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Batman 101: A Beginner’s Guide To The Dark Knight
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A lot of sites are probably putting together several lists right about now in honor of this Friday’s release of The Dark Knight Rises that would name most of these as “must-reads if you’re wanting to get into Batman comics,” or something to that effect. But how I’d like to phrase this entry is in more of an academic sense. These books that I’m about to suggest to you are being referred to as “Read these first” because a lot of the more “higher learning” readings require a sophisticated palette that must be developed by learning the different takes on the character of Batman prior to jumping shoulders’ deep into the complex and clever stories of these more advanced works.

Now, that’s not to say that any of the comics listed are bad. Sure I may not like some of them as much as others, but based on my research and personal experiences, the comics listed here in Batman 101 are some of the books that have gotten most hardcore Batman fans to start loving the character in the same way I do. Keep in mind that this is a list of comic books, so you’ll look elsewhere to see things like Batman ’66 and Batman: The Animated Series. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started with something I like to call Batman 101: A Beginner’s Guide To The Dark Knight.

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SDCC 2012: Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls Panel
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The DC Comics Batman: Beyond the Night of Owls panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con had a few surreal moments and a lot of information on DC’s most popular character, and fans we’re treated to a good discussion with the creators, as well as some other gifts.

The panel started off with a look at Talon #0. The series revolves around Calvin Rose, the one Talon who got away from his masters in the Court of Owls. The series, co-written by Scott Snyder but mostly written by James Tynion, takes the reader through the entire DCU and is built off material that Snyder did not get to use in the Court of Owls story. Tynion was excited during the panel since he was in the SDCC crowd as little as a year ago and now he was on the other side. Art for the series is by Guillem March.

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The Joker Returns In Scott Snyder’s ‘Death Of The Family’
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Since the first couple of issues of Tony Daniel’s run on Detective Comics, Batman’s arch nemesis has been MIA. That all comes to a close in October when Scott Snyder and company bring The Joker back to the pages of Batman with the much hyped “Death of the Family.”

As per usual, Snyder and DC Comics hype this upcoming storyline as, “This is Joker as you’ve never seen him before.” Now, I don’t know if that’s true. I’ve seen a lot of Joker stories, and unless they plan on making him a woman’s rights activist in light of his previous mistakes with the ladies, I think that’s probably just hype. What’s not hype, though, is that this is truly Snyder’s chance to tell a Joker story in a way that he absolutely wants to. In the post, Snyder name checks The Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum, which are my least favorite contributions from the writers of those books, are indeed astonishing and impressive interpretations of The Joker as a character, which is what Snyder is trying to get across.

Continue reading for a full look at the promo art by Greg Capullo teased above.

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‘Night Of The Owls’ Descends On Gotham
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Following the lead in Scott Snyder’s current run on Batman, DC Comics has posted a graphic containing all of the titles that will be participating in the Batman crossover event Night of the Owls.

Night of the Owls started this week with a prelude in Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows’ Nightwing #8 which kickstarted the first issue in the crossover event, Batman #8 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. The concept of the mini-event is that Gotham City has a sordid past that even Bruce Wayne was unaware of. The Court of Owls, an evil group of assassins, has been controlling the fate of Gotham the entire time. There’s much more to the story including Dick Grayson’s lineage and an all out assault against the Wayne family and other leaders of Gotham City. It’s a war of Bats vs. Owls when most of the Bat-family is called upon to participate.

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