web stats

CSBG Archive

The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told!

Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Our first list is the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told!


I don’t think I’ll reveal it now, but I suppose if enough of you wish to hear it, I can give you #25-11.


10. “To Kill a Legend” by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano, from Detective Comics #500

Most of the stories on this list need no explanation, but this is one of the one or two that do.

“To Kill a Legend” is about the Phantom Stranger allowing Batman (and, despite Batman’s efforts to keep him out of it, Robin) to go to an alternate universe to save Thomas and Martha Wayne from being killed. In this world, there ARE no superheroes, heck, there are no flamboyant heroic figures in FICTION, either. So, basically, there’s no one to inspire anyone to heroics.

Except, perhaps, for some visitors from an alternate reality….

9. “No Man’s Land” by various Batman writers and artists over the 1999 calendar year

8. The Batman Adventures: Mad Love by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini

This story by Timm and Dini, from the Batman Animated Series, give us an origin for their character, Harley Quinn, as she attempts to succeed where the Joker has always failed – killing Batman!

7. “The First Ra’s Al Ghul Saga” by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Bob Brown, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano (in Detective Comics and Batman)

6. Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean

5. The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

4. “Strange Apparitions” (specifically Steve Englehart’s run on Detective Comics from #469-476)

Len Wein finished up Steve Englehart’s storyline with Hugo Strange and Silver St. Cloud that makes up the Strange Apparitions collection, but enough readers wrote in specifying that they were voting for the ENGLEHART issues that I figured I’d count the Englehart issues separately, and along that same lines, I merged them with the separate votes for the famous Joker story “The Laughing Fish” from within the overall “Strange Apparition” storyline.

3. The Killing Joke

2. “The Dark Knight Returns” from Batman: The Dark Knight #1-4

1. “Batman Year One” from Batman #404-407

That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs!


I know that Moore has admitted he’s not a big fan of Killing Joke.

But I am!

I really don’t see what people like about The Long Halloween. The writing is lazy and the ending is so cheap.

all usual suspects here except #10, which i’d never heard of but now will be checking out.

only four of my votes made it (year one, killing joke, arkham asylum, and long halloween). i voted for two LOTDK stories (blades and going sane), which i’m not surprised didn’t show up, but i am a bit sad ten nights of the beast didnt make the cut. and while i don’t like any of them, i am a bit surprised hush, RIP, and knightfall are absent.

my last three votes went to DCU stories in which batman had the best moments: one punch, from justice league #5; new world order, from JLA #1-4; and the anatomy lesson, from green arrow #5. but i knew none of those would turn up.

batman is one of the only characters that really needs a top 25 to see any sort of diversity within his own “best of.”

Lord Paradise

May 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

I’m not a big fan of Killing Joke either, at least compared to most of Moore’s other works. It was on my list, but not that high up.

I am very very glad that Mad Love made the list. It was my #5 or something.

The only one I haven’t read is Mad Love, so I don’t have an opinion on that. The only ones that don’t belong AT ALL are the various No Man’s Land stories and The Long Halloween. Neither are all that good.

Only two of my picks made it:

1. Batman/Grendel I
2. Batman: Year One
3. “Beware the Grey Ghost” (Batman: The Animated Series)
4. Gotham by Gaslight
5. “Faces” (Legends of the Dark Knight 28-30)
6. “Dark Knight / Dark City” (Batman 452-454)
7. “Prey” (Legends of the Dark Knight 11-15)
8. Mad Love
9. “Bent Twigs” (Batman: Black & White 3)
10. “The Last Arkham” (Shadow of the Bat 1-4)

I forgot to vote, so I probably shouldn’t complain, but here goes… No man’s Land, Killing Joke, and the Long Halloween don’t belong on any greatest Batman list, and Year One beating out Dark Knight is just silly. At least Hush and Knightfall didn’t rank.

I love “To Kill A Legend” and the Englehart stuff, though, so it’s nice to see them here.

I also don’t have any special love for ‘The Long Halloween’. Like ‘Hush’ it had great art and production values but a story that was all hype with no substance or follow through.

I’m glad to see Detective Comics 500 made the list and, in that old school vein, I would recommend ‘The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne’ from the Brave and the Bold #197.

I don’t get the love for Strange Apparitions… I really don’t. The art was good, but the story just wasn’t very good. The dialogue was that hokey, stylized comic-speak from years past that really didn’t resemble the way people actually talk. I loved comics from that time, as a kid, but honestly the stories and writing got a lot better in the 80’s when stuff like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns came along. I mean, The Laughing Fish? Just ridiculous. Maybe it’s just me, but I think of dozens of better Batman stories than Strange Apparitions and Laughing Fish.

How the hell did Hugo Strange come back from the dead anyhow?

“I don’t think I’ll reveal it now, but I suppose if enough of you wish to hear it, I can give you #25-11.”

Hell, of course I’d like to hear it! Well, more like read it :).

Shaun, I don’t think anyone ever writes fictional dialogue “in the way people actually talk.” If someone did, it would be a little like Bendis, but with ten times more errors, interruptions, false starts, ramblings, and going-nowhere sentences.

And Killing Joke definitelly belongs on any list of greatest Batman stories.

No Man’s Land, I dunno, how do you rate a year-long storyline? Lots of different writers. I kind of liked most of the stories I’ve read that year, but I’m not sure the whole thing belongs in a Top 10 of Batman. Anyway, if we need at least one big event story here, I’m glad it’s No Man’s Land instead of Knightfall or shit like that.

I’m a little surprised that none of the current Grant Morrison stories has made the list, though.

But overall I think this list is a good one, we have 9 good stories, and one mediocre one in Long Halloween.

Four hits on my list. The misses can be attributed mainly to my being Matt Wagner-Heavy (with both Grendel Crossovers, Faces, and Monster Men on it), and picking one not-obviously-a-batman-story (JLI-a new begining). A bit surprised that Planetary/Batman didn’t rank, though.

And I really just don’t get the Long Halloween hate…

I figured crossovers were a long shot, but I voted for Batman/Hulk, Batman/Planetary and the Batman/Joker team-up from Brave & the Bold 191 anyway.

And I’d love to hear the runners-up.

"O" the Humanatee!

May 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

I’d very much like to see the #11-25 list, Brian, even if I can be pretty sure that a number of mine won’t make it.

I agree with others that No Man’s Land and The Long Halloween don’t belong on this list, but votes are votes….

I’m very glad that “To Kill a Legend” made the list, though of Alan Brennert’s very few and almost all great Batman stories, I chose to vote for “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne.”

I wonder if others had the same problem in voting that I did. There are long runs by the same creator teams that I enjoyed: Grant/Breyfogle, Dixon/Nolan (at lot of people knock Dixon, but he’s a consistently entertaining writer – it’s hard to write solidly constructed, exciting stories month after month), and Conway/Newton&Colan. (Englehart & Rogers made the list, but their time on Detective was so short that it’s more like a story arc than a run.) But as much as l enjoyed those runs, I had a hard time thinking of any single story that stood out. The only one I really considered was Conway & Newton’s “The Haunting of ‘Boss’ Thorne” (Detective 520)/”Showdown.” (Batman 354).

I wonder if the reason I – and I’m guessing others – had trouble thinking of single stories within these runs is that (a) issues of runs tend to blend together, so it’s harder to remember just one, (b) it’s easier, in a way, to do a single great story than to do an ongoing, high-quality run, (c) what makes a run appealing is different from what makes a single story appealing, (d) some combination of these three, or (e) something else.

“The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” would be my favorite on the “didn’t make the list” list. And the “Heart of Ice” and “Robin’s Reckoning” episones of the Animated Series are also great stories.

Peter Woodhouse

May 1, 2010 at 10:24 am

Yes, let’s hear about #25-11, Brian! Sorry I didn’t vote but apart from some obvious selections (many making the top 10) I really couldn’t decide. I’ll come up a few not-so-well-known suggestions soon.

Rene“Shaun, I don’t think anyone ever writes fictional dialogue “in the way people actually talk.””

Right. Exactly. Dialog is, 99% of the time, a way to advance/define and advance/define character. In real life, it’s a way to reinforce shared histories, see if the other person wants to have sex, or make sure that the kids get picked up from school. “Dialog” never has, and never will, sound like something that exists in real life, ’cause it’s there to prop-up the reality of a fictional world.

I guess you could argue that older dialog is 99.99999998% completely unrealistic and modern dialog is merely 99.9999996% divorced from the way conversation works in real life, but that seems stupid to me. It should be judged on (A) how well it serves the story, and (B) aesthetic beauty.

Also: Arkham Asylum? Seriously? Seriously?

My God, you people are just WRONG on this one.

Captain Flash

May 1, 2010 at 10:40 am

One or two years from now, I’m sure that Morrison’s Batman + Robin would end up on this list (probably over No Man’s Land, which I’m shocked made it). Glad to see Year One finish first, as I enjoyed it much more than DKR.

I also voted for the “Autobiography of Bruce Wayne”, though I voted for “The Laughing Fish” and the Hugo Strange story as separate stories than Strange Apparation as a whole (the Penguin and Deadshot stories are well-illustrated filler). I also had “Player on the Other Side” (Barr/Golden) and the first Joker story by Kane/Finger/Robinson on my list.

The ones that surprised me: Arkham Asylum and No Man’s Land. The first feels like Grant Morrison for the sake of Morrison. It’s not very good. And No Man’s Land was all over the map.

And surprisingly, looking at my list I realized I didn’t vote for Batman Year One or The Long Halloween, though I’m happy with the inclusion of both.

Though not a published comic story, IMO hands-down the greatest Batman story in recent history was the “Working Through Pain”, by 100 Bullet’s Brian Azzarello in the animated Batman: Gotham Knights movie.

What a a fantastic story. It gets to the absolute bare-bones guts of who Batman is and what keeps him fighting.

I agree that No Man’s Land doesn’t belong on the list, mostly because it was a year-long crossover and the quality couldn’t be maintained that long. From what I remember it began and ended strongly, but it was really bad in the middle portions.

Long Halloween was a comic that I enjoyed when I first read, but then I reread it and realized that I only liked it for the Tim Sale art.

@MarkAndrew: Even though I’m a huge Morrison fan, I’m with you on this one. I don’t enjoy Arkham Asylum that much. Maybe you can write another shitty post telling us why you hate it like you did with Joe The Barbarian…or not, it’s up to you

@MarkAndrew: I kid, I kid! :-) But I would seriously like to know why you don’t like Arkham Asylum.

I found it a little indulgent and Dave Mckean’s art just isn’t for me.

So glad that a few other people mentioned “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” – that was my choice for no. 1. I’m not the biggest Batman fan, so I’m not surprised that not one of my choices made the list, since I tend to like a lot of those stand-alone stories from annuals, one-shot specials, various issues of Batman Family and Detective, and various Elseworlds editions. However, I didn’t vote for “Killing Joke” because I figured most other people would.
What I really, really wanted to do was put DC Special Series #15 on the list, but since it has three different stories in it, I didn’t want to choose between any of them so I picked none…

My two cents for what they’re worth:

I never got the love for Arkham Asylum. Out of anything Batman, it makes my most over-rated list (fairly simplistic story overall with just very odd art; I’ve never found it disturbing or scary or anything).

Long Halloween was enjoyable, but again, it’s fairly formulaic overall and the mystery part just never worked for me. Some good art and some good individual scenes, though.

No Man’s Land/Cataclysm were stories that actually drove me away from Batman; they just never seemed to fit the character, and it was that phase of throwing Gotham in chaos just to write stories about how Batman reacted to it (like Contagion and Legacy).

Can’t say I’m surprised at the top of the list, and I’m glad to see “To Kill a Legend” and “Mad Love” make it. If you have 11-25, I’d like to see it.

Humanatee I can sympathise. I really wanted to put something from the Grant/Breyfogle run on my list but, as you say, it’s difficult to think of a single story that really stands out. Your (b) and (c) options are the reason, at least where I’m coming from.

Year One ahead of Dark Knight Returns? That surprises me.

I, er, forgot to vote, but my list probably would have included at least one Peter Milligan story (“The Hungry Grass,” probably), a Grant/Breyfogle ditty or two (I’d have to delve into my boxes to figure out which one), at least one Aparo, and some Puckett/Parobeck (something from Adventures #7-10, I’d bet).

This explains why I don’t really read Batman: I hated Arkham Asylum, thinking it was basically unreadable (lousy story by Morrison, and impenetrable, muddy art by McKean), The Long Halloween bored me to tears (way too much of what, in the form of the previous specials, was a pretty good thing), and neither of Miller’s Batman stories ever really did much for me (the excessively grumpy Batman of the post-Dark Knight era drives me crazy).

On the other hand, I enjoyed all of the pre-Dark Knight stories listed here.

Interesting that no stories from before 1970 made this list. For example, the first Joker story, which is awesome.

Since Long Halloween (and Dark Victory) have any creators created a story like that? I don’t think so. Is it high literature? No. Is it a great Batman story with wonderful art? I guess so. Its reat in its own way is what I’m saying.

Arkham Asylum is bad because of the art.

Anyone who doesn’t think The Killing Joke is great, is CRAZY.

Year One cannot be the greatest story, for it does not feature the villains, which are half the story when it comes down to the Batman universe.

Oh hey will you look at that, people have strong, differing opinions about comic books.

Arkham Asylum while not really an acomplished work, and overly ambitious is also a deeply symbolic story, blending Jungian theory with the Batman mythos, breathing new life and meaning into the character. It rips Batman away from the pulp setting and places him in a higher, darker sphere of culture where Crowley and the (at time) nightmarish worlds of Lewis Carol are residing. McKean’s art is wonderfully dark and eerie, and really helps to further the psychological meaning of the story. I think it sits well at the sixth spot. Could have switched places with the Long Halloween, maybe.

And this one is one good comic also. It feels verry much like a surreal and horrorish noir movie. I see that some of you complain that you liked it only for the art. One cannot enjoy a comic for the illustrations only in the way one enjoys a painting in a gallery. You also like it for the way it portrays the characters, for how it moves the plot forward, for how it makes to story run, and for the way it uses all those little tricks that a comic must use to imply things like sound or movement. And thus, what we call art in comics is a form of storytelling in it’s own, and Sale is a master of it. This is not to say that Leob’s part is without merit. I liked the mistery plot, and the way it grew on the mythology of Year One. I like that it made Batman to be a little twisted and that it made him guilty of all the freaks surfacing. And also, it treated him like a detective.

Then again, this are the type of Batman comics that I enjoy more, the surreal, ”not that realistic even in superhero terms” ones. Stuff like this two, or Doug Moench`s take on the character. The one exception being DKR, which should have ranked numer one.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

May 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

The Long Halloween is lousy and overrated.

— I’m glad to see someone else voted for Moench and Gulacy’s “Prey,” which i argue should be part of the basis of the next Nolan film. The Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams story I voted for was “Night of the Reaper,” which I think is a lot better than the Ra’s intro stuff. I tend to think of the early Ra’s stuff as a fun diversion from the usual Batman fare, with its brain-in-jar story and globetrotting questing, but not as a defining or “best” story. The other unlikely candidate I voted for was the original Croc story, the one that was basically a better version of “Knightfall” about 15 years earlier.

— People tend to succinctly deem stories they don’t like “lousy” or “overrated,” which baffles and sometimes enrages who like those stories. On the other hand, it’s probably unfair to a) ask someone to spend time explaining something they don’t care for in the first plakce and b) defend their right to have an opinion. I will say that the unexplained opinion is the bane of Internet discussions, however, second only to those dull and overlong posts that attempt to describe loaded concepts like “the bane of Internet discussions.”

The Dark Knight Returns is likely to decline in popularity the farther we get from 1986. So much of its commentary seems wedded to that era, in the same way Watchmen is a different read after the Cold War ended. And unlike Watchmen, the themes of DKR are less immediately apparent (and less wide-ranging, frankly). “Year One,” on the other hand, has become the definitive origin story in a way no “distant finale” future story ever becomes quite so definitive.

— Len Wein didn’t finish up the Hugo Strange or Silver St. Cloud stories: those wrap up during “The Laughing Fish. Wein did gave us a Batman who was royally angry that Silver left for the opening pages of his Clayface III story, but Hugo was well wrapped up and not even mentioned in Wein’s couple of issues with Rogers.

nice to see the dark knight returns make the top tier for it proves even aged batman will if he feels he has to contiue the fight. and killing joke also deserved to be here mostly for it shows how nasty the joker is and how far he will go in his evil.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

5 of my favorite batman stories (minis) have been listed.

Except for Morrison’s Gothic and Robinson’s Blades.

Ah well, to each their own. ;-)


May 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Arkham Asylum deserves to be there. It’s amazing, a true psychological horror story with art that matches it.

I really don’t agree with NML being there. A lot of crappy art, few good stories.

Mad Love? A Harley Quinn origin? Sometimes fandom disappoints me.

I would have put “Dark Knight, Dark City”, “The Black Glove”, “Slayride”, and “No Hope in Crime Alley” on that list instead of NML, TKJ, Mad Love, and TLH. TLH is okay though, I’m just happy Hush didn’t make it.

I think Killing Joke is overrated. Very few things happen in it. I did like the joke, though.

I haven’t read many Batman stories, but of the ones I read I like Batman: Year One the best, followed by Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. I like Dark Knight Returns a lot and I don’t really love any others (Long Halloween, Killing Joke, Dark Victory being the others I’ve read).

To Humanatee’s point, I could think of a lot of good individual stories that I enjoyed through various runs but nothing that stuck out as “when I think of a Batman story I’d want to re-read, I think of this”. Examples would be stuff like the Bruce Wayne night out story in Detective #711 where he isn’t even Batman…it’s entertaining in it’s own way, but I don’t see it in that upper tier.

Saying that, individual, single issue stories I voted for (that could stand alone): The Player on the Other Side (1), Mad Love (2), Holy Terror (3), Victims (Batman 414[5]), To Kill a Legend (6), No Hope in Crime Alley (8), and KJ (9). These all stuck out for various reasons, but on the whole it’s the more “human” Batman that appeals to me (the Starlin/Aparo Batman that made decisions based on emotions that often blew up in his face rather than constantly thinking it through 5 steps ahead of everyone else).

#1: Two Timer – The Batman and Robin Adventures #1 & #2.

#2: Batman: Year One.

#3: JSA: The Liberty Files.

#4: Challenge of the Man-Bat – Detective Comics #400.

#5: The Laughing Fish – Detective Comics #475.

#6: Gotham by Gaslight.

#7: The Dark Knight Returns.

#8: Batman: Mad Love.

#9: Batman: Holy Terror.

#10 Robin Dies at Dawn! – Batman #156

I’m disappointed by the lack of Night of the Stalker love.

I don’t get why people are bitching about this list at all. My only prerequisite for a list like this is that it doesn’t include utter garbage like HUSH, so I’m happy.

I realize now that Aparo drew “The Hungry Grass.” Er, I knew that. Yeah. Two Aparos, then. Can’t have too much Aparo.

With KJ, I do believe it’s in how you read it. If you look at it as an origin story, then maybe it seems light or “what’s the big deal?”

I tend to read it within the confines of Batman at the time: post Dick Grayson being shot by the Joker and leaving the Robin identity combined with the crippling of Barbara Gordon and the (shortly thereafter) death of Jason Todd. This is roughly a span of 5 years (1983 to 1988). If you look at it as Batman realizing that time’s running out before the two get locked into a pattern of hate and destruction, and that this story is part of the arc that alters the Batman/Joker relationship permanently, it makes it more of a story than a mere “origin”.

The critique about how origins somehow make the story less worthy of being here strikes me as odd. By that token KJ shouldn’t be because many people read it as a Joker origin. The same could be said for TLH as it’s more an origin story about how Gotham became villain infested rather than mob controlled. But to each their own.

"O" the Humanatee!

May 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

@Bill Reed: I thought about starting backwards from my favorite artists, writers, or teams and then finding their best stories – which is what you seem to think you would have done – but ultimately decided against it. I love Jim Aparo, but I don’t think he got to work on the best Batman stories – largely yeoman if sometimes wacky work by Bob Haney on B&B. The one that came closest was the first Joker team-up, in B&B #111, which might also have been my first exposure to Aparo. (While I was writing this, I saw that you mentioned “The Hungry Grass.” Milligan’s Batman stories are very interesting indeed, but for my tastes a little out of the box for the character. Peter Milligan writing strange stuff – whoda thunk it?)

@Omar Karindu: I share your feeling that DKR hasn’t aged well. It now feels to me quite over-the-top, though that was probably part of the excitement – which I shared – when it came out. Year One, which I voted for, is more sober, helped by Mazzuchelli’s art.

Just for the heck of it, here’s my list:

1. “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne,” Brave and the Bold #197
2. “Night of the Stalker,” Detective #439
3. Batman: Year One
4. “The Laughing Fish”/”The Sign of the Joker,” Detective #475-476
5. “The Legend of the Batman–Who He Is and How He Came To Be,” Batman #1, 2 pp. origin story
6. “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge,” Batman #251
7. “Murder in the Night”/“Night of the Body Snatcher, Detective #481-482 (Jim Starlin & Craig Russell)
8. Batman: Holy Terror GN
9. The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
10. “I Am the Batman”/“The Dead Yet Live,” Detective #471-472

No. 5 is barely a story, but it is the classic Batman origin. In two pages, it gives you all you really need to know about Batman.

No. 7 is probably unfamiliar to most people – I don’t think it’s ever been collected – but it’s an excellent bit of Batman gothic/monster madness. Hellboy fans will probably love it.

Honorable mention:

– “To Kill a Legend”
– the aforementioned Conway/Newton “The Haunting of ‘Boss’ Thorne” (Detective 520)/”Showdown.” (Batman 354)
– the first Joker story, Batman #1
– “Blades”
– Gotham by Gaslight
– Swamp Thing #51-53 (but I don’t remember the story that well, and don’t have it to hand)
And yes,
– The Dark Knight Returns.

I’d also be tempted to include The Case of the Chemical Syndicate.

It’s weird, O, because yeah, my favorite teams didn’t necessarily produce a single standout story you can hold up with the best of Batman– but their runs, when joined, become great. I can’t think of Batman without seeing a Breyfogle or Aparo image.

I spent too much time on my Peter David list and unfortunately failed to vote in this one. I would have included two by Mike Barr: The Player on the Other Side (featuring the Wrath) and Batman Year 2 (the Reaper).

“I wonder if others had the same problem in voting that I did. There are long runs by the same creator teams that I enjoyed: Grant/Breyfogle, Dixon/Nolan”

AKA my all-time two favorite runs on Batman books. I definitely had this problem, and sort of tried with my 10th pick (“The Last Arkham”) to give the equivalent of a consolation prize to Grant & Breyfogle.

Jeff R. — I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s appreciated Wagner’s work with Batman.

To Kill a Legend…man that was a great story. I always thought DC could have done a series focusing on the Bruce of that Earth.

William O'Brien

May 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I’m very glad that “To Kill a Legend” made the list. If I had remembered to send my list in, it would have been number two behind Year One. I certainly think it has the most uplifting ending of any Bat-story.

“Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” would have made my list as well. Alan Brennert is such a great writer, and it’s a shame he hasn’t done more work.

Glad to see people have Holy Terror on their list. I put it on mine because out of the group of Batman “Elseworlds” graphic novels at the time, it always stood out to me as having the most well thought out story and the Batman character seemed to fit because of it (and it avoided the trap that almost all of the subsequent graphic novels had of putting an Elseworld’s Joker as the opposition, though I liked Gotham by Gaslight). Plus, it’s a unique take on a conflicted Bruce Wayne where crime isn’t so cut and dry. Good reading for anyone who missed it…

Mike Loughlin

May 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm

“Autobiography…” was my #1. Also on my list were Gotham By Gaslight, Yr. 1, DKR, Killing Joke, Laughing Fish, the Englehart Hugo Strange story, Faces, To Kill a Legend, and There’s No Hope in Crime Alley.

No Man’s Land was considered for my list. I didn’t buy Batman comics on a regular basis until the series started, and I was hooked. It lost a lot of quality in the middle (the Larry Hama chapters were particularly terrible), but the last 2 or 3 arcs were strong.

Unlike some commenters, I liked McKean’s Arkham Asylum art. Not his best, but suitably creepy. The story wasn’t my favorite, but there were some cool moments. I can see why it ended up on the list. Same with Long Halloween (& Dark Victory): visually stunning, with cool moments despite ropey plotting. Sale & McKean drew especially memorable Jokers.

Also considered: Joker’s 5-Way Revenge, Dark Knight, Dark City, Blades, Going Sane, and that Harlan Ellison/ Gene Colan story in which Batman experiences a night without crime.

John Trumbull

May 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Sorry I didn’t get the chance to send in my list before the deadline. I’d been thinking about it for a few days. Just for kicks, here’s what I would’ve included (in no particular order):

10) The first Ra’s Al Ghul Saga by Denny O’Neill & Neal Adams (I’d also include that great epilogue where Batman solves the “murder” of Bruce Wayne)
9) “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” by Alan Brennert & Joe Staton from The Brave and the Bold #197
8) “Mad Love” by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
7) “To Kill a Legend!” by Alan Brennert & Dick Giordano from Detective Comics #500
6) “The Player on the Other Side!” by Mike W. Barr & Michael Golden from Batman Special #1
5) “My Beginning… And My Probable End” by Mike W. Barr & Alan Davis from Detective Comics #574 — Honestly, the whole Barr/Davis run is cool, but this story is just wonderful. Honorable mention to “Last Call at McSurley’s” by Barr & Davis, too.
4) The Steve Englehart / Marshall Rogers run of Detective Comics, particularly “The Laughing Fish”
3) “Night of the Reaper” by Denny O’Neill & Neal Adams from Batman #237
2) The first Joker story by Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson & Bob Kane from Batman #1
1) “Two of a Kind” by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm from Batman: Black & White #1

If we’re counting Batman: TAS episodes, then I’d include “Robin’s Reckoning” “Two-Face” “Heart of Ice” and “Over the Edge.” I know I’ll kick myself in a few minutes because I’m probably forgetting some great Golden Age stories. I didn’t seriously consider Dark Knight, Long Halloween, Arkham Asylum or the The Killing Joke, because I knew they didn’t need my help to get on to the list. Year One I’d probably put on there, though.

No Man’s Land, people? Really?

Interesting to see Year One ahead of DKR. I’ve always thought it was the better of the two (although I didn’t vote).

Arkham Asylum – Last time we went through this, people explained to me their was an annotated version where Grant Morrison explained what he was thinking, and it was perfectly coherent and great.

Likewise: I’m sure that Dave McKean had lots of brillaint ideas about what he wanted to do with the book, and if he explained them it would sound perfectly coherent and great.

The actual end product? Huge muddle, some decent scenes, some GREAT scenes, with the writing fighting with the art to the death.

But I’m happy with everything else on the list. Long Halloween is kinda marginal, and I didn’t like the Marshall Rogers Detective stuff ’till Burgas explained it.

But Mad Love? Awesome. Rock. On.

If it’s B:TAS we’re talking, “Feat of Clay” (or any Clayface, really…any Mr. Freeze as well) and “Almost Got ‘im” are two of my favorites, though “POV,” “Dreams in Darkness,” “Perchance to Dream” and then everything John mentioned above.

The overall idea behind no-man’s land, and the editorial review of its execution, as well as some of the writing, were done by Jordan Gorfinkel, aka The Great Gorf. At this point he was the editor of the entire Batman line of comics.
Sadly, he left the comics world shortly thereafter to do, of all things, a capella singing, and has now retired even from that!

No Man’s Land??? I could have understood Knightfall as some of it was actually pretty good and at least it was the first mega Bat-crossover, but No Man’s Land? To me, that just wasn’t Batman at all.

I think the 25-11 list is actually going to be a hell of a lot more interesting than the top 10. I’d be surprised if Blades and Dark Knight, Dark City don’t make the cut.

Interesting to see love for The Hungry Grass, another one of my picks. For a 90s one-parter to be remembered amongst all the big event stuff shows it must have resonated with people.

More stories! I’ve read 9 of these already

to me, “year one” is a more enjoyable read than “DKR” for several reasons, not the least of which is mazzucchelli’s mind-blowing artwork.

1. Strange Apparitions
2. Batman Year One
3. Dark Knight Returns
4. The first Ra’s al Ghul saga
5. Batman 251: The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge
6. Batman 1: The first Joker story

And now for somethings completely different:

7. Batman 312-317: Obscure run by Len Wein reintroducing characters like Kite Man, Calendar Man and featuring big players like Two-Face and the Riddler
8. Batman 332-335: The Lazarus Affair by Wolfman/Novick (which should have been collected by now)
9. The zany Silver Age Outsider story arc from the mid-1960s (Alfred dies! The Batmobile lives!)
10. Batman 222: Batman meets the Beatles!

I tell you, though: This Batman and Robin run by Morrison is really terrific. I didn’t care for RIP and much of what led to it, but this B&R run will, I think, stand the test of the time. Batman 237: Night of the Reaper is also among the contenders.

Killing Joke was too mean, Arkham Asylum was too self-indulgent and Long Halloween was too thin.

would gotham central be eligible for this list? I would include that if so, especially the joker story.

another favourite of mine is year 100.

i’m sure some of morrisons stories will be more appreciated in years to come, especially ‘the club of heroes’, batman 666 and batman & robin

glad to see love for batman/grendel and holy terror in the comments

As much as I feel I’ll either be lambasted and hear the cries of heresy or simply be told to GTFO, I’m disagreeing with a large portion of this list, not that my opinion matters (I just like to feel that it might).

No Man’s Land was a hot mess, but then the entire story leading up to it was as well so I had low expectations of it going in. Though it may have been the best of the drivel DC was publishing as Batman books at the time. But of all time? Hardly.

Arkham Asylum. This was the book that made me believe Grant Morrison was full of poo. The word overrated doesn’t even begin to describe it. I even tried to reread it a couple of years ago thinking maybe I just missed something the first time. Nope.

I actually like The Long Halloween, but it’s not the best of all time. Fun, sure. Enjoyable, yes. Best? Again nope.

The Dark Knight Returns I blame for all of the bad storytelling decisions that happened from the time it was published up through the last couple of years. Have you read it lately? It. Doesn’t. Hold. Up. Amazingly, the first issue is fine, dramatic storytelling. And then Miller went insane and hasn’t come back into his right mind yet.

I find it amazing that the characters “best stories” all happened in the expanse of around a fifteen year span of a seventy year publishing history. Give me a break. Narrow vision, read more, that’s all I can say.

I also voted for several LotDK stories that didn’t make it, particularly “Prey,” “Venom,” and “Blades,” but I didn’t think they would.

Nice to see Year One beat out DKR for the #1 spot on this list though!

And PLEASE PLEASE show us 11-25 Brian!!

I’m with Coopster – issue 1 of Dark Knight Returns probably is one of the greatest Batman stories ever told, but as a whole, that miniseries gets less impressive every time I read it. Apparently issue 1 was the only one written full-script, which is interesting.

I voted for Venom too – it’s one of the very best ‘vulnerable Batman’ stories, and one of Denny O’Neil’s best too.

I definitely would love to see #11 – 25. I think that would be very interesting.

Also, I think the Killing Joke is more of a Joker story than a Batman story, IMHO.

Rusty Priske

May 3, 2010 at 6:25 am

I’m not surprised that Year One is ahead of Dark Knight.

In fact, I am surprised that peoles are surprised that Year One is ahead of Dark Knight.

It is superior in pretty much every way.

Dave Hackett

May 3, 2010 at 8:14 am

Yeah, I’d like to see the next 10-15 as well. Only two of my choices made it (was surprised Son of the Demon didn’t crack the top ten, not so much the others).

1. To Kill A Legend (Detective #500)
2. Bat-Murderer (Detective #444-448)
3. Son of the Demon
4. Killing Joke
5. Batman Reborn (B&R 1-3)
6. Batman and the Outsiders Vol 1. #1-2
7. Prey: LoTDK #11-15
8. Swamp Thing Annual #4
9. Batman #667-669 (Club of Heroes)
10. Brave & the Bold #184 (Batman’s Last Christmas)

I am surprised that peoles are surprised that Year One is ahead of Dark Knight.

I’m a bit surprised, too, if only because it finished ahead of Dark Knight Returns on the Top 100 Storylines list, as well.

I would love to see #11 – 15. Some of the storylines people mentioned in the comments really got me thinking about what I missed on my own list.

Sorry… didn’t mean to post the same thing twice. Apologies.

I’d also love to see you do something that I think you’ve done before…where you have voters who served as the only vote write an entry defending their choice. If it was you that did this last time, I found some interesting reading that way.

I would actually place Year One several points ahead of DKR, not just one.

I’m a total Morrison fanboy, but Arkham Asylum has always left me kind of cold. There are several things from his more recent Batman work, especially the one with the “Batmen of the World” in the island murder house, whatever that was called (issue titles, TV episode titles, and short story titles are the things that my memory is worst at recalling, for some reason) that I would rate above it.

I’m constantly torn on the Killing Joke, as I wince over the problems with the whole cripple-Babs-and-use-her-creepily-sexual-humiliation-just-to-get-a-reaction-from-a-male-character thing that so many have rightfully taken issue with, but I also think that it gives us a really excellent Joker origin.

Dark Knight Returns is lessened by current associations with Dark Knight Strikes Again, All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and with Miller’s increasing conservatism, machismo, and weird mix of homophobia and homoerotism.

DKR is seem as Ione of the first works by Crazy Miller.

Year One is still Sane Miller, and seems to have escaped those associations. Same thing with Miller’s Daredevil work.

Likewise with The Killing Joker. I think the story was brilliant in its time, but in the current climate of the Internet fandom, people are too leery of any stories that feature graphic violence against a female supporting character.

No, Killing Joke just isn’t that good. I mean, it’s Moore and Bolland, so it’s good, yes, but it’s not a “great work.” Even Moore admits it.

Meanwhile, Dark Knight Strikes Again is awesome and one day I will prove it with maths.

I’m not surprised that Year One is ahead of Dark Knight.

In fact, I am surprised that peoles are surprised that Year One is ahead of Dark Knight.

It is superior in pretty much every way.

But it’s a Jim Gordon story, really, not quite a Batman story. Also I like Dark Knight better so nyah

Bill, I’m not sure I care about what Moore has to say about it. I even remember a few interviews in which he sorta bashed Watchmen.

I think he’s more pissed with Watchmen’s legacy, which led to, let’s face it, a lot of shitty comics that missed the point entirely.

Sure, but DKR was way more guilty of the whole “influenced a bunch of shitty imitators that didn’t really get it” thing than Watchmen.

Brian Cronin

May 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Sure, but DKR was way more guilty of the whole “influenced a bunch of shitty imitators that didn’t really get it” thing than Watchmen.

It’s a tough call.

Since it starred a mainstream hero, then yeah, obviously DKR is going to have more of a direct influence, but at the same time, DKR itself was influenced by Watchmen, sooo…

I purposely avoided voting for certain stories, like Year One, because I knew they’d make the cut. I picked some more obscure tales but certainly excellent.

Completely forgot about Detective # 500.

Most of the picks here I agree with including Brennert’s stories, Prey, Venom, Year 100, the Lazarus Affair, intro Ra’s al Ghul, Joker’s 5 Way Revenge, Night of the Stalker

Agree with most of you that neither Morrison or McKean is at the top of their game with Arkham Asylum. Very mixed results, more miss than hit.

Totally agree with whoever said Aparo is one of the greatest Batman artists but never got a top tier story to illustrate.

NML and TLH – don’t belong on this list

Thought Hush was one of the worst Bat events in years. Very glad it didn’t make the cut.

1. Batman : Sword of Azrael
2. Detective # 471-472 The Return of Hugo Strange
3. Batman Special # 1 The Wraith
4. Batman : Son of the Demon
5. Thrillkiller (# 1 – 3 and ’62)
6. Where Were You on the Night Batman Was Killed ? (Batman # 291-294)
7. The Batman Nobody Knows (Batman # 250)
8. Blind Justice
9. Batman : Harley Quinn one-shot
10. Dark Allegiances

Damn – Well there’s a list filled with stories I mostly found fair to middling.

I admit I did vote for NML, but that was my #10 vote because I couldn’t think of anything better. If I’d remembered Batman vs Predator or Blades then it would have been bumped out.

I’m shocked that The Joker’s Five Way Revenge didn’t make it.

My votes:
1 – The Dark Knight Returns
2 – Year One
3 – The Hungry Grass (Detective #629)
4 – The Bomb (Detective #638)
5 – All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder 1-9
6 – The Joker’s Five Way Revenge
7 – Secrets (Sam Keith mini)
8 – Dark Knight Dark City
9 – The Dark Knight Strikes Again
10 – No Man’s Land

Doesn’t anyone else want to see 11-15??? C’mon, guys!!

My own list:

1. Year One
2. Dark Knight, Dark City (Batman 452-454)
3. Blades
4. Going Sane
5. The Dark Knight Returns
6. The Eye of the Beholder
7. Club of Heroes
8. The Laughing Fish
9. Gothic
10. Blind Justice

Maybe I should have included more done-in-ones on my list. I’m not sure why I overlooked them.

Entries for 11-25, please and thank you!

Yes, let’s see more results. The next 15 would be great. Batman has probably had more great stories than any other character.

Damn – I forgot Going Sane. That there’s another one that would have bumped out No Man’s Land.


May 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm

No love for War Games???

Geez, you people…

Yes please to 11-25!

I didn’t vote but i rate Knightfall. It was one of the first batman stories i ever read and, especially in the first 2 acts, was incredible.

War Games was a bit of a mess in my opinion. Hush was dull. Just all Jim Lee pin-ups.

Year One I’d put above Dark Knight Returns.

I for one would really like to see numbers #25 to 11. For the record, one of my favourite stand-alone Batman stories is Shadow of the Bat #13: The Nobody.

Hi Mr. Cronin. Will you show #25 to 11? As I could see all other topics got #15 to 11 spots. Where is Batman’s??

I’m sorry, but the correct answer was Batman 66: ‘The Joker’s Comedy of Errors’….

I’m just curious what the reaction to Batman:Under the Hood was? Personaly i really dug it and thought that it made something out of the mediocre death in the family imo.

I know this isn’t a fashionable opinion, but hey – it’s just comics :)

I rate Under the Hood as one of the biggest Bat-Office mistakes since the 60s: it undid the single most significant real-time character death in 70 years of Batman stories. The Waynes were killed in flashback, dead before the first Batman story starts; Alfred’s death in the 60s was referenced only a handful of times before he was brought back; Kathy Kane’s death in the 70s had practically no impact on subsequent issues.

Contrast this with the hundreds and hundreds of pages across scores and scores of stories told over more than a decade and a half that gained resonance, subtle in some cases, overt in others, from Jason’s death.

Until this was senselessly reversed, we actually had that rarest of jewels in comics: a permanent change to the status quo. Broken backs heal, quake-flattened cities are rebuilt and eventually the ripples die out and it’s as if nothing had happened. The death of Jason Todd was (until it was ludicrously undone) an actual by-gosh fulfilment of the most commonly made (and almost universally broken) promise in comics marketing that “things will never be the same!”

I know some people’s only reservations about Jason’s return are tied to the “reality punch” mechanism. Not so here; had it been via a Lazarus Pit (as I think it may have been retconned to) or something equally Batverse-compatible, I would still cry “foul”.

Everyone else’s mileage may vary :)

Thanks bill you had alot of great points,i was just talking the actual story telling and its execution of death in the family was pretty mediocre but yeah i agree with you the end result of it(sigh jason dying) was a really important
moment in the batman history where i guess everything became a bit more real and bringing him back has really lessened it.I guess what im saying is you have convinced me lol.

I’d just like to say that I’m hanging out for the 11- 25 list!

I actually have an intense dislike for both The Killing Joke and Long Halloween, but I guess they are generally considered classics, so I’m not surprised to see them here.

I wonder if, in a few years, we’d see Batman RIP on this list? Because that’s easily one of my favorite Batman stories.

@John Trumbull,

I couldn’t agree more about “My Beginning and My Probable End.” A great story. Another story from the Barr/Davis run (seriously, when is DC going to reprint those) that deserves mention is “Fear for Sale,” probably my all-time favorite Scarecrow story.

[…] from a few weeks ago: reader picks for the greatest Batman and Joker stories ever told are up at Comic Book Resources. (Batman: Year One is right where it […]

Happy to see No Man’s Land on the list. I love it

Shame that Officer Down isn’t listed.

Super happy that Morrison’s recent Bat-Acid trips aren’t listed. Painful.

I’ve always taken it for granted that Killing Joke is among the best comic book stories ever told, never mind narrowing it down to it being one of the best Batman comics, and I’m incredibly surprised by the backlash apparent on this thread. It’s possible that people my age (who were teenagers when it was released) have been praising it for so long that it suffers from heightened expectations. I read it again recently and it holds up marvelously. It’s grim and of its era, but it’s also still relevant and imaginative, which is not something I can say about DKR. I agree with whoever posted previously in here that the first issue was amazing and then it completely runs out of steam by way of excess-for-no-reason. I felt that the excess in KJ was not only justified, but necessary. I hadn’t given much thought to Year One in a while, and I just re-read that, too, and it occurred to me that Miller did his two best works with Mazzucchelli. The Born Again run on Daredevil was incredible and outshined the previous run that established Miller as a comic superstar., as is the case with Year One; it outshines the gore and bravado of DKR by remaining classy and stylish, but I’ve always preferred Mazzucchelli’s art to Miller’s.
There is simply no shortage of wonderful Batman stories, but finding a list of ten truly great stories is actually difficult for me. The Player On the Other Side is a shoe-in, as is the aforementioned Year One and Killing Joke. I think as much as I’ve criticized Dark Knight Returns that it still deserves a spot in the top ten. I can’t judge it by the crap that followed, and I must pay it respect for breaking all of the rules and breaking them first. I confess that I’d love to see it adapted as a film someday, perhaps with a curmudgeonly Woody Harrelson as Bruce Wayne, and David Bowie as the Joker.
It’s been a long time since I read the Batman/Judge Dredd team-up Judgment on Gotham, but I remember really enjoying it. I’m also likewise enjoying Batman & Robin, though I wait and read four issues at a time because 22 pages is not enough for Grant Morrison to tell a cohesive story. I didn’t read his previous run on Batman or RIP. I very much enjoyed What Ever Happened to the Caped Crusader, but already feel that it’s tremendously overrated just because it’s Neil Gaiman writing a Batman story, much as Arkham Asylum is often listed by virtue of sales (it came out right as the first Batman movie was at hype zenith and sold millions of copies) and because of the collaboration of two geniuses who seemed to be both completely off their A game. It must have been great fun taking a fistful of mushrooms and writing it, but it was a real head-scratcher for the rest of us reading it.

I have a great fondness for the Marshall Rogers Detective run, but those stories (even the Laughing Fish) suffer by comparison to the gritty reality that followed. Those stories seem quaint, now. It’s too bad that Bernie Wrightson didn’t get a better opportunity back in the 70s to tackle Batman outside the two issues of Swamp Thing (which are still classic). The Cult was a sore disappointment. If only he and Jim Starlin could have captured more of the magic that went into the Spiderman and Hulk/Thing graphic novels they’d partnered on just a year or two earlier. It’s also a damn shame that Mike Kaluta never got a great Batman story to illustrate, and we’ve got to make do with his classic run on The Shadow instead. While Jim Aparo drew a great Batman –one I probably liked as much as Neal Adams’, he never got to illustrate a great Batman story (like he did with The Spectre).

It’s also maybe funny (after reading back what I’ve just written) that I like many of Mike Barr’s scripts better than most of the other writers who have helmed the many Batman titles. It’s perhaps because he first started writing back-up features and then held tenure for such a long time, that he knew the world and supporting characters better than most of the writers who preceded and followed him. And lets face it: toiling on the lesser Batman & the Outsiders must have raised his spirits for when he got to write in the marquee Batman and Detective comics. I really enjoyed the Alan Davis run in Detective that was finished by Todd McFarlane. But I’d hesitate before saying this was truly great Batman lore.

Perhaps it boils down to the fact that the character has been around for so long that we’ve seen just about every possible plot –multiple times. The best recycled ideas don’t always get handed to the best writer/artist teams. So with the exception of the top four (and the first Ra’s Al Ghul saga), there hasn’t been much more ground broken since the character was introduced 70+ years ago.

While Superman is a much more limited character by virtue of his near immortality, it seems odd that the best Superman stories are actually better than the best Batman stories. Perhaps because a writer really has to love Superman to write him well, he’s better lent to guest writers and limited series. And consequently, because Batman is so dark, he is often taken for granted. When in doubt, go grim. I’ve always thought that Robin is a much more complex, and interesting character than Batman, and that obviously feeds my enjoyment of the latest Batman & Robin series. After all, how interesting are stories about millionaires? They make good tabloid filler, but they’re not deep people, and any attraction to their exploits border’s on gallows humour, and praying that things go badly for them. What Nolan got dead-right in his recent film franchise is the duality of privilege. His Bruce Wayne acts the fool to lead cynics off his trail, and by mocking the fact that he’s filthy rich, we identify with his ruse. Dick Grayson however is inherently fascinating. Can you think of a worse roll model for a child than a costumed vigilante? It’s bad enough to be the orphan of Circus Perfomers, but to suffer absentee parenting on top of it, and at the hands of a sociopathic ne’er do well! Sheesh!
With a career sidekick now on the main stage, there’s a wonderful dynamic at play in Grant Morrison’s current comic.

Upon reflecting, many of my favorite uses of the Batman have been in cameos or team books. The J.M. Dematteis and Keith Giffen scripted Justice League was a real hoot, and Kevin Maguire had a gift for making the grimness of the dark knight, well, hilarious! I think that I would rank the first 12 issues of Justice League higher on a Batman list than most of the top ten here. Especially in the post Miller DC Universe, where vigilantism and good old fashioned machismo have turned the character into a one note parable rather than catalyzing a need to explore the psychology of why a millionaire puts on a suit and fights crime instead of nailing yachts full of supermodels all day. That’s what’s made the villains in his Rogues Gallery far more interesting than the caped crusader himself.

In that regard, I agree that Killing Joke is more of a joker story than a Batman story, but that’s probably why I like it. Azzarello’s Joker graphic novel was also fantastic, and I’d love to see him do a whole series of them, doing the Riddler next, then the Scarecrow, and anybody else, really. The villains make the hero after all, which makes the disappointment of the Long Halloween all the more so. I’d like to see the same, intense character study that Greg Rucka has given Bat Woman. Of course that would slow the overall pace, and I don’t think that would be possible in the current 22 page format. Until then, I’ll keep reading and hope for the best.

I’m still curious to see the 11-25 entries. Please don’t say you’ve forgotten!

I’m Glad the Brennert story made it. I thought it was great when I was 12. I also would have voted for the Player on the Other Side with the Wrath – the precursor to Prometheus.

Any chance at all we’ll see the 11-25 stories?

Cronin forgot about the petition :(.

randypan the goat boy

May 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I have to agree with a few on the list [of course 1 and 2 are dead on] and its good to see tha laughing fish as well as the killing joke get some much deserved love. But my list would be just a little different. I thinkn that the tower of babel storyline from JLA really set the tone for Batman for the first few years of the 21st century. I seen a post way up there towords the top that had the grey ghost from btas and i couldnt agree more. But if we are going to include batman stories from other mediums we should include the mr Freeze story heart of Ice from Batman animated series and batman issue 400 was just an awesome story and a great way to sat goodbye to the pre crisis batman[ I also have to admit I always loved those stories where all of Batmans enemies would team up and batman would take them down by the numbers ].

Hey, we never got to see #s 11-25! Jeez Brian, it’s like you never do anything for us.

Clearly, “enough” people haven’t asked for it yet. ;)

Third Man beat me too it! I was just going to ask about the extra editions!

I love Batman as a character. But there are so many stories I haven’t read here! Killing Joke, Year one, Long Halloween (got it, but haven’t read it yet!) Need more hours in the day! haha…

No mans Land was hands down the best Bat crossover, especially the first 4 parter, and the last 3 (or 4) parter! Amazing work! :) …. The Knightfall saga would have to be scond best.

And I agree with one of the other posters – Dixon and Grant had great runs, as did Rucka. But the best writer artist run? Moench & Jones!! Everything was great! … except the Joker story! :)

I have #1-7 and 10.

I find it very hard to believe that the Joe Chill story isn’t included on this list. Whats up with that?

So Alan Moore didn’t rate The Killing Joke, So what? Artists aren’t always right about their own work – Arthur Conan Doyle thought he’d be remembered for Micah Clarke rather than Sherlock Holmes.

I definitely would’ve put Arkham Asylum higher than Long Halloween…in fact I’m not totally sure Long Halloween would make the list at all. Nice art, but crappy story.

I wouldn’t have voted for the entire No Man’s Land, but definitely would have put in “No Law and a New Order” which was one of the many short arcs within NML . . . great story.

The naysayers on Arkham Asylum is pretty surprising. I read it when I was about 13 and many times since and not the first time I read it or the last did I find the art muddled or the storytelling weak. In fact, each time I read it, I get more out of it.

I would have added Morrison’s Black Glove story from within his entire run . . . which is by the way, the best run Batman has ever had and probably ever will. It’s epic, all-encompassing, and it’s too bad the rest of the Bat-writers around Morrison aren’t able to carry through with his story (except Tomasi, who’s done a great job of taking Morrison’s lead and making it his own, especially Damien).

Love Year One and DKR equally, and for anyone who says the themes of DKR aren’t relevant today are not reading the paper or watching the news. If anything, it’s more relevant than ever.

Long Halloween (much like Hush) would have been one of the all time greats if the last two issues had been left off or written by someone without the hackneyed mystery story endings that Loeb depends on for everything. I loved both of them through and through until the very end of each. But, the art makes up for a lot, and Loeb lays out entertaining stories that just having endings that can’t possibly live up to their set-ups.

Killing Joke is still pretty fantastic – it’s a grindhouse Batman story that opened the door for Barbara Gordon to be a MUCH MUCH better character than she ever would have been if she hadn’t faced the adversity of her ordeal. It fundamentally defined Batman and Joker’s future history forever (there’s no going back to the Sprang era gags, etc.) and it made Jim Gordon a more layered character than he already was . . . he finally experienced the pain and devastation that made Batman what he is.

Brian, any chance you still have 11-25 filed away somewhere?

Honestly, I really dunno. Maybe! Really, though, with 2014 approaching…well, you know. ;)

Travis Pelkie

July 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

So you’re saying we can get the top 75?

Can we please get the top 75?

Can we please get the top 75?

Voting is currently open for that here: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/06/25/vote-for-batmans-75-greatest-stories/

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives