If you could choose one Batman story to introduce someone to Batman comics...


Aug 12, 2012
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...which would it be?

First I was thinking Year One, but I decided against it.

I think it'd be between The Killing Joke and The Man Who Laughs, probably the latter. I think it would need to be a Joker story and I think The Man Who Laughs is better for someone who has not really read any Batman comics.

What are your picks?
I think that I would pick The Long Halloween. It has a nice story with diverse characters that more or less give a glimpse of the world of Batman.
I'm thinking a much smaller scale story like a single issue or a 4-issue story, a new reader won't want to read a huge multi-part 12 issue story, they need to read a Batman story that has all the elements Batman is known for such as action, suspense, mystery in a quick nutshell.

I can only think of the Batman Ten Nights Of The Beast which has all of that.
Whichever one this one is :p

Hush, it's very accessible and it works well because it covers a lot of Bat-history. Death of Jason, crippling of Barbara, Harold and it features most of his famous Rogues while creating a whole new one. Superman makes and appearance as well and it reads like a blockbuster.
It depends, do you want to introduce them into the world of Batman or the character. Some Batman books are better at the world of Batman and some are better at the character.
My problem with Year One is at this point I would just show them the animated adaptation because it's excellent. If I could then parlay that into having them read The Long Halloween or something, that might work...some of the panels in Year One are quite iconic, though, I do think they should read it even if they watched the movie first.
The Long Halloween probably. You probably should read it with more Batman knowledge but I think it is a defining arc of what the franchise can be.
Read Year One again yesterday, the art is way better than I remembered and I can't expect someone to miss out on that. It's pretty short so I wouldn't feel bad about recommending a person read Year One and then the Long Halloween, basically a sequel to it, and then maybe Dark Victory if they are enjoying it.
I think Year One is more of a Gordon story than a Batman one, not sure if you could use it as an introduction to the character.
My main goal is merely, "Show Batman comics are cool/fun, you should read them", not really to introduce the character. Yeah, it might not be the best introduction to the psychology of Batman...
Oh! OK then, perhaps some of the Batman Adventures comics would work too. They are some of the best Batman comics I have read.
Yeah, I think the scenario I was thinking of originally was, "This person likes the movies but are leery about reading comic books". Of course, all the suggestions so far have been good (except Batman Odyssey, haha) so maybe I'm overthinking it, probably any decent Batman story would serve.
Morrison's run. It brings to the table the grim and gritty as well as all the silver age stuffs.
I would say Batman Year One and/or the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.
Those books by Miller were what set Batman up with the dark grittiness and origin he has now.
And they are good stories with good art. They are very Batman.
Also, while not a comic, the Batman animated series, and the later Batman and Robin animated series, and the Batman/Superman adventures, Batman Beyond, and the JLU animated series, all by Bruce Timm, were a great version of Batman. Similar in the grittiness of Miller's Batman but kid friendly.


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To be fair, I've never read Killing Joke or Man Who Laughs, but if the goal is to introduce someone to the character of Batman I wouldn't choose a story that (I assume) is focused on one of his villains.

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