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Top 5 Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told

Top 5 Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told

By Michael Miranda

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty well-versed in the Dark Knight, and most of my trade collection is filled with his adventures.  With that being said, I want to share with you; in my not so humble opinion, what I think are the 5 greatest Batman stories ever told.  Obviously this is going to be subjective, and I would love to hear your input on any honorable mentions that you feel should have been brought up.  

5: The Killing Joke

Okay, so The Killing Joke isn't exactly a Batman-centric story. Instead, this ground-breaking story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland focuses on a soft origin for The Joker.  However, the underlying theme of the story fits in with Batman's entire crusade.  Throughout the story, we are shown how one bad day can change us, and how at that fork in the road we have a choice to make - we can become the hero, or live long enough to become the villain.  Ther story highlights the duality of the archenemies, and challenges the reader to a lot of inner reflection.  This is definitely a story that can be picked up and read again and again, and never get old.  

4. The Long Halloween

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's The Long Halloween is an amazing story, and truly highlights Batman as the world's greatest detective. It's an amaing whodunit story that leaves you guessing even after the book is over.  Not only is this one of the stories that inspired Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but it was also a Two-Face origin story.  The story does an amazing job painting Harvey Dent as the White Knight of Gotham while Batman works in the shadows doing the work no one else really can. But Harvey's zeal and his willingness to do any and everything he can to see justice served comes back to haunt him in the worst way.  The art is great, the story, as mentioned already keeps you hooked even after it is done - this is worth the time.  

3: Batman: Noël

This is Dark Knight meets A Christmas Carol with Batman playing the role of Scrooge.  Lee Bermejo's art is incedible, and the coloring and lettering are out of this world.  The story really puts into perspective the mental and emotional toll of being Batman, and being shaped by the darkness you choose to embrace.  It is a cautionary tale of letting our inner demons consume us.  Like the Christmas Carol, it elicits a deep, emotional response, and it gives you a fresh perspective on just what it means to be a Dark Knight, and gives us a glimpse of just how dark and deep that abyss is.  

2. Batman: Europa

I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to include this at first, but on further reflection, this is one of the many examples of an interesting new idea for Batman, and a well-told story.  Batman and Joker were injected with the same virus and the clock is ticking on their lives.  In order to get to the cure, they have to work together, and this partnership takes them all around the globe. It's fascinating to see these two stuck together for an entire book unable to beat each other (because well, what's the point?). It's even more fascinating to see the twist at the end as to who is behind this in the first place (spoiler alert: it's Bane).  This is a really entertaining book, and I always enjoy flipping through it.  

1 Under the Red Hood

Okay, there is so much to say about this book that i'm not entirely sure how to say it all.  But, if you had to ask me what my idea of a flawless Batman book is, this would be the first one coming to mind without any hesitation.  This book has humor, emotional pull, a compelling story, a dark twist, an actual challenge for Batman, and a villain that Batman feels responsible for.  Under the Red Hood in both book and movie form, is everything a Batman story strives to be, but just seems to fall short.  The animated film is one I have zero qualms with, it goes with the book page for page and line by line.  The movie definitely did the book justice, and honored its namesake.  But even more than that, the movie showed us that Batman stories are good enough to stand on their own without Hollywood getting in the middle of them.  I am not exaggerating when I plead with you to pick up this book if you pick up no others.  You absolutely will not regret this purchase, and it will have you hooked right to the very end.  

Well there ya have it folks! My top 5 for greatest Batman Stories ever told, let's not forget some honorable mentions!

  • Batman Year 100
  • Batman: Dark Victory
  • A Death in the Family
  • The Cult
  • Batman Year One
  • The Dark Knight Returns
  • The Dark Knight: The Last Crusade
  • Batman Earth One
  • Black Mirror
  • The Gates of Gotham
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