Only five. It can only be one isolated story. It can be part of an interconnecting arc, but it can only be the one, self-contained piece. So obviously, it can be something that ends in a "to be continued", but not an all-encompassing mega-event like "Knightfall." But it can be a particular two-or-three issue story out of the Knightfall event, for example. So you can't say something like "Knightfall" or "No Man's Land" but you can pick self-contained stories as part of those mega-events. The story has to end with the "villain du jour" caught/defeated. Such as the several issues that make up "Strange Apparitions" each deal with a particular villain in one-or-two issues, but are considered all part of that one arc. So you can even include things like the recent "Grotesqe" because it's not part of a mega-event. Please be sure to give the issue number at least, so when someone else's interest is piqued, they know where to look. And the other catch is that television/movie/novel stories for Batman are also allowed. So we have a very wide range to choose from. Remember, these are your most favorite of all time. Not just limited to the comics. 5. "Six Days of the Scarecrow!" by Gerry Conway From out of Detective Comics #503. My top three favorite Batman villains are The Scarecrow, The Riddler and the Joker. And The Scarecrow was one of those characters that always had a great story. He wasn't a character who was changed with the times to be jovial. Even when he showed up in the 40s and 60s, the stories bordered on the dark, even when Batman comics of the time weren't. This fairly dark Gerry Conway story from the early eighties is a riveting Scarecrow story in the fashion of the full-length (but still single-issue) thrillers that 'Tec and Batman had back in the day. Things were better then. 4. "Batman Vs. the Vampire" by Bill Finger This two-part story from Detective Comics #s 31 and 32, respectively, is probably the most gothic and dark story Batman ever had before the 1990s. This is Kane and Finger's Batman at his finest. 3. "Hi Diddle Riddle" / "Smack in the Middle" by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and Gardner Fox. The first two episodes of the 1966 Batman television series mark the best Riddler story of all time for me. An engrossing mystery and double cross ending in one of the series' few deaths and brilliant riddles. Based partially on Gardner Fox's "The Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler" from Batman #171. 2. "The Laughing Fish" by Paul Dini, Steve Engalhart and Dennis O'Neil. The script for the episode of Batman: The Animated Series is the best of both worlds. The script adapts three of the best stories of the comics and rolls them into one. It mixes Steve Engalhart's "The Laughing Fish" (Detective Comics #475) and "The Sign of the Joker" (Detective Comics #476), both out of his Strange Apparitions arc and the finale of Dennis O'Neil's "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge" (Batman #251). Pure Batman. The detectivework, the cunning, the hate for the Joker and the conclusion shows us just how badass Batman can be. 1. BATMAN by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren / novelized by Craig Shaw Gardner. Hamm's script for the 1989 Batman film is a slice of heaven. I think it's the most seminal Batman story ever written, as it encompasses all that you need to know about the character, and is tonally the most accurate depiction of Kane and Finger's original version of Bats, with little bits of the 70s and 80s Batman mixed in as well. I also appreciate the changes Burton mandated which Warren Skaaren wrote in. Anyone who has read the Gardner novelization can attest to the fact that the Bruce/Naiper dynamic works even better in print than it does on screen, completely making the continuity change forgivable. But the one most responsible for how good the story is is Hamm himself. The man wrote the best Batman story of all time, I think. Skaaren and Gardner only polished it.