Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Batman comics: Where to start?

If you're not a Batman fan, why have you made it to the end of this sentence?

Anyhow, on Reddit, and elsewhere, many people are asking how to get into the Batman comics, of which there are many. The trouble is, the character's 73 years old, and with that comes a lot of back story. To resolve this, in 1985, DC comics rebooted their history with Crisis on Infinite Earths. So in terms of back story, that's already made it easier by 46 years! There have been other Crisis events since, the last one, "Final Crisis" was in 2008. However, we're about to make things even easier for you!

Last year, instead of having another Crisis on Infinite Earths type continuity-clean-up-event, DC decided to just reboot every one of its comics, with the "New 52", starting every one of their comics at Issue #1. Right now, the first collected volume of these are coming out (see here and here for example), so they're as good a place as any to start.

What about all the stuff before that? Well...

This is a good place to start: 25 Best Batman Graphic Novels. It's the list that got me started. Of those 25 I'd say Year One and the Dark Knight Returns as the two to start with. I also really enjoyed The Long Hallowe'en and Dark Victory. If you can only pick one? Make it Year One.

If you're wanting to get into the Whole History of Batman (TM), this is an excellent chronological list of pretty much all the Batman graphic novels, up to a few adventures after Final Crisis.http://www.batmantrades.com/

For stuff after that (and stuff before) Wikipedia is your friend.

Bear in mind a number of the graphic novels are no longer in print, so some will cost you a small mortgage. Also, some story arcs - Knightfall and No Man's Land for example - are being collated in new editions. These contain more material than was released previously, so make sure you spend your money wisely!

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