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Subj: This is a list of what I would go for . . .
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 05:11:50 pm EST (Viewed 253 times)
Reply Subj: Advice
Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 01:40:07 pm EST (Viewed 264 times)

> Hey internet.
> I have been a huge Batman fan basically my entire life, but I have never really gotten into the comics. I'm looking for suggestions on what to read. Any advice on where to start and where to go would be much appreciated.
> Thanks!

You're welcome!

Here's the list:

#1 - The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told:  There are, IIRC, two volumes of it. Both of them collect some of the best Batman stories published from 1939 ( the year in which Batman made it's first appearance ), to the early 80s. Very recommended, for just anyone;

*2 - Batman: Strange Apparitions: It's a TPB collecting the thirteen issues of the classic run by writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers from the late 70s in Detective Comics. All really good stories, one of my favorite runs ever, and IMO, one of the best renditions of Batman;

*3 - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns:  It's a classic out of continuity 4-issue mini-series written by Frank Miller, featuring art by Frank Miller himself, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley. It's collected in Trade Paperback ( TPB ) form, and you shouldn't have problems to find a copy of the TPB in any comic-shop. If you can't find it, there's always online ordering. I normally use Mycomicshop. Here's the link:

*4 - Batman: Year One:  The best version of Batman's origin ever written, hands down. It's written, again, by Frank Miller, and pencilled masterfully by David Mazzuchelli, using an art style that's purposely reminiscent of the artwork used in comics in the 40s. Batman's origin is one of the best known stories out there, but this is such a good take on it that you can't miss it;

*5 -  Batman: The Killing Joke:  a very short graphic novel featuring one of the possible origins of Joker, while focusing on Batman and Joker's long standing rivalry. It's in-continuity, and it's pretty much a key point in Batman's history, because one of the things that happens here changes the face of the Bat-universe forever. It's written by Alan Moore, featuring art by Brian Bolland;

*6 - Batman: The Man Who Laughs: Another Joker centered story... not as good as the previously recommended books, but it's well written, drawn and very entertaining. The writer is Ed Brubaker, with art by Doug Mahnke, so it can't be bad. It centers around the first actual fight between Batman and Joker, and it's supposed to fit somewhere within Year One. It's a one-shot prestige format special;

*7 -  Not comics, but the best advice anyone can give you: try to find those DVDs collecting the Batman: The Animated Series cartoon... it's just too good a take on Batman and his mythos... very, very well done.  It was done in the early to mid 90s and it still remains as best animated version ever created. More than that, personally, I think that this particular animated version is even very superior to most of what you currently see in his comics.

That is what I'd actually recommend, quality-wise. If you're are only interested in reading good stories, I think you should be safe with these.
I won't list some stories based on what is important into his continuity and such, because not always a key story is actually recommendable.
These are good, so you won't be wasting your money with them. Good luck!

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