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"Batman" Fans and Experts Alike: I Need Your Help (1 Viewer)

Kevin Leonard

Supporting Actor
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Mar 11, 2001
Messages
920
I've recently begun to renew an interest in comic books/graphic novels, more specifically the world of Batman. After reading some of the works of Alan Moore (From Hell, The Watchmen), I was inspired to pick up his contribution to the Batman legend, The Killing Joke. Mightily impressed with the comic, I decided to further explore the Caped Crusader. As of right now, this is what I own (and have greatly enjoyed):
The Killing Joke
The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: Year One
Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight (on the way)
So the question is: where do I go from here? As you Batman experts can tell from the list above, I like the darker tales a bit more than the lighthearted ones, though if the story is well-written and the art decent, then I'll be happy either way. :)
Any and all recommendations are welcomed.
 

Shaun Lynde

Auditioning
Joined
Oct 10, 1999
Messages
13
Well there is a sequel to Frank Miller's fantastic Batman: Dark Knight Returns called Batman: The Dark Knight strikes again. however they are not collected yet in a single book but, seperate releases. 3 individual books I believe.
 

Steve Enemark

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
482
Good god, please don't pay for the "Dark Knight" sequel. It's one of the worst comics I've ever read, bar none.

Other Bat-books? I don't read the monthly titles anymore, so I'm not sure what's going on there these days. It sounds like you've already hit the high notes with Year One and Dark Knight.

Batman is one of my favorite comic characters, but I can't really think of any standout stories I'd recommend you seek out. If I were you, I'd check out the monthly titles and see what I like.
 

Thomas Newton

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Jun 16, 1999
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Real Name
Thomas Newton
DC has hardcover books and trade paperbacks of "The Best Joker Stories Ever Told" and "The Best Batman Stories Ever Told".

One of those (probably the Joker one) had a couple of excellent stories in it -- "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" (Joker hunts down his old hirelings to kill them; Batman tries to stop him, mostly without luck), and "The Laughing Fish" (the Joker's creative attempt to use copyright to "finance my frankly hedonistic lifestyle").

I believe the animated Batman series drew on both of those story lines (take part of "The Laughing Fish", add a modified version of the ending of "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge") for one of its episodes. But the originals are even better.

There are also a couple of Superman stories that are very much worth tracking down. "For The Man Who Has Everything" (reprinted in "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told") and "The Last Superman Story" (ran across two issues of two different Superman titles just before the Byrne "reboot"; I don't know where you'd find a reprint). Both are by Alan Moore (of "Swamp Thing" and "Watchman" fame), and both have a rather dark edge. (Who would have believed that
Mr. Mxyptlyk
would prove to be more evil than just about all of Superman's other enemies combined? Yet it makes perfect sense in the context of the story.)

"So Alby guessed part of my joke. A pity he didn't realize that the explosive in the cigar was nitroglycerin. Rest in pieces!!!!" -- Joker, celebrating the demise of one of his former employees
 

JonZ

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Id recommend the Batman/Grendel crossover(This will also expose you to Grendel:D:D). 2 issues by Matt Wagner. However make sure you get the first one not the sequel.Ask someone at the store you go to for the correct ones.
I got rid of most of my Batman comics years ago, but there were alot of good stories. Its true Miller revitalized the character in 86, but there were plenty of darker Batman stories before Miller. I remember some of the Batman comics I had in the 70s really scared the hell out of me.
Try to find some sort of site on the net that goes through his history with issues listed and just look and see what looks interesting to you.
I also really remembering really liking some of the Detective Comics Gene Colan had drawn during the 80s.(But I may be biased I was always a fan of his).
 

John Thomas

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Kevin,
I'm familiar with the first three books you listed and enjoyed them quite a bit. Another mini-series that I'd recommend is Batman: The Cult written by Jim Starlin, who I've thought was overlooked as a writer for Batman. It's also drawn by Berni Wrightson, who always does good work. I vaguely recall Son of the Demon as decent work but maybe not as dark as you'd like (If someone has this, am I right?)
 

Patrick Sun

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Jun 30, 1999
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39,408
The Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman from the 1970's were really great (Thomas touches upon those stories with his "Joker's 5-way revenge" recommendation). Neal Adams' art brought Batman into being a realistic character grounded in the real world. Then there is the run on Detective comics by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers ("The Laughing Fish" came from that run). Marshall Roger's art from that time period was phenomenal, some of the shots of Batman swing around Gotham City have stayed with me to this day.

The major problems with Batman stories these days are the incessant multi-title/multi-months crossover sagas. Who can afford to spend $50 to get all the pieces of the latest Batman saga over the course of 3 months? I gave up.
 

JonZ

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"The Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams issues of Batman from the 1970's were really great"
YES!!! Couldnt remember the names:D
 

Andrew Chong

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 7, 2002
Messages
739
For sheer artistic brilliance, try 'Batman: War On Crime' fully painted by (the genius of) Alex Ross and written by Paul Dini.
more info and a cover image
The war on crime is a bitter struggle, claiming many innocents. For any one man to end crime is a near-impossible task. For Batman, it is his life's work...an all-consuming obsession. When the Dark Knight encounters a young boy whose parents have been murdered (echoing the tragedy that created Batman himself), it raises fundamental questions about his own life in BATMAN: WAR ON CRIME, writer Paul Dini's and artist Alex Ross's fully painted, oversized follow-up to their best-selling, award-winning SUPERMAN: PEACE ON EARTH. Written by Emmy Award-winning producer Dini (THE BATMAN ADVENTURES: MAD LOVE, BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN), with staggering painted art by Ross (KINGDOM COME, UNCLE SAM), BATMAN: WAR ON CRIME finds the Dark Knight questioning the true nature of the evil he has dedicated himself to eradicating - crime itself - taking him from Gotham City's grimmest alleys to its shining corporate towers. Combining traditional comic-book storytelling and the illustrated-text format of storybooks, Dini and Ross have created a worthy successor to SUPERMAN: PEACE ON EARTH, one that stands on its own as an indisputable classic.
 

RafaelB

Second Unit
Joined
May 10, 2001
Messages
447
There's a really good graphic novel called "Batman: Arkham Asylum" that got me back into Batman and comics in college.
It's also quite dark and twisted. I don't remember the Author's/Illustrator's names tho. :frowning:
Rafael
 

DonRoeber

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,849
Batman: The Long Halloween is my favorite Batman graphic novel out of all the ones I've read (including Dark Knight Returns).
 

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
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Jun 30, 1999
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39,408
There's also a graphic novel by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham which features Batman and Ras Al Ghul and his daughter Talia. It has the word "Demon" in the title, but I can't remember the title.
 

Jarrod_L

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 5, 2001
Messages
117
The Long Halloween and Dark Knight are a must for any Bat-fan.

Personally, I prefer the out of continuity Batman stories, like Dark Knight or Arkham Asylum, or else you get wrapped up in multi-part, multi-title, multi-year storylines that keep going and going and going (Like KnightsEnd, KnightQuest, etc, ect).

There is a very interesting JLA graphic novel out now called "Tower of Babel" that is a great read for Bat-fans. In it, precautionary secret files that Batman has been keeping on the worlds greatest heroes (just in case they ever go psycho and he has to take them out) falls into the wrong hands, and the bad guy uses Batman's own ideas to nearly destroy big guns like Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Flash.

Batman is the central figure in the storyline.
 

Kevin Leonard

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
920
Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! :)
I received my Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight today, and I noticed a timeline in the back that listed several issues, mini-series and graphic novels that were deemed "important" to the Batman legacy. Along with the recommendations in this thread, I'll be sure to have plenty of potential reading material in the future.
(And as a sidenote, I am also not into the monthly series of any comic character. At times--like Patrick Sun noted--it just gets too hard and expensive to keep up with everything. I really only buy collections and graphic novels.)
There are also a couple of Superman stories that are very much worth tracking down. "For The Man Who Has Everything" (reprinted in "The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told") and "The Last Superman Story". Both are by Alan Moore (of "Swamp Thing" and "Watchman" fame), and both have a rather dark edge.
Anything by Alan Moore instantly piques my interest, and while I'm not a huge fan of Superman, I'll look into it.
And JonZ: I've heard good things about "Grendel," so a crossover with Batman sounds rather appealing. :)
By the way, does anybody know of any good online comic retailers? The b&m comic shops around my area are lackluster, to say the least, and I can't depend on Amazon for all my comic book needs.
Thanks again for all the suggestions.
 

Calvin Watts III

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 7, 2001
Messages
916
I'd take a look at some of the Elseworlds novels.
These are "What If" alternate reality stories that can really explore different aspects of a carrier. Two I'd recommend off the top of my head are:
Gotham By Gaslight
&
Red Rain.
Calvin
 

Steve Enemark

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
482
Oh yeah, I love Elseworlds. Check out Batman: Holy Terror for a very dark story where religion dominates the USA.

I'll second Batman: War on Crime, some of the most beautiful comic book art I've ever seen.
 

Chris Bardon

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2000
Messages
2,059
For elseworlds books, Gotham by Gaslight is also interesting-a Victorian era Batman.

Anything by Alan Moore piques your interest, eh? If so then check out ANY of the America's Best Comics titles for some Alan Moore-ish goodness. Best of all, there's compilations out of all the titles right now. A quick breakdown:

Tom Strong-A book done in the classic Pulp hero style. Kind of like Doc Savage crossed with Superman.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-The greatest heroes of the 19th century together in one book. An odd concept, but the book works surprisingly well (love the way it stays in character the whole time).

Top 10-A cop book where everyone in the city (and on the force) just happens to have some extraordinary ability. Very well done book.

Promethea-A more mythology driven book about a female heroine. Vol. 1 of this ended a little abruptly, but I enjoyed what I read-more would have been better (come on vol. 2).

I think that's all of em. At least enough to keep you busy...
 

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