Top 5 most favorite Batman stories of all time?

Discussion in 'Batman World' started by DocLathropBrown, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. DocLathropBrown If adventure has a name...

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    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. :o

    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.
     
  2. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    That's really, really hard to decide.
     
  3. RobC Registered

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    1) Under The Hood Vol.2 - Batman #650

    Just because. Great story, great art, great writing. I love this whole arc, but this one in particular.


    I'll add more later...


    2)
     
  4. Yurka Let The Games Begin!

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    My Favorite has always been The Long Halloween, I cant rate 4 more, there are too many I love.
     
  5. DocLathropBrown If adventure has a name...

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    That was the point! :woot:

    Hell, it took me a few hours to decide as well!
     
  6. Dedpool Registered

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    Tough to put them in order, but TKJ, TLH, Hush, DKR, and Year One would have to be in my top five.
     
  7. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    That is absolutely right. Brilliant story. Gerry Conway = comic gold. I hate it that when it comes down to name the most important and best Batman authors almost every time the people scream only names like Denny O'Neill, Frank Miller, Englehardt, Finger & Co. but they totally forget those great guys called "Gerry Conway", "Doug Moench", "Mike Barr", "Len Wein" and of course "Frank Robbins" (and yes, I think he was more important to the Bronze Age Batman than Denny.)
     
  8. November Rain Single Mother

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    mine are all animated becaus i don't have the experience of reading batman comics so meh...

    anywho they are

    Perchance to Dream
    Night of the Ninja
    The laughing bat from The batman
    The cape and cowl conspiracy
    Return of the Joker from Beyond.
     
  9. souloffire Registered

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    Finger didn't write those issues. Gardner Fox did. Some sites have them as co-writers but Gardner gets the credit for creating the Monk, the batarang and the batgyro.
     
  10. Comics N' Toons Viva La Revolucion!

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    1) the long halloween and Dark Victory (it's 1 story)
    2) FEARS (from the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale book HAUNTED KNIGHT)
    3) the killing joke
    4) batman: year one
    5) ARKHAM ASYLUM: a serious house on serious earth
     
  11. Mr. Socko Registered

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    5. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
    This is a marvelous little gem. Rarely do elseworld stories get this good. It's a dark fantasy, the Dark Knight's grimmest tale. The inmates take over the Asylum and it's up to Batman to settle things straight. It's not for kids either, Grant Morrison's writing is grim and even more is Dave McKean's wonderful abstract illustartions, it completely unravels into a world of it's own.

    4. Batman: The Long Halloween/Batman: Dark Victory
    I just had to place these two together as I couldn't choose which I like more, and they go hand in hand. This is the definitive Two Face story encompassing his time in Gotham as DA cleaning up the streets to becoming the murdering vigilante Two Face. It even contains a fantastically written backstory for the character, and it's also more than just Two Face. These two stories feature cameos from everyone from Joker and Catwoman to Freeze and Penguin.

    3. Batman: The Killing Joke
    This is the defining Joker comic book written by Alan Moore. The Joker is taken to an even higher level by crippling Gordon's daughter and holding him hostage, attempting to drive him to the brink of insanity. We go into the Joker's mind and unravel his past, learning he was once a failed comedian with a wife and child before one bad day at the Ace Chemical Factory. Then after pages of reading this woeful story we learn it could all simply be a lie. The Joker is as cunning as ever. Brian Bolland is my favorite Batman artist and draws the best Joker there is.

    2. Batman '89/Batman Returns
    As with number four, I just had to place these together, despite their being differences in the two. But these are the two stories that made me love Batman(moreso the former, but still the latter). These films are not without their flaws but I enjoy them to death. Tim Burton created the perfect atmosphere and placed Batman in a fantasy but reality based setting. From Keaton as Batman, Gough as Alfred and Jack as Joker, to Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Walken as Shrek, and DeVito as Penguin, every actor was terrific, and for me, set the standard for how Batman on screen should be portrayed.

    1. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
    MotP is the single most definitive Batman story every told. Timm and Dini created the perfect world of Batman. Featuring the Joker and Phantasm as villains, through flashback it tells Batman's origin and the love of his life Andrea Beaumont becoming the vengeful Phantasm. This animated film is the perfect balance of both light and dark, and the writing is as solid as they get. Conroy and Hamill ARE the voices of Batman and Joker respectively, they deliver the definitive nature of whatever I hear every time I pick up a comic book.

    Honorary Mentions: Batman: Year One, The Man Who Laughs, The Laughing Fish, Heart of Ice, & Quest of the Demon Part I & II.
     
  12. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    That is an awesome story when you like something, let's call it alternative

    [​IMG]
     
  13. RobC Registered

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    Hahahaha, still pushing that one are we Baywatch?
     
  14. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    Yes :applaud :applaud :applaud
     
  15. Caped Crusader Grizzled

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    1. The Long Halloween
    2. Batman Year One
    3. Arkham Asylum
    4. The Killing Joke
    5. Batman No Man's Land (novel)
     
  16. Darkfly Registered

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    Batman: Hush
    The Dark Knight Returns
    The Long Halloween//Dark Victory
    Batman: Year One
    Batman - The Killing Joke
     
  17. Lazlo Panaflex Registered

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    1) Batman #349-351, Detective Comics #517-518 -by Gerry Conway, Gene Colan, Don Newton: these was a story arc in which Dala and the Monk from the golden age of Batman's stories returned and Dala had somehow seduced Robin by turning him into a vampire with the Monk doing the same to Batman, along the way there were plotlines involving Gordon being dropped as Comissioner and Viki Vale trying to discover Batman's identity, needless to say this was the first Batman story I read as a kid and it scared the hell out of me seeing Batman sprouting fangs.

    2) Detective Comics #526 -by Gerry Conway and Don Newton: big anniversary issue featuring all of Batman's villians at the time except for Ra's Al Ghul all trying to eliminate Batman, along the way Jason Todd discovers Batman and Robin's identity.

    3) Batman Special 1984 -by Mike W. Barr and Michael Golden: awesome story in which Batman confronts a villian who share something in common.

    4) Ten Nights Of The Beast -by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo: many fans seem to forget this story but I loved it, lots of action that reminds you of all the great 80's action flicks.

    5) Detective Comics #574 -by Mike W. Barr and Alan Davis.
     
  18. Parents-Gun-Bat Registered

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    excellent selection!
     
  19. Lazlo Panaflex Registered

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    Thanks, you'll notice that all of them are from the 80's which I consider for me anyways as the golden age of Batman stories.
     
  20. Paste Pot Pete No, I build a rocket.

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    Mad Love by Paul Dini - I'm an admitted Harley fanboy, and I think this is one of the most wonderfully funny and tragic stories ever (even if it's not technically a Batman story...)

    Batman: Year One by Frank Miller - I'm NOT a Miller fanboy (I'm not even that huge on TDKR, to be honest) but I maintain that this is still the greatest, most encapsulating single take on Batman.

    There is No Hope in Crime Alley! by Denny O'Neill - It's a short, simple story, yet I read it over and over again. I really love Leslie Thompkins, and I really love seeing the warmer side of Batman that she brings out. It exemplifies a huge part of the character that's been missing from every other media incarnation (except for BTAS).

    The Joker's Five-Way Revenge by Denny O'Neill - Classic story, definitive O'Neill Joker; return to greatness for the best villain of all time.

    Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore - THE Joker story. But it's just as much about Batman, probably moreso. Love it from start to finish. It's disturbing and sad. I love the depiction of their relationship, their collision course.
     
  21. rpenguin Registered

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    I was right on board until you mentioned ROBBINS!
    Worst Batman run ever!!
     
  22. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    Frank Robbins made some good Batman stories and in fact HE was the guy who brought Batman into the Bronze Age, not Denny O'Neill (his influence is a little bit overrated).
     
  23. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    The 80s are in fact a great period of Batman comics. Actually I think the "average quality" in Batman comics has never been that high before and after. But I think the 70s had the more iconic stories. The early 90s with Breyfogle were great, too. But after Zero Hour Batman became more and more "meh" to me.

    Well, I have still not decided what my best 5 Batman stories are. :dry:
     
  24. rpenguin Registered

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    Be that as it may, I remember reading all Batman and Tec starting at about 1970, and Frank Robbins' run bored me to the bone. I'm a bit older now, but god DAMN was that a lowpoint in my summer.

    I agree on Denny if you mean his QUALITY is overrated. He influenced Batman MASSIVELY, and the quality of it is over-rated. As an editor he broke even. While he should be shot for Knightfall and Azrael, he should also be rescued for Alan Grant, Doug Moench, and Frank miller.

    I forget who succeeded Robbins, was it Len Wein? Or Conway? One of them had a nast habit of a new villain every week gimmick. Got a bit redundant. But the transfer off of Robbins was THRILLING haha.

    Len's one story... HAVEN. Tec 514? CLASSIC.
     
  25. Doctor Baywatch Registered

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    I don't think so. He gave us Man-Bat, afterall :word:
    I still think the darker Batman was more the result of Neal Adams, Frank Robbins and Julie Schwartz. Denny's stories without Neal Adams are quite disappointing. His work as an editor had a lot of low points. He turned Batman into a jerk. He even pushed the "Batman is an urban myth" angle, which does only make sense for the first months of Batman's career. And of course the dogmatic "Batman's a loner" and "The true persona is BATMAN! Bruce Wayne is an act!". And at the same time he was the guy who brought the bat family back. Oh, and he crippled Barbara Gordon.

    the one in the snow?. is great.
     

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