Who can argue that Batman is one of the most iconic and well known characters in the DC universe, or just in the superhero spectrum in general. Batman is known for his bat-costume, grappling hook getaways, and names for things start with 'Bat'.
When I was a budding Batfan and deciding which comic books I should be purchasing, I found lists like these very helpful. Are you a new comic book lover and are looking to read some good batman comics? This article will be focussing on the three very best graphic novels with batman in the spotlight.
3. The Killing Joke
Written by Alan Moore and pencilled by Brian Bolland
Funny that I should start with this one in particular, as this one has more of the Joker in it than the Batman himself. When Alan Moore started doing comic books and graphic novels for DC, he specifically asked for an opportunity to write a story for the Joker.
"I'm not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"
Not only does this comic book breathe new psychopathic life into the Joker, and show Batman in a new light, but it also manages to reintroduce the original Joker origin story as the Red Hood. The writing is beautifully show the joking side of the iconic villain, but also the dark and twisted side.
Don't forget about Batman himself here. Although he doesn't get as much attention as the Joker, the way he is drawn is anything you'd expect from him. Surprisingly I have taken a new interest in the long-eared batman after reading this book, even though I'm partial to the Jim-Lee-short-eared version.
Written by Jeph Loeb and pencilled by Jim Lee
Compared to other well known Batman graphic novels, like 'Batman: Year one', 'Hush' tells a modern batman story. Jeph Loeb takes all the characters we have grown to know like Nightwing or Oracle, and manages to add them into the story. This is also evident with Batman's relationship with the police and the government, which seem to be grateful for his help, compared to other Batman stories where he is a masked vigilante up for arrest. Not only that be we get to see so many awesome Batman villains! Ranging from the Joker, to Harley Quinn, to Harvey Dent.
"I made a promise on the grave of my parents to rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philantropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and supersticious lot, call me... Batman"
Jeph Loeb being the talented writer that he is, gives us a new and exciting look at the Batman universe in the best way.
Now I can go on and on about why the writing is so good, but the real reason I love this graphic novel is the artwork. Jim Lee, teamed up with his inker Scott Williams and his colourist Alex Sinclair, give us the best looking artwork I have ever seen in any comic book. Although being an artist myself I might appreciate it more, the comic book's glossy pages are immediately pleasing to the eye.
- Batman: Year One
Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli
- The Long Halloween
Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
1. The Dark Knight Returns
Written and Pencilled by Frank Miller himself
By some considered the greatest comic book writer of all time, Frank Miller creates a masterpiece with the Dark Knight Returns, turning it into a comic book milestone and earning universal critical acclaim. I always describe Frank Miller as the comic book Christopher Nolan. In the Dark Knight Returns Miller goes in depth with plots, storyline switching, new concepts, and very detailed plot references in the intricate dialogue.
The Retired Bruce Wayne comes out of hiding, now 55, to fight iconic villains like Two-Face and the Joker, but as the Gotham police force releases an arrest warrant for the caped crusader, he'll have to face his most dangerous opponent ever.
"My parents taught me a different lesson... lying on this street... shaking in deep shock... dying for no reason at all. They showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to."
I must admit the first time reading was confusing for me, as it was my very first Batman comic book I had ever read. It references a lot of Batman characters we don't meet in the comic book itself, and it's not light reading. The second read however was mind blowing. I loved every panel.
The very best bit is when Batman kicks Superman's butt though.
That's all I have for this list. If you have any other favourites, don't hesitate to tell me your three favourites in the comments.