The Batman is premiering tonight. The long-awaited new addition in the Batman canon from director Matt Reeves feels poised to feature the highest concentration of Batman Family Members and Rogues Gallery members. In an early statement director Reeves stated Batman: The Long Hallowe’en was an inspiration for The Batman. For years and years, fans have been clamoring for an adaptation of The Long Hallowe’en.
In the spirit of other works to fill out your Batman education either before you go into The Batman or when you have emerged from watching it with a new favourite character, we have prepared a list for any and all Spoilerties for 5 Comics to Read Before or After You See The Batman
5. Batman: Hush
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Art by: Jim Lee
When I worked in comic book retail this was the easiest book to sell to anyone. Everyone knows who Batman is. Hush is a mystery where Batman actually acts like a detective and it features meaty appearances by pretty much every major player in the Batman canon. Not only does Bruce get a richness added to his inner life outside of his work beneath the cowl. For contemporary comics Hush does a lot of heavy lifting for legitimizing the romantic relationship between Catwoman and Batman as equals, plus, Riddler gets a fantastic villain arc in this story. Everyone featured in The Batman shows out in Hush as well.
You can purchase this volume via our Amazon affiliate link – https://amzn.to/35sszll
Batman: Year One
Written by: Frank Miller
Art by: David Mazzucchelli
For my money, the definitive Batman origin story and I think a lot of other comic book readers feel the same way. The Batman may not be a Batman origin story the same way a movie like Batman Begins was, but in the same way every time a new creative team comes onto a title it’s a soft reboot, The Batman is definitely a Batman origin story. Batman: Year One takes inspiration from Batman #1 – the issue which introduced The Cat. The jewel thief who would go on to evolve into the character we know as Catwoman. Year One is the dueling narrative of Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne – one rags, one riches – as they are shaped by their respective trauma to change their lots in life in Gotham City to the point in which they inevitably collide.
You can purchase this volume via our Amazon affiliate link – https://amzn.to/3IEoJUQ
The War of Jokes and Riddles
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mikel Janin
King did lots of interesting and different things with Riddler during his tenure on Batman. During the events of War of Jokes and Riddles Edward Nygma is pitted not only against the Batman of Gotham, but against the Clown Prince of Crime – the Joker. This story explores Nygma’s identity as a “master strategist” and the character of Gotham City is the one to suffer the most at his hands and as a result of his own ambition. The Riddler takes on Gotham City in a very similar fashion in The Batman. If for no other reason than you may find yourself turning to the Riddler’s side for the very first time, War of Jokes and Riddles is worth giving a read.
You can purchase this volume via our Amazon affiliate link – https://amzn.to/3vB2L12
2. Penguin: Pain and Prejudice
Written by: Gregg Hurwitz
Art by: Szymon Kudranski
In the tradition of superhero movies having to have more than one villain, The Batman features the Penguin alongside the Riddler. Like Batman: Year One, the story of Penguin: Pride and Prejudice is interested in its subject’s origin. Here Penguin comes from a crimelord upbringing, as much a product of the darkness of Gotham as Bruce Wayne’s Batman. The present-day narrative of Penguin: Pain and Prejudice illustrates the results of such violence being wrought upon a person like Oswald Cobblpot.
You can purchase this issue via our Amazon affiliate link – https://amzn.to/3ttQtVN
Batman: The Long Hallowe’en
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Art by: Tim Sale
If you read the introductory paragraph to this list my inclusion of The Long Hallowe’en likely comes as little surprise. Like Hush, The Long Hallowe’en is a proper detective story. For my money, it’s the best detective story which has ever been told about Batman. Like The Batman a cavalcade of villains is trotted out for a solo Batman to deal with sans addition of other classic Batfamily staples like Robin and Batgirl. But Catwoman is there! And here we get the beginning of her Gotham underground origins. The twist of who she may be related to. For his part, Bruce Wayne actually gets something to do. The Long Hallowe’en visits murders taking place on each iconic holiday. You will find yourself surprised to learn which ones hurt Bruce the most.
You can purchase this volume via our Amazon affiliate link – https://amzn.to/3C9PbTA
Are there any Batman stories you think we left off this list? Any a viewer of The Batman should check out? Reply in the comments!