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.
Recently I have been reading a lot of older comics and graphic novels and one that has stood out the most lately is Batman: The Long Halloween. If you haven’t read this trade, written by Jeph Loeb with art by by Tim Sale, it is absolutely amazing!
The story deals with a serial killer named Holiday who is picking off major members of the Falcone crime family in Gotham City. The reason why the killer is named Holiday is the fact that he only strikes on major holidays. He starts his spree on Halloween and goes on for about a year murdering over a dozen people. It’s up to Batman to find out who Holiday really is and why he’s killing all these people.
There are so many twists and turns with the plot of this story that it will keep you on your toes until the very last panel.