Batman is one of if not the most popular fictional character ever made. Created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman has had a long history. With countless comics and numerous adoption across all media. With more than 80 years of comics it can be intimidating where to start reading. So these are my recommendations in order to start.
batman : Year One
By Frank Miller With Illustrations By Dave Mazzucchelli
Year One is a storyline written by Frank Miller with illustrations by Dave Mazzucchelli. It was published in 1987 through the Batman series, as a new origin story for the character.
The story sees a young Bruce Wayne coming back gotham after long with the drive to do good. This is along side Lieutenant James Gordon transfers to the police department in Gotham during the same period. The story often switches between Bruce and Gordon as they try their best to save the city. Gotham is shown to be decaying yet huge city crumbling under its corruption and crime. There are yet to be any super villains in the city with most of the villains being Mob Bosses.
It is a classic and a must read for any fan. Many of its plotlines are adapted into parts of The Dark knight Trilogy. But importantly it was more or less adapted into “The Batman” Movie. Especially with the grimy and dirty atmosphere the movie carries.
batman : Zero year
by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with artwork by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and Rafael Albuquerque
The Zero Year story was intended to redefine the origin of Batman for the modern time (2013-2014 at the time). It being a fresh story unconnected to other interpretations such as Batman: Year One. The story does, however, incorporate several elements from Batman: Year One,. Mainly about Bruce Wayne’s long absence from Gotham City and his first attempts at vigilantism.
Is is a fun comic and still a good place to start instead of Year one if one one wants a more modern origin to the iconic character. It is also one of the more fantastical origin stories. And the book does share a few similarities with the latest movie with Riddler being a more prominent threat.
Batman: Earth One
by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Gary Frank
Batman: Earth One takes place in the alternate continuity of the Earth One universe, which features an updated and more realistic reinterpretation of Batman’s story. Batman who is usually depicted as a near-perfect crime-fighter in the comic books, is portrayed in the novels as inexperienced. And constantly prone to mistakes, although he gains practice and becomes more competent as the volumes go by.
For anyone looking for a way more realistic story take on the character this is a good place to start
The Long Halloween
written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale
The Long Halloween is a classic. It is no origin story of the caped crusader but rather a sequel to Year One/Zero Year. But it stands on its own leading to the main story basis for the best Batman movies ever, With The Dark Knight and The Batman taking many cues from it. It is a year long murder mystery with the mob element in gotham trying their best to effective in the wake of all these new super criminals. A must read.
For any new comer to comics do not be intimidated, just pick up any of the following books to start reading. Happy reading everyone!