Let’s face it: Batman is the coolest.
Even for a comic book fan like me, one who spends an inordinate amount of time fixated on the Complete Marvel Universe, reading Batman is almost always a good decision. It’s no surprise there are 6 (nearly 7) Batman stories within my top 50 of the best comics of all time.
Whether you’re here from the comics, the Arkham video games, or the Dark Knight movies
, there’s a glut of reading options all leading to the same question: Where do I start with Batman comics?
I’ll answer that here in a relatively expedient manner. Note, that Batman made his comic book debut more than 75 years ago. I won’t mention every comic he’s been in since then, and trying to read all of them would be an intimidating (if noble) life goal. Instead, we’ll focus on the comics that make Batman so great, and how you can enjoy them in a chronological order.
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Updates 4/20/21 by Nathan Payson!
Where To Start With Batman Comics?
I) Creation: Batman in the 1940’s and 1950’s
II) Formation of the Bat: The Neal Adams Years – Late 60’s Through 1970’s
III) Year One & The Modern Bat (Most New Readers Should Start Here!)
IV) Knightfall: Bane Breaks the Bat (Early 90’s)
V) Batman: No Man’s Land (Late 90’s to Early 2000’s)
VI) Bruce Wayne Fugitive, Hush, & Under the Red Hood (Early to Mid 2000’s)
VII) Grant Morrison’s Batman Reading Order (Late 2000’s)
VIII) New 52 Batman Reading Order (2011 to 2015)
IX) DC Rebirth
X) Future of the Dark Knight (The Dark Knight Returns graphic novels)
Dave’s Faves: Best and Essential Batman Fast Track!
If you want just the best of the best, I’ve listed my favorite Batman stories below. Otherwise, you can carry on to check out the complete reading order and chronology!
- Batman: Year One
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
- Gotham Central
- Batman: The Long Halloween + Dark Victory
- Batman (New 52) by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
- Batman: The Black Mirror
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman & Robin by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
- JLA: Tower of Babel
- Batman: I Am Gotham by Tom King for DC Rebirth
Batman: The Beginning
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects: Detective Comics #27 to #56, Batman #1 to #7, World’s Best Comics #1, and World’s Finest Comics #2 to #3
Let me be clear: You certainly don’t have to jump back to the 1940’s to start reading Batman comics. That said, it can be a lot of fun, and you’ll see the debuts of Batman, Robin, Joker, Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman, and many more.
The first Golden Age Omnibus is a relatively easy to find, fair-priced (around $40) introduction to Batman’s true beginnings. You can keep the party rolling with the below Golden Age Omnibi:
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: Detective Comics #57-74, Batman #8-15 And World’S Finest Comics #4-9
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 3
Collects: Detective Comics #75-91, Batman #16-25, And Stories From World’S Finest Comics #10-14
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 4
Collects: Detective Comics #93-112, Batman #26-35 And World’S Finest Comics #15-22
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 5
Collects: Detective Comics #113-132, Batman #36-45 And Stories From World’S Finest Comics #23-32
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 6
Collects: Detective Comics #132-153, Batman #46-55 And Stories From World’s Finest Comics #33-42
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 7
Collects: Detective Comics #154-173, Batman #56-66 And Stories From World’s Finest Comics #43-52
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 8
Collects: Detective Comics #174-191, Batman #66-75 And Stories From World’s Finest Comics #54-62
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 9
Collects: Detective Comics #192-208, Batman #76-84 And Stories From World’s Finest Comics #63-70
Most Expedient Way to Navigate Batman’s Early Decades!
Collects: Batman #7, 15, 20, 31, 37, 47, 48, 49, Detective Comics #27, 33, 38, 49, 80, Real Fact Comics #5, Star Spangled Comics #70, and World’s Finest Comics #30
Collects: Batman #62, 81, 92, 105, 113, 121, 128, Detective Comics #156, 168, 185, 216, 233, 244, 252, 267, World’s Finest Comics #81
Collects: Batman #131, 144, 148, 155, 179, 181, 200, 217, Batman Kellogg’s Special #6, Detective Comics #298, 341, 349, 369, 388, 389, 390, 391
Collects: Batman ’66 #1-30, Batman ’66: The Lost Episode #1
Jeff Parker and Mike Allred’s work on the 2010’s, digital-first Batman ’66 series effectively captures the tone and humor of the 60’s TV series more than any comic you’ll find from the era.
Batman & Superman: World’s Finest – The Silver Age Vol. 1
Collects: Superman #76 and World’s Finest #71-94
Batman & Superman in World’s Finest: The Silver Age Vol. 2
Collects: World’s Finest #95 to #116
Batman & Superman in World’s Finest: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: World’s Finest #117-158
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects: Brave and the Bold #74-106
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: Brave and the Bold #110-156
Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 3
Collects: Brave and the Bold #157-200
Modern Batman Takes Shape (The 1970’s)
Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1
Collects: Batman #200, 203, 210, Brave and the Bold #75, 76, 79-85, Detective Comics #370, 372, 385, 389, 391, 392, and World’s Finest #174-176,178-180, 182-183, 185, 186.
A number of the comics collected in the Neal Adams illustrations are cover work he did. While these are always a blast to see, The actual full length comic issues that are the following:
World’s Finest Comics #175, The Brave and the Bold #79-85, and Detective Comics #392
Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 2
Collects: Batman #217, 220-222, 224-227, 229-231, The Brave and the Bold #86, 88-90, 93, 95, Detective Comics #394-403, 405-311, World’s Finest #199, 200, 202
The full issues collected in volume 2, which features the origins of the Man-Bat and the start of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams Batman comics is as follows:
The Brave and the Bold #86, Detective Comics #395, Batman #219, Detective Comics #397, #400, #402, #404, #407,The Brave and the Bold #93,Detective Comics #408, #410
Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams: Volume 3
Collects: Batman #232, 234, 237, 243, 244, 245, 251, 255
Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino
Collects: Detective Comics #327, #329, #331, #333, #335, #337, #339, #341, #343, #345, #347, #349, #351, #353, #357, #359, #361, #363, #367, #369, #500, The Brave and the Bold #172, 183, 190, and 194
Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin
Collects: Detective Comics #437, 438 And 440-443, Detective Comics Annual #3, Showcase ’95 #11, Batman Black And White #1 And 4, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #132-136, And Batman: Night Cries
Collects: Batman #232, 235, 240, 242, 243, 244, Detective Comics #411, 485, 489, 490, and DC Special Series Volume 2 #15.
Tales of the Demon marks a more immediate introduction to Rah’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul, and features the creative pairing of Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. Note that this overlaps with the above Neal Adams artist edition.
A good starting place for Bat-fans just trying to get the best and most essential Batman stories through the years!
Collects: Detective Comics #469 to #476, #478, #479
Immeasurably influential late 70’s run on Batman from storytellers Steve Englehardt, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin. Includes the classic Joker story “The Laughing Fish.”
Collects: Detective Comics #408, #444-448, #466, #478-479, #500, #514, Batman #307-310, #312-319, #321-324, #326-327, World’s Finest Comics #207, DC Retroactive Batman – The 70S, Untold Legends Of The Batman #1-3, Batman Black And White #5
Tales of the Batman: Don Newton Vol. 1
Collects: Batman #305-306, Detective Comics #480 And 483- 492 And Brave And Bold #153-165
Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway Vol. 1
Collects: Detective Comics 463, 464, 497-499, 501-504, The Brave And The Bold 158, 161, 171-174, Batman 295, 305, 306, Batman Family 17, Man-Bat 1 And , World’S Finest Comics 250, 269
Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway Vol. 2
Collects: Batman #337-346 & #348; World’s Finest Comics #270; Detective Comics #505-513
Tales of the Batman – Gene Colan, Volume One
Collects: Batman #340, 343-345 And 348-351 And Detective Comics #510, 512, 517, 528 And 529
Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Vol. 2
Collects: Batman #373, Detective Comics #530-538 And 540-544 And World’s Finest Comics #297 And #299
Batman Redefines The Graphic Novel (The 1980’s & Year One)
To date, we’ve progressed in order of publication release date, but as we move into what many now consider the greatest Batman stories of all time (and the logical starting place for any new readers), we’ll be ordering according to Batman’s timeline.
Collects: Batman #404 to #407
Batman: Year One is the 1986 graphic novel from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli. Alongside Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Year One is considered not only one of the best Batman stories, but one of the best graphic novels of all time.
If you’re really all in, you could also check out Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper here, which expands on Catwoman’s role in Year One.
Collects: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 to #5
Note that the first issue of Shaman actually takes place during Batman: Year One.
Collects: Legends of the Dark Knight #6 to #10
An early Grant Morrison story mixing elements of Fritz Lang films, Byron poems, mobster radio serials, and opera into a quintessentially Morrison story.
Collects: 4 villain Year One one-shots
Poison Ivy in Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #3
Man-Bat in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5
Scarecrow in Batman Annual #19
Riddler in Detective Comics Annual #8
Collects: Legends of the Dark Knight #16 to #20
Batman becomes addicted to venom, the same substance that gives Bane his strength. A harrowing look at addiction through the eyes of one of the most dangerous men in the DC universe.
Collects: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloweeen Special #1, Batman: Madness – A Legend of the Dark Knight Halloween Special. And Batman: Ghosts – A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special
Collects: Batman: The Long Halloween #1-12
The Long Halloween is one of two 12 issue graphic novels from the creative team of Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale, where each chapter represents one month in the calendar year. I’d reiterate that these books were actually published in the 1990’s, but they deal (excellently) with Batman’s early days, as well as District Attorney Harvey Dent. Some personal favorite Batman stories in here.
Collects: Detective Comics #575 to #578
Collects: Batman and the Monster Men #1-6
Collects: Batman and the Mad Monk #1-6
Collects: Legends of the Dark Knight #11 to #15, and #137 to #141
Collects: Detective Comics #784-786
The Man Who Laughs is Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke’s modern (the book was published in the 2000’s) take on the Joker’s origins.
Collects: Dark Victory #0-13
Dark Victory is the follow up to Long Halloween.
Collects: Robin: Year One #1-4 and Batgirl: Year One #1-9
Collects: Batman: Batgirl #1
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
Collects: Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #32 to #34, #38, #42 to #43
Collects: Batman: Night Cries Graphic Novel
Collects: Batman Confidential #17-21
Collects: Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #35 to #36, #76 to #78
Collects: Nightwing #101-106
Collects: The Brave And The Bold #200, Batman And The Outsiders #1-13, And New Teen Titans #37
Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 2
Collects: Batman And The Outsiders Annual #1 And Batman And The Outsiders #14-23
Legends of The Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Vol. 1
Collects: Detective Comics #579, #582-594, #601-607 And Stories From Batman Annual #11-12
Collects: Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #65 to #68, #200
The Killing Joke is the increasingly controversial graphic novel from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. In my opinion, Moore is the best comic book writer of all time, and while this isn’t his best work, it’s a formative Batman graphic novel, with lasting ramifications for Batman, Joker, and the Gordon family.
DC Comics is adamant that The Killing Joke remain in Batman continuity, and everything from Arkham Knight to the New 52 have treated this book as sacred text.
Collects: Batman: The Cult #1-4
Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 1
Collects: Batman #417-430 And Batman Annual #12
New collection of Jim Starlin’s time writing Batman overlaps with “A Death in the Family” collection below.
Collects: Batman #425 to #429
Collects: Detective Comics #598 to #600
Now known as the beginning of the fantastic Arkham video games, Arkham Asylum is also a beautifully haunting (and immensely popular) graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. In many ways, Arkham Asylum is like a waking nightmare for Batman, and also establishes the always enjoyable story of Batman pummeling his rogues gallery on their turf: a haunted prison.
Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying
Collects: Batman #426 to #429, #440 to #442, and New Titans #60 to #61.
Collects: Batman #455-457 and Robin #1-5
Collects: Batman: Son of the Demon, Batman: Bride of the Demon, and Batman: Birth of the Demon
Another must-read, featuring three excellent Ra’s Al Ghul stories.
Knightfall And Breaking the Bat (The 1990’s)
You can find a full chronological guide to every issue in the Knightfall trilogy (including an essential “Road to Knightfall” fast track) in Comic Book Herald’s complete Knightfall reading order.
Collects: Batman: Sword of Azrael #1-4
Fans of the Arkham Knight video game can check out Azrael’s comic book origins here as Batman heads towards Knightfall.
Collects: Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special #1, Batman #491-500, Detective Comics #659-666, Showcase ’93 #7-8 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #16-18
Iconic and satisfying Bat-event, as Bane seeks to break the bat. The inspiration for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.
Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest
Collects: Detective Comics #667-675, Shadow of the Bat #19-20, #24-28, Batman #501-508, Catwoman #6-7 and Robin #7
Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 3: Knightsend
Collects: Batman #509-510, #512-514, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #29-30, 32-34, Detective Comics #676-677, #679-681, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62-63, Robin #88-9, #11-13 and Catwoman #12-13
Batman by Doug Moench & Kelley Jones, Vol. 1
Collects: Batman #515-525, 527-532 And 535
Batman by Doug Moench & Kelley Jones Vol. 2
Collects: Batman #536-552 & #555
Collects: Batman/Dracula: Red Rain, Batman: Bloodstorm And Batman: Crimson Mist
Collects: Batman #512, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #32, Detective Comics #679, Robin #11, Batman #513, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #33, Detective Comics #680, Robin #12, Batman #514, Batwman: Shadow of the Bat #34, Detective Comics #681, and Robin #13
Collects: Detective Comics #608-609, Batman Chronicles #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #40-41, and Anarky #1-4
Collects: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #48, Detective Comics #695, Robin #27, Catwoman #31, Azrael #15, Batman #529, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #49, Detective Comics #696, Batman Chronicles #4, Catwoman #32, Azrael #16, and Robin #28
Collects: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #53, Batman #533, Detective Comics #700, Catwoman #36, Robin #32, Batman: Shadow of the Bar #54, Batman #534, Detective Comics #701, Robin #33, and Detective Comics #702
Collects: JLA #1-4
You certainly don’t need to read Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s late 90’s JLA as part of your Batman experience, but the first story is a great showcase for Batman, and goes a long way to defining the character’s relation to the Justice League and the DC Universe at large.
Collects: Batman Adventures #1-10
Collects: Batman Adventures #11 To #20
Collects: Batman Adventures #31 To #27, Annual #1
Collects: Batman Adventures #28 To #36, Annual #2, Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1
Batman & Robin Adventures Vol. 1
Collects: Batman & Robin Adventures #1-10
Batman & Robin Adventures Vol. 2
Collects: Batman & Robin Adventures #11-18 And Annual #1
Batman & Robin Adventures Vol. 3
Collects: Batman & Robin Adventures #19 To #25 And Annual #2
Gotham Becomes A No Man’s Land (Late 90’s To Early 2000’s)
Gotham City is rocked by a deadly earthquake, sending the city into total chaos. To make matters worth, President Luthor annexes Gotham from the rest of the United States, leaving the city helpless. It’s up to the Bat family, GCPD, and a few unlikely heroes to keep the city alive long enough for the country to come to its senses.
Collects: Detective Comics #719, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73, Nightwing #19, Batman #553, Azrael #40, Detective Comics #720, Catwoman #56, Robin #52, Batman – Isles of Men #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #74, Batman Chronicles #12, Nightwing #20, Batman #554, Batman: Huntress & Spoiler #1, Detective Comics #721, Catwoman #57, Batman: Arkham Asylum – Tales of Madness #1, and Robin #53
Batman: Road to No Man’s Land Vol. 1
Collects: Batman: Shadow of the Bat #75, Batman #555, Detective Comics #722, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #76, Robin #54, Batman #556, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #77, Batman #557, Detective Comics #724, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #78-79, Batman Chronicles #14, Batman #558-559, Detective Comics #725-726
Batman: Road to No Man’s Land Vol. 2
Collects: Azrael: Agent of the Bat #47-49, Batman #560-562, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #80-82, and Detective Comics #727-729
Collects: Batman: No Man’s Land #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #83, Batman #563, Detective Comics #730, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #116, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #84, Batman #564, and Detective Comics #731.
Collects: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #117, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #85, Batman #565, Detective Comics #732, Batman Chronicles #16, Batman: Legends of the the Dark Knight #118, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #86, Detective Comics #733, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #119, and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #87
Collects: Batman #566-567, Detective Comics #734, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #120, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #88, Batman #568, Detective Comics #735, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #121
Collects: Detective Comics #736, Batman #570, Detective Comics #737, Batman #571, Detective Comics #738, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #92, Batman Chronicles #18, Batman #572, Detective Comics #739, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #125, and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #93.
Collects: Batman: No Man’s Land #0, Batman #573, Detective Comics #740, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #126, Batman #574, Detective Comics #741, and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #94
Collects: Detective Comics #742-750
Collects: Batman: Turning Points #1-5
Collects: Batman #587, Robin #86, Birds of Prey #27, Catwoman #90, Nightwing #53, Detective Comics #754, and Gotham Knights #13
Evolution and Officer Down are essentially No Man’s Land: Aftermath, as the players adjust to New Gotham. The extraordinary Greg Rucka writes most of this, with assists from Ed Brubaker.
Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes
Collects: Harley Quinn #1-7
Batman & Huntress: A Cry For Blood
Collects: Batman/Huntresss: Cry for Blood #1-6
Collects: JLA #43-46
Another JLA story that goes a long way to developing our understanding of Batman in the expanded DC Universe.
From Fugitive to Infinite Crisis (Early to Mid 2000’s)
Collects: Detective Comics #766, Batgirl #24, Nightwing #65, Batman: Gotham Knights #25, Birds of Prey #39, Robin #98, Batman #599, Detective Comics #767, Nightwing #66, Batman: Gotham Knights #26, Robin #99, Birds of Prey #40, and Batman #600
An early glimpse at Ed Brubaker’s skills as a crime novelist. Bruce Wayne is discovered with the body of a wealthy heiress in his arms,, and now the entire Bat family must work to secure his freedom. It’s a story right out of any dimestore novel which is why it’s absolutely perfect for the Dark Knight.
Batman: Bruce Wayne Fugitive, Vol. 1
Collects: Gotham Knights #27, Birds of Prey #41,, Batman #601, Batgirl #27, Nightwing #68, Gotham Knights #28, Nightwing #69, Birds of Prey #43, Batman #603, Batgirl #29
Batman: Bruce Wayne Fugitive, Vol. 2
Collects: Detective Comics #768-772, Batman: Gotham Knights #31, Batman #605
Batman: Bruce Wayne Fugitive, Vol. 3
Collects: Detective Comics #773-775, Batman #606-607, Batgirl #33
Gotham Central, Book 1: In the Line of Duty
Collects: Gotham Central #1-10
Gotham Central is one of my 25 favorite comic book series of all time, with amazing GCPD stories from Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, and Michael Lark.
This story almost exclusively focuses on the GCPD with only an appearance or two by Batman. Imagine HBO’S The Wire set in Gotham City, only the fight is against super criminals. Watching cops go up against the likes of Mister Freeze and the Joker is as compelling as it gets in comics. The “lack” of Batman actually does a service to the character by giving the reader an unfiltered look at how the city and her finest really feel about their “heroes.”
Collects: Batman #609 to #619
Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee team up for one of the most popular Batman stories of the 2000’s.
Hush serves as a fantastic jumping-on point for new readers who just want to get into modern day Batman without doing homework on all the versions that came before. It introduces all the major players and elements while still delivering a satisfying mystery for existing fans to follow along. At the end of it, pretty much every character is left with some new narrative force. While it has its detractors, and some parts haven’t aged great, it’s still a solid arc that managed to inject some much needed energy to the long-running title.
Plus there’s a Batman/Superman brawl and you just gotta love those!
Collects: Batman #620-625
Collects: Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1-6
Gotham Central, Book 2: Jokers & Madmen
Collects: Gotham Central #11-22
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Collects: Superman/Batman #1-6
President Luthor declares Batman and Superman the titular “public enemies.” Watch two of DC’s most iconic superheroes outwit and outfight everyone else on the block as they make a run for the White House. Along the way, the book does a great job of highlighting the difference between the two eponymous heroes for both dramatic and comedic effect.
Collects: Superman/Batman #8-13
Collects: Detective Comics #790 to 796, Robin #126 to 128
Gotham Central, Book Three: On the Freak Beat
Collects: Gotham Central #23-31
Collects: Detective Comics #797, Batman #631, Legends of the Dark Knight #182, Nightwing #96, Gotham Knights #56, Robin #129, Batgirl #55, Catwoman #34
Collects: Detective Comics #798, Batman #632, Legends of the Dark Knight #183, Nightwing #97, Gotham Knights #57, Robin #130, Batgirl #56, Catwoman #35
Collects: Batman #633, Batgirl #57, Catwoman #36, Robin #131, Batman: Gotham Knights #58
Collects: Identity Crisis #1-7
One of the most popular and controversial stories in the entire DCU, this is largely outside the scope of Batman. That said, those invested in Batman’s relationship with the Justice League will want to check this out.
For the full story check out Comic Book Herald’s Identity Crisis reading order.
Collects: Batman #635 to #641, #645 to #650, and Batman Annual #25.
Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke team-up for one of the better Batman turning points of all time. Don’t read the product description if you want any part of this story to remain a mystery!
Gotham Central, Book Four: Corrigan
Collects: Gotham Central #32-40
You really don’t need to read Infinite Crisis as part of a Batman guide. I list it here primarily because it’s the mid-way point for the entire DC Universe in the 2000’s, and because Gotham Central, Book 4 features an Infinite Crisis tie-in. You can read the entire Infinite Crisis guide on Comic Book Herald Here!
Batman by Grant Morrison Reading Order (Late 2000’s)
Please note that the titles below that feature issues written by Grant Morrison during his extended run on the Dark Knight are italicized and bolded like so. This will just cover the main story, but if you want the full reading order for this era make sure to check out the CBH Morrison Batman guide.
Collects: Detective Comics #821 to #826
Not a part of Morrison’s run. Detective Comics featured writing from Paul Dini during this time period (Dini created Batman: The Animated Series alongside Bruce Timm).
Collects: Batman #65, 86, 112, 113, 134, 156, 162, Detective Comics #215, 235, 247, 267, World’S Finest Comics #89
While the Black Casebook is not a part of the Morrison Batman run, these 50’s and 60’s stories do provide the primary reference points for Grant Morrison’s Batman research.
You don’t have to read these issues to enjoy the run starting with Batman and Son, but I can promise you Morrison’s plot and reverence for Batman lore will make a lot more sense if you do.
Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1
Collects: Batman #655-658 And #663-683, stories From 52 #30, #47, & DC Universe #0
Collects: Batman #655 to #658, #663 to #669, #672 to #675
Collects: Detective Comics #827 to #834
Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul
Collects: Batman #670 to #671, Robin #168 to #169, Detective Comics #838 to #839, Nightwing #138 to #139, Batman Annual #26, Robin Annual #7
Collects: Detective Comics #846-850
Collects: Batman #676-681
Final Crisis is genuinely the most difficult superhero universe comic I have ever attempted to read, although at the time I was not nearly as well-versed in the DC Universe. Reader beware! Nonetheless, it’s Morrison’s Crisis event, and sets us up for the next stage of Batman! You can read the entire Final Crisis reading order here!
Collects: Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1, Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1-3, and Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
Collects: Batman #687 to #691
Batman: Streets of Gotham, Vol. 1: Hush Money
Collects: Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #852, Batman (Vol. 1) #685, Batman: Streets Of Gotham #1-4
Batman: Streets of Gotham – Vol. 2: Leviathan
Collects: Batman: Streets Of Gotham #5-11
Collects: Batman #692-699
Collects: Batman: Battle for the Cowl: Arkham Asylum; Batman: Arkham Reborn [Mini-series, 3 issues]; Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #864-865
Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 2
Collects: Batman & Robin #1-16, Batman #700-702 and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6
Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn
Collects: Batman and Robin #1-6
Batman and Robin, Vol. 2: Batman vs. Robin
Collects: Batman and Robin #7-12
Collects: Batman #700-703
The particulars of “Time and the Batman”get quite timey-wimey. If you really want the full ordeal, I recommend the CBH Morrison Batman guide.
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Collects: Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6
Batman: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home
Collects: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batman and Robin #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Red Robin #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batgirl #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Outsiders #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Catwoman #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Oracle #1, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Commissioner Gordon #1, and Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Ra’s al Ghul #1.
A number of 1-shots. Supplementary reading material that’s interesting but not crucial reading.
Batman and Robin, Vol. 3: Robin Must Die!
Collects: Batman #13-16, Batman: The Return #1
Batman & Robin: Dark Knight vs White Knight
Bruce and Damian Wayne must get reacquainted after Bruce’s trip through time.
Batman: Streets of Gotham Vol. 3: The House of Hush
Collects: Batman: Street Of Gotham #12-14, #16-21
Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 3
Collects: Batman Incorporated #1-8, Batman: The Return #1, Batman Incorporated #0-13, Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1, Batman Incorporated Special #1
Collects: Batman, Incorporated #1-8, and Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1.
Collects: Batman: Gates of Gotham #1-5, Detective Comics Annual #12 and Batman Annual #28
A mad bomber with a centuries old grudge is out to level Gotham city. This story delves into the history of the city and how that history has impacted the entire globe.
Collects: Batman#704-707 and #710-712
Collects: Detective Comics #871 to #881
Consider this the ceremonial passing of the torch from the Grant Morrison era to the Scott Snyder Batman era. Black Mirror occurs in the wake of Morrison’s seminal run on the character, and features some early, excellent work from Snyder before he would take over during the New 52.
New 52 Batman Reading Order (2011 to 2015)
Following the events of Flashpoint, the DC Universe rebooted as the New 52. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo took over creative duties on DC’s Batman, which quickly became the critically-acclaimed flagship Bat-book for the New 52. Snyder and Capullo books are marked below like so.
Note that if you want everything, including all the Bat-family books and to see how Batman plays in relation to the DC Universe at large, you can check out the Comic Book Herald New 52 Reading Order!
It’s a testament to the strength of both Batman and the creative teams responsible that the Dark Knight escaped the controversial New 52 relatively unblemished. If anything, Snyder and Capullo gave us a new great run to talk about for years.
Batman, Vol. 4: Zero Year – Secret City
Collects: Batman #21-24
You have two options with New 52 Batman. You can either start with the first issue and “The Court of the Owls” story arc, or you can start with “Zero Year,” which is a variation on the classic early days of Batman as told in Year One. I’ve tried it both ways, and I actually prefer “Zero Year” first, but your mileage may vary.
Collects: Batman #24-25, Detective Comics #25, Batgirl #25, Batwing #25, Batwoman #25, Birds of Prey #25, Catwoman #25, The Flash #25, Green Arrow #25, Green Lantern Corps #25, Nightwing #25, Red Hood and The Outlaws #25 and Action Comics #25
The companion Zero Year collection expands to a bunch of other DCU heroes, some closely tied to the Bat Family, and some closely tied to Bats’ Justice League membership. This will not advance the Batman Zero Year story much, but will provide some New 52 companion issues.
Batman, Vol, 5: Zero Year – Dark City
Collects: Batman #25 to #27, #29 to #33
Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls
Collects: Batman #1-7
Collects: Batman #8-9, Batman Annual #1, Detective Comics #9, Batman: The Dark Knight #9, Batwing #9, Batman and Robin #9, Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, Birds of Prey #9, Batgirl #9, Nightwing #8-9, and All-Star Western #9
Batman, Vol. 2: The City of Owls
Collects: Batman #8–12, and Batman Annual #1
Detective Comics: Faces of Death
Collects: Detective Comics #1 to #7
Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 1: Demon Star
Collects: Batman, Incorporated #0-6
For all intents and purposes, Grant Morrison’s extended run on Batman continues with the New 52 Batman, Inc. The series essentially continues operating as if the New 52 never happened, which is totally cool if you enjoyed Batman, Inc. to begin with.
Batman and Robin: Born to Kill
Collects: Batman and Robin #1 to #6
Detective Comics: Scare Tactics
Collects: Detective Comics #8 to #12, Annual #1
Collects: Batman and Robin #0, #9 to #14
Batman, Vol. 3: Death of the Family
Collects: Batman #13-17
The Joker: Death of the Family
Collects: Detective Comics #16-17, Catwoman #13-14, Batgirl #14-16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #15-16, Teen Titans #15, Nightwing #15-16, Batman and Robin #15-17, #Batman 17, Suicide Squad #14-15, Batgirl #13, Red Hood and the Outlaws #13-14, Teen Titans #14, #16, Nightwing #14
Death of the Family Reading Order:
Batman and Robin #13 to #14
Suicide Squad #14 to #15
Detective Comics #15
Batgirl #14 to #16
Batman and Robin #15 to #16
Detective Comics #16 to #17
Nightwing #15 to #16
Red Hood and The Outlaws #15
Teen Titans #15
Red Hood and The Outlaws #16
Teen Titans #16
Batman #16 to #17
Batman and Robin #17
Red Hood and The Outlaws #17
Detective Comics: Emperor Penguin
Collects: Detective Comics #13 to #18
Batman, Incorporated, Vol. 2: Gotham’s Most Wanted
Collects: Batman, Incorporated #7-13 and Batman, Incorporated Special #1
Collects: Batman and Robin #18 to #23
Collects: Detective Comics #19 to #24, Detective Comics Annual #2
Batman, Vol. 6: The Graveyard Shift
Collects: Batman #0, #18-20, #28, #34, and Batman Annual #2
Collects: Batman Eternal #1-21
Collects: Batman Eternal #22-34
Collects: Arkham Manor #1-6
Collects: Batman Eternal #35-52
Collects: Batman #35-40
Collects: Batman Annual #3, Batman #35-39 backups, Gotham Academy: Endgame #1, Batgirl: Endgame #1, Detective Comics: Endgame #1, and Arkham Manor: Endgame #1
You should read Batman #35 to #37, and then read the tie-ins above. From there you can move to Batman #38 to #40.
Collects: Batman #41 to #45
Collects: Batman #46 to #50
Collects: Batman #51-52, Batman: Futures End #1, Batman Annual #4
DC Rebirth Batman Reading Order (By Tom King)
DC Rebirth resets everything on the DC Universe, re-instituting much of classic DC history that the New 52 ostensibly disposed of. Batman survives, as always, and you can check out the full DC Rebirth reading order here. This era of rebirth kicks off with a group of talented writers. Tom King on Batman, James Tynion (who takes on Batman next) on Detective Comics, Tim Seely on Nightwing, and more.
The Rebirth Era begins with a one shot that sets up a couple important plot points for Rebirth including the Batfamily.
Collects: Batman: Rebirth #1, Batman #1 to #6
Tom King takes over Batman with this, the first installment of his “I Am…” series. Each book takes a look at one narrative element and examines how it interacts with Batman, starting with “I am Gotham.” This was King getting his Bat-legs under him, and it was controversial at the time… but as a part of his over-all vision, it’s well done.
Detective Comics Vol. 1: The Rise Of The Batmen
Collects: Detective Comics #934 to #939
Nightwing Vol. 1: Better Than Batman
Collects: Nightwing: Rebirth #1, Nightwing #1 to #4, and #7-8 (Note that issues #5 and #6 are part of the “Night of the Monster Men” crossover and should be read below)
Batman: Night of the Monster Men
There is some overlap with the first Bat-family crossover and the subsequent collections, but this will give you the crossover in its intended order.
Collects: Batman #7, Nightwing #5, Detective Comics #941, Batman #8, Nightwing #6, Detective Comics #942
Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey Vol. 1: Who Is Oracle?
Collects: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 to #6
Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside
Collects: Batgirl #1 to #6
Red Hood & the Outlaws Vol. 1: Dark Trinity
Collects: Red Hood & the Outlaws #1 to #6
All-Star Batman Vol. 1: My Own Worst Enemy
Collects: All-Star Batman #1 to #5
Collects: Batman #9 to #15
Detective Comics Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate
Collects: Detective Comics #940 to #945
Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad Reading Order
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad is a small fairly self contained event, but it’s very useful continuation of the events of I am Suicide with regards to Waller and Batman’s relationship. It also spins out into a Batman run Justice League Team which functions as an epilogue of sorts.
Justice League of America Vol. 1 (Rebirth)
Functions as a Justice League vs. Suicide Squad epilogue series of sorts.
Collects: Justice League of America #1 to #6
Collects: Batman #16 to #20, #23 to #24, Batman Annual #1
One of the most important crossover events in Rebirth, this series follows up on a thread from DC Universe Rebirth about the mysterious button
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: League of Shadows
Collects: Detective Comics #950 to #956
Batman Vol. 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles
Collects: Batman #25 to #32
Much of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” takes place in Batman’s early years, about a year after Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s New 52 “Zero Year.” Since the narrative is told as a series of flashbacks from Batman in the present day, I’d still recommend reading the “War of Jokes and Riddles” at this point in the Rebirth timeline.
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: Deus Ex Machina
Collects: Detective Comics #957 to #961
All-Star Batman Vol. 3: First Ally
Collects: All-Star Batman #10 to #14
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5: Lonely Place of Living
Collects: Detective Comics #963 to #968, Detective Comic Annual #1
A Lonely place of living occurs at the same time as another Mr. Oz related arc in Superman called Superman: Oz Effect which collects Action Comics #985-992.
Batman Vol. 5: Rules of Engagement
Collects: Batman #33 to #37, Batman Annual #2
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6: Fall of the Batmen
Collects: Detective Comics! Collects issues #969-974 and Annual #1.
Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar
Collects: Batman #38-44
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 7: Batmen Eternal
Collects: Detective Comics #975-981.
Dark Nights: Metal
Collects: Dark Nights Metal #1-6
Dark Nights Metal is an essential Batman crossover, as evil Batmen descent onto Earth. It serves as a continuation of ideas set up throughout the New 52 Batman Run by Scott Snyder and adds dangerous new characters to Batman’s list of enemies including the iconic Batman Who Laughs. Make sure to check out Comic Book Herald’s complete Dark Nights: Metal reading order!
Collects: Batman and the Signal #1-6
Collects: Batman #45-50 and DC Nation #0.
The controversial “Wedding” story. This marks the half-way point of King’s arc and begins the descent of the Bat.
You can find the whole reading order for this mini-event, with Comic Book Herald’s Batman and Catwoman wedding reading order.
Collects: Catwoman #1-6
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 8: On the Outside
Collects: Detective Comics #982-986
Collects: Batman #51-57
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9: Deface the Face
Collects: Detective Comics #988-993
Batman Vol. 9: The Tyrant Wing
Collects: Batman #58-60, Batman Annual #3 and Batman Secret Files #1.
Collects: Batman #61-63 And #66-69
Collects: Heroes in Crisis #1-7
Heroes in Crisis is written by Tom King who’s also writing Batman. There’s some great Batman moments in the event, and the event includes an important crossover between Batman and the Flash called The
Collects: Batman #64, Flash #64, Batman #65, Flash #65
The collection includes a couple of other Heroes in Crisis Tie-ins, but the price is the only story you need to read for Batman. If you want to read the rest of the tie-ins though, make sure to check on Comic Book Heralds issues Heroes in Crisis Reading Order
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 1: Mythology
Collects: Detective Comics #994-999, 1001-1006 And A Story From Detective Comics #1000
Mythology starts a new run on Detective Comics by Peter Tomasi which will continue to the end of Rebirth.
Detective Comics #1000: The Deluxe Edition
Collects: Detective Comics #1000
Collects: The Batman Who Laughs #1-7
Batman Vol. 11: The Fall and the Fallen
Collects: Batman #70-74 And Batman Secret Files #2
Batman Vol. 12: City of Bane Part 1
Collects: Batman #75-79
Collects: Batman/Superman #1 To #6
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 2: Arkham Knight
Collects: Detective Comics #1001-1005 And A Story From Detective Comics #1000
Collects: Batman Universe #1-6
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 3: Greetings from Gotham
Collects: Detective Comics #1006-1011
Batman Vol. 13: The City of Bane Part 2
Collects: Batman #80 to #85
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: Cold Vengeance
Collects: Detective Comics #1012-1019
Cold Vengeance is part of DC’s Year of the Villain Event. While you don’t need to know the context of Year of the Villain to enjoy it, you can check out Comic Book Herald’s Year of the Villain Reading Order here
Collects: Doomsday Clock #1-12
Though initially intended to be a ground breaking event, the effect of Doomsday Clock was dramatically reduced. Nevertheless, it’s a major story that follows up on other books in the order like “The Button.”
Comic Book Herald’s complete Doomsday Clock reading order!
DC Rebirth Batman by James Tynion IV
James Tynions run is broken into two parts, the pre-Infinite Frontier part which was intended to be his entire run initially with it ending with Joker War. However, fan reception and a major editorial shift resulted in him getting to become the lead writer on Batman for Infinite Frontier. As such there is a fairly clear shift in his run.
Batman Vol. 1: Their Dark Designs
Collects: Batman #86-94
Dark Designs leads directly into Joker War. Check out Comic Book Herald’s complete Joker War reading order for the full order.
Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 5 Joker War
Collects: Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1, Detective Comics #1020-1026, Detective Comics Annual #3, and the Black Casebook story from Detective Comics #1027
Collects: Batman #95-100
Collects: Batman #101-105 and Batman Annual #5
Following Joker War, Tynion and Tomasi set out to begin some set up for Infinite Frontier.
Detective Comics Vol. 6: Road to Ruin
Collects: Detecitive Comics #1028-1033
Collects: Dark Nights: Death Metal #1-7
Death Metal wraps up Rebirth and sets up Infinite Frontier. It concludes the Batman Who Laughs storyline and brings back the evil Batman idea of Dark Nights: Metal. If you want to read the full Batman who Laughs Storyline check out the Batman Who Laughs Reading Order and the Dark Nights: Death Metal Reading Order
Infinite Frontier Batman
Infinite Frontier Batman begins a little confusing as there’s an event between Rebirth and Infinite Frontier that does a lot of teasing called Future State. Future State teases a possible future that Gotham could face and a very powerful group that will change Gotham forever called the Magistrate. To learn how all the different bat-books interact and set each other up, make sure to check out Comic Book Herald’s Future State Reading Order.
Future State: Batman Family
The Batman Family is focused heavily on the future consequences of the election of Mayor Nakano in Detective Comics Vol. 6 (Detective Comics #1028-1033) as the Magistrate comes into power. The world is very fleshed out and introduces major storylines like The Next Batman. Multiple writers including Stephanie Phillips (Harley Quinn), Gene Luen Yang (Batman/Superman), and Mariko Tamaki (Dark Detective) wrote books that tease the upcoming direction of their Infinite Frontier stories. Every book can be read in any order, but I believe this order will maximize enjoyment of the event. Future State Batman is full of little teases that make the universe feel more full if you notice how the books connect. Future State: Batman is collected in two series.
Collects: Future State: The Next Batman #1-4; Future State: Dark Detective #1-3; Future State: Nightwing #1-2
Collects: Future State: Dark Detective #1-4; Future State: Catwoman #1-2; Future State: Harley Quinn #1-2; Future State: Robin Eternal #1-2; Future State: Batman/Superman #1-2
These are the important Batman (Not Batfamily) specific books in order:
Future State: Batman/Superman #1-2
Future State: The Next Batman (Main Series) #1-4
Future State: Catwoman #1-2
Future State: Dark Detective (Main Series) #1-4
After Future State, Infinite Frontier is here and it begins with a very important one-shot that sets up the Bat-family stories. For the entire Infinite Frontier Order, check out The Comic Book Herald’s Infinite Frontier Reading Order
Batman Vol. 4: The Cowardly Lot
Read: Batman #106-109
Read: Detective Comics #1034-1038
Read: Joker #1-4
Read: Batman: Urban Legends #1-6
Read: The Next Batman: Second Son #1-6
Read: Batman/Superman #16-19
Read: Batman: The Detective #1-6
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight
Read: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1-6
Batman’s Future & Elseworlds: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Not long before he redefined Batman’s origins with Year One, Frank Miller was reshaping the graphic novel medium with The Dark Knight Returns. It’s an amazing achievement, and frequently hailed with Watchmen as one of the greatest graphic novels of all time (personally, I have it 9th).
You can find the entire “Dark Knight Returns Universe” comics selection in Comic Book Herald’s complete Frank Miller Batman reading order.
Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
Miller returned to The Dark Knight about 15 years later, and well, let’s just say it’s far less of a unanimous celebration. I find the Dark Knight Strikes Again relatively interesting, but don’t go in expecting it to hold a candle to The Dark Knight Returns.
What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader?
Another all-time great writer, Neil Gaiman, wrote his version of the “final” Batman story in “What ever happened to the Caped Crusader?” It takes its inspiration from Alan Moore’s “What ever happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”
Batman: Year 100 & Other Tales Deluxe Edition
Writer/artist Paul Pope’s take on a futuristic Gotham that’s run like a surveillance state by totalitarian GCPD, and the low-tech Batman who fights for the right of anonymity and choice.
DC Comics/Dark Horse: Batman vs. Predator
Collects: BATMAN VS. PREDATOR I, II, & III
These three miniseries helped define 90s comics and are an absolute must-read for any fan of the era, the Bat, or just action-packed fun.
Collects: BATMAN/ALIENS #1-2, BATMAN/ALIENS II #1-3, SUPERMAN/BATMAN VS. ALIENS/PREDATOR #1-2, WILDC.A.T.S/ALIENS #1.
A kind of companion piece to Batman vs. Predator, this book collects a series of stories where Batman, Superman, and WildC.A.T.S. must face-off against the Xenomorphs. More 90’s fun!
The Batman/Judge Dredd Collection
Collects: Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment On Gotham, Batman/Judge Dredd: Vendetta In Gotham, Batman/Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle, Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing #1-2 and Lobo/Judge Dredd: Psycho Bikers Vs. Mutants From Hell!
Any time that Gotham’s Dark Knight and Megacity 1’s Violent Protector get together, it’s bound to be a violent, absurdist good time. This collection highlights some great writers and some of 2000AD comics’ best artists.
Alan Grant. Simon Bisley. Why are you still reading this?
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
A collection of fun, experimental, and downright absurd Batman stories. Includes the origins of Batmite.
An absurd send-up of the 90s Knightfall event. Do NOT enter into this expecting a Batman comic. Instead, think more along the lines of a Groo the Barbarian for the dark and violent decade. What more could you expect from Alan Grant of Lobo fame?!
A nasty little character study of the Clown Prince of Crime, delivered by the always excellent Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo. This gets a little intense.
Batman meets Dickens. This story shows familiar heroes and villains throughout the ages in a loose approximation of A Christmas Carol… only with more punching.
Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham
Collects: Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham #1-3
By Mike flippin’ Mignola
Art by Mike Mignola, script by Brian Augustyn
Collects: Batman: Holy Terror, Batman: The Blue, The Grey, And The Bat, Robin 3000 #1-2, Batman/Dark Joker: The Wild, Batman/Houdini: The Devil’S Workshop, Batman: Castle Of The Bat, Batman: In Darkest Knight And Batman: Dark Allegiances
Collects: Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, Batman: Bloodstorm And Batman: Crimson Mist
Collects: Batman White Knight #1-8
Batman/The Shadow: The Murder Geniuses
Collects: Batman/The Shadow #1-6, Stories From Batman Annual #1, Detective Comics #253, #259
Outside continuity, this DC and Dynamite Comics character crossover is simply a lot of fun. Story by Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, and Riley Rossmo.
Batman is out to stop the sale of a drug that allows people to live the life of their dreams — by literally shapeshifting into that person for 24 hours. After that, the users die. This one is heavy on Japanese influence.
Collects: Batman: Damned 1-3
A Batman story for mature audiences. Joker has been murdered and Batman is the primary suspect. And only John Constantine to help the World’s Greatest Detective solve this mystery.
Yet another fantastic team-up between Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo.
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 1
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
Collects: Batman: Last Knight On Earth #1-3
Batman Beyond Reading Order
Batman Beyond: Industrial Revolution
Collects: Digital chapters #1 to #16
Batman Beyond 2.0, Vol. 2: Justice Lords Beyond
Batman Beyond 2.0 Vol. 3: Mark of the Phantasm
New 52 Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond Vol. 1: Brave New Worlds
Batman Beyond Vol. 2: City of Yesterday
Batman Beyond Vol. 3: Wired for Death
DC Rebirth Batman Beyond
Batman Beyond Vol. 1: The Return
Collects: Batman Beyond #7 to #12
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Hi, I have a slightly ddifferent reading order from a different website (I was looking to update it because the one I have only goes up tp Flashpoint). For instance, I have The Black Mirror before Batman Inc.
Also, is there a reason New 52 Detective Comics Volumes 5-9?
Erik Holmström says
Why isn’t The Black Glove listed before RIP? I was wondering because its an important comic book if one wants to understand what’s happening in RIP. Its probably just a mistake I’m assuming.
I really love all of your reading orders and I thank you for them. But I am little all of the Batman comics. Should I read “all” Legends of the Dark Knight -comic after Year One and are those in “Batman-timeline”. After Year One the next Batman issue is #417 (Caped Crusade -storyline), so I am wondering where does #408 – 416 does belong (or if I should read those)
Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane
Collects: Batman #13 to #18
This is incorrect. #13 is still i am suicide and #14 is rooftops pt 1
likewise, you have counted Night of the Monster men in I am suicide (7 and 8)
Source- i own them
Excellent resource, not being an ass, just FYI
I have a batman book I can’t find it anywhere on the net could anyone help
Elias M. Freire says
Four of a kind is kind of strange in the timeline, the stories are great and fun, don’t get me wrong, especially the scarecrow one, but Batman encounters both The Riddler and Scarecrow AFTER two-face, and in the long halloween/dark victory story, batman already knows scarecrow and the riddler BEFORE Harvey Dent becomes two-face, that’s kind of weird. Also, in the end of Year One Gordon becomes captain, but here in the poison ivy and the riddler story, he is still a lieutenant.
If there is a clarification for that, I’d love to read.
Thanks for the reading order by the way.
If anyone wants a checklist in a more printer friendly format I’ve uploaded one here based on the content above. I’ve included all of The New 52 and Rebirth Series as well.
thanks a lot man! this was super helpful… do you have an updated one?
Henry Trickey says
Would it still tell the hole story if you just read the top ten in order from year one down. Or would you have to read everything after aswell
OK so maybe I’m missing something but shouldn’t monster men, mad monk, prey, and the man who laughs go before year two and the long Halloween since Gordon becomes commissioner in year two but in the man who laughs he’s still a captain. Also the man who laughs is supposed to be batman’s first time fighting the Joker but if you read in this order he’s already appeared previously in the long Halloween. some clarification would be much appreciated, also thanks for this list I’ve always loved batman and this has really helped me get into his comics!
Frankie B says
Might I suggest placing Batman: Prey slightly earlier in the reading order? Definitely before Monster men I would say. Thanks for the list
Never mind I take it back
I’m rather surprised that “Ten Nights of the Beast” & “The Many Deaths of the Batman” aren’t in the 80’s section. Some of the finest work of that era.
Thank you very much!!!! this is an awesome post. It helped a lot. Thank you for your effort!!!!!!
Michael Phelps says
Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 2
Collects: Batman #217, 220-222, 224-227, 229-231…
But only Batman 219 (not even listed above) is in your full issues collected list.
Detective Comics #395, Batman #219…
Michael Phelps says
Batman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 3
(should be) Collects: Detective Comics #75-92…
(instead of what Amazon states: Detective Comics #75-91…)
Batman: Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 2
(should be) Collects: …Detective Comics #394-403, 405-411…
(instead of …Detective Comics #394-403, 405-311…)
Austin Ruiz says
This needs to be updated to include more recent volume’s of King’s batman and Tec.
Batman Vol. 3: I Am Bane
Collects: Batman #13 to #18 (should be to #20 not #18)
Thanks, Please update if need be
I’ve always wanted to start reading the Batman comics since I was little, but could never find a clear reading order. This helps so much, thank you!
Greg Passamonti says
Batman Year One
Batman & the Monster Men
Batman& the Mad Monk
Batman the Man Who Laughs
Batman Four of a Kind
Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
Batman Other Realms
Batman and The Long Halloween
Batman Dark Victory
Batman The Gauntlet and Robin Year One (not fully sure though)
Batman Haunted knight
Batman Rules of Engagement
Batman Night Crisis
Batman The Cat and the Bat
Batman King Tuts Tomb
Batman Tales of the Demon
Batman The nights of the Beast
Batman The Killing Joke
Arkham Asylum A Serious House on Serious Earth
Batman Death in the Family
Batman A Lonely Place of Mine
Batman Blind Justice
The Sword of Azreal
Batman Knight fall vol 1 – 3
Batman No Mans Land Vol 1 – 5
Batman Officer Down
Bruce Wayne Murderer?
Bruce Wayne Fugitive Vol 1 – 3
Hush Vol 1 – 2
Batman Death in the Maidens
Batman Broken City
Batman As the crow Flies
Batman War Drums
Batman War Games vol 1 – 3
Batman Hush Returns
Batman City of Crime
Batman Under the Hood Vol 1 – 2
Batman War Crimes
Batman Face the Face
Batman and Son
Batman Death in the City
Batman The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul
Batman and the Black Glove
Batman Private Casebook
Batman Heart of Hush
Batman What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader
Batman Battle of the Cowl
Batman Battle of the Cowl Companion
Batman Vs Robin
Batman Long Shadows
Batman Hush Money
Batman Life After Death
Batman Arkham Reborn
Time and the Batman
Batman Must Die
Batman The Road Home
Batman The Return of Bruce Wayne
Batman Eye of the Beholder
This list is amazing. From the comments some people might think a few books are out of order or a few missing. I have used this list to buy everything up to Batman Detective (*54). Really grew up a fan from Sword of Azreal on (Vengenace of bane 1 and 2 are missing and i don’t think both books go back to back in chronological order so if anyone can tell me where both go in this list that would be great!). Anyway I have up till Batman Detective (*54) and everything from this is where it gets very confusing. I know Morrison took over right around there and I see a Morrison Omnibus coming out which might cover a bunch of TPB’s I wont need since they might be in the omnibus on this list after (*54) My hope is that someone can put a definitive list from Batman Detective on using current and upcoming releases that cover this time frame. I’m sorry if this is confusing and I’m quite the newb when it comes to posting messages. I’m just so confused in this time frame. I have all the new 52 and rebirth TPB’s but again need a solid list from Batman Detective (*54) until the new 52 came out. Again, not sure the rules on this vine or if i can put an email address so I can speak with someone one on one. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can provide an email address for a one on one tutorial. Also I am ready to buy the full lot of TPB’s from *54 on. Rambling now but boy is this overwhelming especially with all the sites out there who claim to have the definitive list. Great work by MASTEROFNONE, you helped me acquire a ton of TPB’s I never even knew about. Also some people seem to think certain TPB’s should be in a different order than what this list shows. I would love to know anyone’s opinion of the correct order. Again I’m rambling and just need some help. Message Board is great and i appreciate all the hard work every person who commented put in. Just need some help. Thanks again and sorry if this is confusing or long winded.
Elias M. Freire says
Where does Year Two fit there?
Louis Wilkinson says
just realized you mised about 3-4 story arcs check out https://ultimatebatmancomicswebsite.weebly.com/
Louis Wilkinson says
road to no mans land 1 and 2 is missing they go between cataclysm and no mans land 1
No Batman/Superman by Tom Taylor?
I feel like this list is missing a lot of important GCNs and one-shots, specifically Batman: Snow, which depicts Mr. Freeze’s canon origin story.
I’m going to take this list and compile it into my own Batman recommended reading order. This certainly helps.
Where are you gonna compile it? Asking because I wanna read ut.
Louis Wilkinson says
Olaf, you missed batman collected legends of the dark knight witch fits just before other realms.
Josh Dull says
Great list. Really helpful. But I notice the series “Dark Knight” isn’t listed with the other New 52 titles. Does this mean it’s not in canon or is it just an oversight? Thanks.
I was wondering about this too
I do not know weather this is the right place to ask or not but I have been really enjoying Snyder’s take on Batman so far and I was wondering if Batman:Gates of Gotham miniseries is on par with his other Batman books (Black Mirror,The Court of Owls,The City of Owls etc)?Also correct me if I am wrong but it seems that
the in the New 52 area of Detective comics the reading order stops at Joker Endgame which collects Detective Comics Endgame #1.I am just curios why the recommended reading order stop there when the series actually ends after 52 issues and 4 annuals.
This list is so helpful! Ive been so stressed out trying to read things in order. Is it up to date though? It feels like there are some newer ones missing
FALLING TOILET says
I recommend this reading order for No Man’s Land: Cataclysm > Aftershock > Road to No Man’s Land > No Man’s Land
Dave Jenney says
Hey this list is awesome. Thank you! I did want to point out that I believe The Man who Laughs takes place directly after Batman and the Mad Monk, as that ends with Batman hearing the police scanner talking about the warehouse of dead bodies that The Man who Laughs opens with.
Most of Mad Monk takes place during Prey (I believe), except for the ending, which takes place after. So the reading order should be: Monster Men, Mad Monk, Prey, Man who Laughs (I think).
I’ve wanted to read comics for a while, but I just didn’t know where to start. Then I found this list. And I was instantly scared away by the price tag. Real comics take a lot of money. But then I found online comics. I finally had a way to read comics for a reasonable price. I am currently working my way through the 40-60’s. But I have to ask. Would you recommend reading the comics on ComiXology? That was just the first thing I saw, so that became my default for reading comics. What would you recommend?
Willem Maas says
This looks great! I kind of wish this would have seen something like this a couple of years ago, but right now I’m in too deep I feel. A while ago, I started downloading and reading/watching everything batman and batman-family related, from the very first comic book, in publication order. Right now I’m at the end of the 70s and things are going well, but will things get confusing when I get to the modern times, with all the different story arcs? Is it a better idea to just read the arcs vs the publication order? In that case I’m guessing this list would help a lot.
Can we have an updated list……. I’ve collected all of the above issues but want to updrade
Daniel Aguirre says
2 words.. Thank You
Hey, isn’t Batman No Man’s Land, Vol.5 book just old version and in new edition from 2012 issues from that book are in Batman: No Man’s Land, Vol.4. Am I wrong? 😀
+ Bruce Wayne: Fugitive is in one Volume in new edition (from 2014). It’s all 3 volumes in one, but some issues are missing…
Where are other storylines with Hush?
Heart of Hush is the big one that comes to mind.
Shwet Mani says
Where does the david finch run stands in the larger DC universe? Batman- the dark knight- knight terrors? Please help me because the trade paperback is marked with new 52.
P.S.- your guides are amazing 😀
You can find it all in the DC New 52 reading order: https://www.comicbookherald.com/reading-dc-comics/new-52-reading-order/
OK so I’m relatively new to comics. Read some older one shots and started Grant Morrison’s run. I just finished “Final Crisis” (holy crap by the way. I basically had about 1/5 of the understanding of the DC Universe that I should have had before reading this but I digress). I read exclusively in TPB form. I’m currently on “Battle for the Cowl.” I was kind of hoping to finish off Grant Morrison’s run before diving into the Scott Snyder New 52 arc and had some questions:
1) Can I just read the 2 “Batman Inc.” New 52 volumes immediately after “Batman Incorporated” (as you said it ignores the New 52 story) or is there some reason I should mix it into the New 52 storyline?
2) I heard “Batman: The Dark Knight” follows the “Batman Inc.” Vol 1 & 2 storyline. Is that true and could I therefore read that before the New 52 arc as well?
3) Lastly will there be an update to this list with regards to the New 52 since “Batman and Robin” and “Batman Detective Comics” aren’t mentioned after volume 4 on both? I was curious as to the reason (different storyline, just an oversight, etc.). I’m a ways out but I’ve been heavily reliant on your ordering lists (and other’s but yours is easily the most comprehensive) and it’d be great to know what to read when I get there.
Thanks for any future updates!!
Also where would “Batman & Robin Eternal” take place?
Ok so I THINK I got the order down now from your “New 52 Reading Order” page (wow that was thorough!). That said I still vote for updating this list with Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, Batman Eternal, Batman and Robin Eternal, and The Dark Knight!
Geert Luyten says
Yeah, where does BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL go?
Batman Inc. from New 52 is in the New 52 Universe (it only ignores other timelines from New 52). It just means that Batman Inc. from New 52 isn’t in same universe as first Batman Inc. 🙂
*storylines (not timelines)
Great work, but why didn’t you put batman new 52 volume 89 and 10??
Likely released after this post was published – good call, I’ll update!
are night of the owls and city of owls two different stories or does it go court of owl and then city of owls. whats the order for new 52 batman?
Thanks for this amazing guide. It’s super helpful. Though I feel Batman and the Monster Men and Batman and the Mad Monk should be placed before Batman: Prey
Agreed. They are prequels, after all.
Thank you- It`s really really helpful because I had only watched Batman cartoons in Tv. I expect to know a lot or everything about his universe.
Michael Phelps says
Batman: The Cat and The Bat collects BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #17-21.
Why are all the comics starting from the new 52 in a mixed order? Why after death of a family do you then have to go to a different set of volumes like detective comics, then go back to the volume where graveyard shift is in, then to a completely new set of volumes for batman eternal and then suddenly back to the first set for end game? I feel like I’m being messed around here! Why not do them all in one volume all together one after the other; do you know what I mean?
AJ Comics says
Because they follow different storylines. When you read the comics, you will notice that sometimes it will say something like “*expanded in Detective Comics Vol. whatever”. You need to read all of the different storylines in order to gain a full understanding, including JLA, Batman and Robin, Detective Comics, Batman Eternal, etc. Does this answer your question?
This is amazing, thanks so much.
Will it be updated with Rebirth when it starts later this year?
I love this list! Been following it for collecting and reading the modern era Batman Graphic Novels, but where does Batman-Full Circle, the sequel to year two, fit into the chronology?
As far as I know, right after Year Two.
Any chance this can be amended to include Batman Beyond related material? I can see that there are a few Beyond series, but not in the same continuity.
I still don’t get why some volumes have issues that should belong in other volumes. Example:
Batman, Vol. 6: The Graveyard Shift
Collects: Batman #18-20
Batman, Vol, 5: Zero Year – Dark City
Collects: Batman #29 to #33
Here a volume -6- contains #18-20 and 28#, while a volume -5- contains #29 and #33. Volume 5 is obviously the volume before six – so why does volume 5 contain issues that are chronologically higher than those who appear in volume 6? It makes no logical sense. Couldn’t you just number things in the right order? Like Vol 1. Has Issues 1+, Vol 2 has issues 5+, Vol 3 has issues 10+, and so on.
That said I also don’t understand why I have to read all these unrelated titles when I just want to follow a simple comic about Batman. Now I have to buy random-numbered titles of characters I don’t even follow? Take this example; “Collects: Batman #24-25, Detective Comics #25, Batgirl #25, Batwing #25, Batwoman #25, Birds of Prey #25, Catwoman #25, The Flash #25, Green Arrow #25, Green Lantern Corps #25, Nightwing #25, Red Hood and The Outlaws #25 and Action Comics #25”
Now how would I even understand issue #25 of Green Arrow when I haven’t read issues #1-24 of Green Arrow? It seems so random and illogical to me, at least in theory, maybe in practice it makes sense when you actually read it like this.
Just the theory is what keeps me away from even trying to give it a go. Also the costs to buy all these simply to follow one comic. Seems so unnecessary. I’m not hating but I prefer things to be simple when complicating has no practical value and only well, complicates.
I can’t speak to the volumes having gaps in the numbering system. That doesn’t make sense to me either. But as far as the unrelated titles go, it just gives you a more immersive story. You’re right, you’re not going to understand everything in Aquaman#25 if you haven’t read #1-24, but there will be a part of the story that sheds light or gives background on a part of the Batman story you’re reading.
It’s personal preference whether you consider this “complicating” to have practical value or not. Plenty of people enjoy being familiar with the entire DCU instead of just one comic title.
For the New 52 order, where do Detective Comics Volumes 5, 6 and 7 com in the order?
Hey man, thanks for this, I really appreciate it! I’d love to see some more DC character’s reding orders, though I’m enjoying the Marvel ones as well. I recently found a new Superman reading order posted and I meant to comment that over there but I couldn’t leave a reply. So anyway, thanks for the job and for keeping it up!
I’m glad you enjoy, thanks for the feedback! Definitely more to come.
Great job, as usual… Even better than average, because this one gets my much vaunted “100% spoiler-free award”.
BUT (there is always a but…), and fully realizing that this is a reading order and that Batman has lots of good/interesting stories, many of us would appreciate an “essential/recommended” list.
Just as an example, I want to read Rucka’s run in Detective Comics, and considered reading No Man’s Land before, but just watching the humongous list of issues was enough to dissuade me (to be honest, I wanted to read Gotham Central… someday and New 52’s Batwoman now -I just read that you also recommend it-, but I learned that It was recommended to backtrack to Rucka’s work… then I found that it is in the aftermath of No Man’s Land, which is in a consequence of Cataclysm, which follows Contagion… backtracking, the bane of “completist” comic readers)
This is a very good list!
Congratulations on your work,your site is amazing for finding reading orders and comic stuff in general.
Do you recomend any bat-family solo title from new 52 – DC You era? So far i’ve read a little bit from Nightwing, and the most recent ones Robin son of Batman and Gotham academy.
I see so many mixed opinions in the bat-family titles,and there are so many that i dont know where to start.
Thanks in advance.
Glad you like! I have really enjoyed Gotham Academy and Grayson, both of which occur later in the new 52.
Batwoman is a good starting New 52 book as well.
Enjoy the comics!
This is really really great!
Unreal, thank you so much! Really appreciate everything you do on the site!
Thanks, I’m very glad you like.
Enjoy the comics!