Top 10 Most Awesome Batman Comics

best batman comics
Batman by Jim Lee

The 10 Best Batman Comics of All Time

Over the past forty years, Batman has gone from a burgeoning crime fighter to the leader of an elaborate force protecting Gotham, with a bounty of his crime fighting pals there to aid him. The span of these arcs go back well into the 1970's when writers like Denny O'Neil, Neil Adams, and Frank Miller injected new blood into the character. No more a campy 60's Bat-toosie dancing fool. But, a man with real problems, facing off against a city as dark as the night he protects. Below is a list of the ten most awesome Batman comics. Each of these comics has added to the mystique of the Bat, turning him from a man in a bat suit to an icon of our time. 

10. Court of Owls

The Court of Owls saga was written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo for the NEW 52, a rebirth of DC’s heroes and storylines, back in 2011. In the series, Bruce discovers a secret society of Gotham's oldest and wealthiest citizens, who are hell-bent on taking over Gotham by any means necessary. After an attack on the Batcave by the Court’s “Talons”, Bruce rounds up his team for an all-out assault on the Owls. An idea that we see again in the current Detective Comics run. This leads to many new books that emerge from the NEW 52. With Birds of Prey and Batman Inc. just to name a few. What makes this storyline awesome? For the first time, we see Bruce at the end of his rope. Being trapped by the Owls and locked into a sadistic maze, he must come to terms with his own psyche, before facing off against the main Talon in a sweet armored batsuit.

9. Gotham by Gaslight

How do you turn the World's Greatest Detective into a painstaking work of art? Easy, have Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy draw him in a Victorian-era setting. Writer Brian Augustyn also had the perfect antagonist for the Bat, Jack the Ripper. Placing Bruce in Victorian Era Gotham as the Bat and facing off against one of the most popular serial killers is a comic readers dream. Gotham by Gaslight is one of the most well-known Batman stories, recently released as an animated movie.

8. Hush

Starting with issue number 608, Hush is a storyline written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by one of the greatest sequential artists of all time, Jim Lee. While out on patrols, Batman suffers a fall that fractures his skull. He realizes that there is only one doctor who can fix such an injury, his old friend Tommy Elliott. What he doesn't realize is Tommy is also the new bandage-clad serial killer in town. The storytelling, with twist after twist, makes it a standout among comics of the last fifteen years.

7. No Man's Land

In 1999, DC began to weave each of the running Batman titles into one giant story. After an earthquake destroys Gotham, the Nation Guard bombs the bridges, in an attempt to section off the criminal element. By doing so, they create a savage land filled with an array of Batman's most dangerous villains. Huntress, the only hero featured initially, patrols the streets until Batman returns from a failed attempt to save Gotham, as Bruce Wayne. A story of this size has so many moving parts it's hard to make each fit and be a cohesive story, but all the artists and writers do just that. This immense effort created a world comic fans never knew they wanted. 

6. Batman: Under the Hood

Judd Winnick wrote this series bringing once deceased Jason Todd, back from the dead as a violent vigilante. Never before have we seen one of the former Robin's come back to attack Bruce. Batman: Under the Hood is interesting because Jason's return was a total shock to fans. Jason Todd was killed by the Joker, due to a fan vote, leaving a hole in Batman's legacy that stretches far across his canon. Since his debut, Red Hood has gone on to star in his own concurrent running comic series. 

5. Batman: The Long Halloween

Way back in 1996, Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb published a twisting and witty tale about a new killer in Gotham, Holiday. Each holiday, beginning with Halloween, a crime family member, or associate would be found murdered. What makes this one so awesome is, there are several red herrings leading readers away from the identity of the actual killer, Alberto Falcone. Second, the art by Loeb reimagined several of the titular characters, with Catwoman having her fan favorite costume. Last, but not least, is the tragic courtroom acid attack that turned Harvey Dent into Two-Face.

4. Batman: Year One

Frank Miller is known for some of the best comics in history. Year One is fantastic because we see Bruce before the gadgets and utility belt. When he was just a guy in a suit with some smoke grenades, brawling in the streets with thugs. He takes his beatings and we see the formative years of what has become arguably the best hero of all time. Miller used the B-story to show the relationship between the Bat and James Gordon, leading to the partnership we see today.

3. A Death in the Family

Jim Starlin is one of the most underrated writers of our time. His run with Jim Aparo, A Death in the Family, is considered one of the most controversial series in the entire catalog, and that's saying a lot. The reaction to the new Robin, Jason Todd, was underwhelming. A ploy of the time to grow fan interaction was to have a call-in line. The people at Batman decided it was time to let the fans decide if Jason Todd was going to die. The fans decided Jason wasn't cutting it and needed to be blown up by the Joker to prove it. 

2. The Killing Joke

There can't be a comic list without Alan Moore making an appearance. Moore's Watchmen turned the superhero genre upside down, thrusting him into the pantheon of great comic writers, besides Neil Gaiman, Neil Adams, and Jim Starlin. With Brian Boland, the two produced a one-shot that many claim are the origin of the Joker. Using a black and white color scheme to show flashbacks, we get a glimpse into the man who would become the clown prince of crime. Most notable is the crippling of young Barbara Gordon by the Joker's bullet.

1. The Dark Knight Returns

Frank Miller is a genius. You can't mince words when you are dealing with a real deal dual threat like Miller. When you add Klaus Janson, it’s game over. 300 and Sin City are a shining paragon of what comics readers had been savoring for decades. His take on old retired Batman was a stroke of brilliance that directors and writers still pull from today. Its significance lies in the fresh view that Miller had on the character. The cover has become iconic for all collectors and comic fans. The hulking figure of Batman illuminated by a bolt of lightning is pop culture art form at its highest.

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Seeking his own path to happiness Dan joined the Army in 2010. After his service he earned his BFA in Creative Writing and spends his time playing and reviewing games and comics.
Gamer Since: 1985
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: The Witcher III/ Space Marines
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham Asylum, Borderlands 2, Mass Effect Andromeda

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