghul)
  • BATMAN [1940] #232   (1st appearance of Ra's al Ghul; origin of Batman and Robin retold)
  • BATMAN [1940] #234   (1st appearance/origin of Two-Face (in the modern age))
  • BATMAN [1940] #251   (appearance of Joker)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #441   (1st appearance of a 'Lt. Bullock' (limited panels, no first name given))
  • BATMAN [1940] #258   (1st use of the term Arkham Hospital)
  • BATMAN [1940] #260   (1st use of the term Arkham Asylum)
  • RICHARD DRAGON, KUNG-FU FIGHTER [1975] #5   (1st appearance of Lady Shiva)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #457   (origin of Batman retold/updated)
  • BATMAN FAMILY [1975] #6   (1st appearance of Joker's Daughter (Duela Dent))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #471   (1st modern appearance of Dr. Hugo Strange)
  • DC SUPER STARS [1976] #17   (1st appearance of Huntress (Helena Wayne); marriage of Batman (Earth-Two) and Catwoman (Earth-Two)(flashback); death of Catwoman (Earth-Two)(flashback))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #474   (1st appearance of Deadshot (iconic costume))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #478   (1st appearance of Clayface (Preston Payne))
  • BATMAN [1940] #307   (1st appearance of Lucius Fox)
  • BATMAN [1940] #318   (1st appearance of Firebug)
  • BRAVE AND THE BOLD [1955] #182   (death of Dr. Hugo Strange (Earth-Two))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #523   (1st appearance of Killer Croc)
  • BATMAN [1940] #357   (1st appearance of Jason Todd)
  • BATMAN [1940] #361   (1st appearance of Harvey Bullock)
  • BATMAN [1940] #366   (1st appearance of Robin (Jason Todd))
  • BATMAN [1940] #386   (1st appearance of Black Mask (Roman Sionis))
  • BATMAN [1940] #404   (YEAR ONE, Part 1; Frank Miller scripts begin; origin of Batman retold; 1st appearance of Catwoman (post-Crisis); 1st appearance of Carmine Falcone)
  • BATMAN [1940] #408   (origin of Robin (Jason Todd) retold)
  • BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON [1987-HC]    (1st appearance of Damian Wayne (unnamed, retcon)(non-canon))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #583   (1st appearance of Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker))
  • BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE [1988]    (Joker cripples Barbara Gordon)
  • BATMAN [1940] #428   (death of Robin (Jason Todd))
  • SECRET ORIGINS [1986] #36   (origin of Poison)
  • BATMAN [1940] #436   (1st appearance of Tim Drake)
  • SECRET ORIGINS SPECIAL [1989] #1   (origin of Penguin)
  • BATMAN [1940] #442   (1st appearance of Robin (Tim Drake))
  • BATMAN [1940] #475   (1st appearance of Renee Montoya)
  • BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT [1992] #1   (1st appearances of Victor Zsasz, Black Mask (Jeremiah Arkham))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #647   (1st appearance of Stephanie Brown)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #648   (1st appearance of Spoiler (Stephanie Brown))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • BATMAN: SWORD OF AZRAEL [1992] #1   (1st appearance of Azrael)
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #3   (appearance of Joker (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN: BIRTH OF THE DEMON [1992-HC]    (origin of Ra's al Ghul)
  • BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE SPECIAL [1993] #1   (1st appearance/origin of Bane)
  • BATMAN [1940] #489   (1st appearance of Batman (Azrael))
  • BATMAN [1940] #497   (Bane breaks Batman's back)
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #12   (1st appearance of Harley Quinn (in comics)(DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #16   (appearance of Joker (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES: MAD LOVE [1994] #1   (2nd appearance/origin of Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • PUNISHER/BATMAN: DEADLY KNIGHTS [1994]    (appearance of Batman; appearance of Punisher)
  • ROBIN [1993] #0   (1st appearance of Batman (Dick Grayson))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES ANNUAL [1994] #1   (3rd appearance of Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [1992] #28   (appearance of Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES [1995] #1   (appearance of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES [1995] #21   (appearance of Batgirl (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN [1996] #13   (death of Carmine Falcone)
  • BATMAN BEYOND [1999] #1   (1st appearance of Batman ('Beyond,' Terry McGinnis)(in comics))
  • BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN [1999]    (1st appearance/origin of Harley Quinn (in regular DC continuity))
  • BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT [1992] #120   (1st appearance of Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)
  • BATMAN [1940] #570   (appearance of Joker and Harley Quinn)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [1937] #737   (1st appearance of Harley Quinn (in DETECTIVE COMICS))
  • BATMAN BEYOND: RETURN OF THE JOKER [2001] #1   (video game adaptation)
  • BATMAN [1940] #608   (HUSH, Part 1)
  • BATMAN [1940] #609   (1st appearance of Hush)
  • BATMAN [1940] #612   (Batman vs. Superman)
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [2003]    (1st issue of this series)
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [2003] #3   (appearance of Joker and Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [2003] #10   (appearance of Catwoman (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • ROBIN [1993] #126   (1st appearance of Robin (Stephanie Brown))
  • BATMAN ADVENTURES [2003] #16   (appearance of Joker and Harley Quinn (DC Animated Universe (DCAU)))
  • BATMAN [1940] #635   (1st appearance of Red Hood)
  • 52 [2006] #1   (1st appearance of Batwoman (Kate Kane))
  • BATMAN [1940] #655   (Grant Morrison scripts begin)
  • BATMAN [1940] #656   (1st appearance of Damian Wayne (retcon))
  • BATMAN [1940] #657   (1st appearance of Robin (Damian Wayne))
  • BATMAN [1940] #666   (1st appearance of Professor Pyg)
  • BATMAN [1940] #673   (1st appearance of Doctor Hurt (named, retcon))
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN [2009] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • BATGIRL [2009] #1   (1st appearance of Batgirl (Stephanie Brown))
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [2011] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • BATMAN [2011] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • BATMAN [2011] #2   (1st appearance of the Court of Owls)
  • DETECTIVE COMICS [2011] #21   (1st appearance of Duke Thomas (unnamed))
  • BATMAN [2011] #28   (1st appearance of Bluebird)
  • ROBIN RISES: OMEGA [2014] #1   (death of Ra's al Ghul)
  • BATMAN [2016] #24   (Batman proposes to Catwoman)
  • BATMAN [2016] #32   (Catwoman accepts Batman's marriage proposal)