Batman is nearly 80 years old. The character has been through a large variety of stories of different genres from neo-noir to pulp adventure to horror to whatever genre you want to call the Grant Morrison run. But what are your personal favorite stories? I’m not asking what you think are the best stories or which story was the most important because of what it did for the character. I want us to get personal, deep, and freaky here. I want to hear why your favorite Batman story means so much to you.
The Long Halloween is my favorite. It’s a good whodunnit with fantastic moody art by Tim Sale and scenes ripped straight out of The Godfather. More than that though, this is the book I recommend to people who never read comics. Everyone I share this with always immediately get back to me to discuss each issue and I have fun watching them try to figure out who the killer is. This to me is gateway Batman. People who don’t read comics love this story and it has helped me show them what makes the art form special.
The Long Halloween is definitely one of my favorites! The illustrations are beautiful. The dialogue is fantastic. And the mood is nice and juicy.
“The mood is nice and juicy.” Somebody call DC Comics’ Marketing Department and tell them to put that at the top of the Long Halloween trade the next time a new printing comes along. It’ll move books in a heartbeat!
My favorite Batstory: Hush.
Court of Owls is amazing and one of my favorite Batman stories. The way it turns Bruce’s confidence in his abilities and perception of the city he’s lived in his whole life against him was fantastic. It highlighted an understandable hubris in his character and was a stark reminder that Batman is only human.
The greatest Batman story ever told, 25 years later, is still Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to let you down, honest, but… but it just doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. You can understand that, can’t you? Look, I can give money to the city - they can hire more cops. Let someone else take the risk, but it’s different now! Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy. Please… tell me that it’s okay.”
“Maybe they already have. Maybe they sent me.”
I still say the best Batman story ever written is the first appearance of the Joker though Joker’s Five Way Revenge comes close.
If we’re talking comics I gonna go way outside the box and pick a story that I’m sure nobody is gonna choose and that story Hush. I also love Mask of the Phantasim.
“The Laughing Fish” & “Sign of The Joker” in Detective Comics #475 & #476. Classics by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers.
Superman Speeding Bullets. An Elseworlds title where Superman was raised by the Waynes and becomes Batman.
DKIII The Master Race. I fell in love with this series and it was the reason I stopped buying only digital comics and found the comic shop I now go to every wed
It’s so hard to pick just one. LOL
As much as I want to acknowledge a Neal Adams-Denny O’Neill story with their Ra’s al Ghul arc, I will have to pick the Marshall Rogers-Steve Englehart run in Detective Comics that came out afterwards in the 70’s, because theirs is such an homage to the entire legacy of The Batman, both in story content, characters featured, AND visuals, up to that point. Second on my list would be Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale’s Dark Knight Trilogy.
I spent most of today reading old comics I’d never read before, but the one thing I’ve already seen that I felt compelled to go back to was, of all things, the episode Almost Got 'Im from Batman: The Animated Series. It’s like a miniature anthology of classic Batman adventures with some of the best lines in the series and a great twist towards the end. I guess with all the crazy death traps, it feels like the best parts of the Adam West Batman and TAS summed up in twenty minutes. It rocks.
For comics, it’s a lot harder to say. I guess I have to go with either Hush or Englehart’s Detective Comics story. There are other stories that have parts I like better but also have a lot of low points (e.g. Knightfall: great idea, pretty good execution at the beginning and end, but a TON of annoying filler in the middle), while those two are pretty consistently good all through them. I haven’t read The Long Halloween, though, so it’ll definitely be one of the first things I look at when we get the full library.
“Long Halloween” - It is a little weird to hear but I love the DCU but not a huge Batman fan (please no hate, I hear enough from all my friends). But I really enjoyed Long Halloween. Too me the best Batman stories are the ones where he cant punch or kick his way out. The World’s Greatest Detective must mean something. LH had twists and turns that were in the style of a Holmes novel. Then the ending you think you have it figured out and POP!..one of the greats.
Here is one I bet no one else is going to answer…
“To Kill a Legend” from Detective Comics 500.
The killing joke cause its such a dark and gritty story
Depending on the day (and which I’ve read most recently), I go between Batman: Year One and The Long Halloween.
Today? Year One.
Does Justice League Dark count, I don’t really delve into Batman comics so that is all I got… I REALLY like Justice League Dark. Anybody here who has not read this. Get on that immediately, the entire series is on this sight. Also Dove is a main character for a bit and you got to love the arbiter of peace. The only bad part of it is I am not a big fan of Andrew Bennet and Justice League Dark has a lot of crossover with I, Vampire.
Probably a cliche answer but I’ll go with Hush simply because it was the first non-crossover Batman storyline I read that I actually enjoyed. Most of the other well known Batman stories (Year One, Arkham Asylum, Killing Joke, etc.) just didn’t do it for me.
More for the joker than Batman… Death of the Family. Most new 52 is ok but this one just stuck with me. Seeing the bat family as both strength and weakness. Awesome story especially the tie ins and how the joker deals with each family member.