The list author says: "Want to read Batman but confused about where to start? Maybe this List will help. In 1985 DC comics released Batman: Year One as a four issue miniseries in the pages of the monthly Batman comic book, published as issues 404-407. This created a starting point for readers where they could ignore what came before and start with a fresh slate. Issue 409 of Batman moves the story 10 years into the future with a story of Dick Grayson's last night as Robin. This left a huge gap in Batman's revised history which needed to be filled. In 1997, DC Comics published their first attempt to fill this gap with the Long Halloween. Other tales followed, but were published as specials or miniseries throughout the last 20 years. Here is a breakdown of the essentials, revised!"
"From 1985, this one chronicles Bruce Wayne's mission as Batman, Jim Gordon's 1st year with GCPD police. Intorduces Catwoman, Mobster Carmine Falcone, DA Harvey Dent. Sets the stage for all Batman stories to follow."
"Clay features the first appearance of the 2nd Clayface. Some great art and weird story by Alan Grant.Alfred makes a reference to Batman needing a some kind of car, which places this story before the others below,"
"Another excellent entry from Legends of the Dark Knight. Batman fails to save a life and resorts to a drug, Venom, which enhances his abilities, but leaves him an addict. Venom is also what later powers the Villain Bane."
"From 2006. This one introduces Dr. Hugo Strange, the second "Super Villain" Batman ever encountered. Dr. Strange first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939, and here, Matt Wagner reintroduces him to readers and fits him into current Batman continuity."
"From 2007. This story reintroduces another classic Batman villain from the 1940's, the Mad Monk. Matt Wagner continues filling in the gaps of Batman's second year and does another great job. This tale draws heavily on 1940s movie serials with it's vampiric bad guy and his cult of followers, booby trapped castles and Batman's girlfriend in Peril."
"After dropping hints in the Monster Men and Mad Monk about the Red Hood armed Robber, the Joker finally appears and terrorizes the City for the first time. Ed Brubaker, one of the most talented crime writers in any medium, writes a great, but short story of the Joker's first crime spree. The art by Doug Mahnke is outstanding."
"This 1993 alternate version of Batman's first conflict with the Joker is well written, but the artwork is hideous. Don't be fooled by Brian Bolland's cover, interior art is by Brett Blevins at his worst (he's gotten much better since). Thankfully the Man who Laughs was released in 2005 erasing this dreck from Batman history. Read at your peril!"
"From 1991, Dr. Hugo Strange turns psychiatrist and discovers Batman's identity. manipulating a Batman-hating cop as his hired muscle, and almost wins. This story was published before Wagner's Monster Men, but appears to fit well as a sequel to that tale. Great Catwoman appearance."
"A mere 2 1/2 years after "Man Who Laughs', DC cashes in on the Dark Knight movie with this lame retelling of the Joker's origin. A revisionist story which scuttles the Red Hood and shows Batman resorting to attempted murder, as well as very poor art make this one of 2008's worst."
"From 1995 and no longer in print; features four tales introducing the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Man-Bat and the Scarecrow in their first tangle with the Dark Knight. They are good except for the Scarecrow origin story, which has terrible artwork by Blevins, as well as the first continuity gaff where Batman mentions Two-Face, who does not appear until the Long Halloween storyline."
"This 5 part story by John Wagner has not been collected, and has little consequence in Batman history, but it is a pretty brutal story of a gang of armed robbers who stumble on Batman's private Journal. Worth it."
"The origin of Mr. Freeze from 2007. Batman creates a team of operatives to help in in his war on crime, while Mr. Freeze begins his twisted journey to insanity. This story runs cuncurrently with the Long Holloween. Uneven, with Batman appearing in daylight too often, but worth your time."
"From 1997. Set from October of Year Two through October of Year three. Each of the 13 chapters occurs during a Holiday where the "Holiday Killer" is murdering members of the Falcone Family while Batman is bogged down by the appearance of more costumed criminals replacing the traditional mob. Features Joker, Poison Ivey, Calendar Man, Mad hatter, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, Riddler."
"From 1991, This story's events run cuncurrently with the the events of the last few chapters of the Long Holloween. This underrated tale sees Harvey Dent transformed from the District Attorney to one of Batman's most grotesque and tragic villains. Long Hollween tells the story "between the pages' of this tale."
"A retelling of Two-Face's origin from Batman Annual #14. The book starts of well, but major continuity errors, like Scareface and Killer Crock appearing about 6 years too early in the time line, make this one a flop.."
"Grant Morrison writes a great story set around Year two in Batman's career. The story feature the very twisted Mr. Whisper, who maybe supernatural. The writing is dark, spooky and moody, but readers may find Klause Jansen's scratchy art hard to like."
"from 1999, this sequel to "Long Holloween" introduces Dick Grayson (Robin). Not as strong as Long Hollwoeen, its Holloween in reverse, with new killer, the Hangman, killing the forces of law in Gotham rather than mobsters."
"This collection includes Batman: Legends of the Dark knight #100, retelling the origins of Dick Grayson, and how he becomes Robin. Dark Victory tells the story "between the Pages" of this story, but with contradictions in events."
"After his appearance in Dark Victory, This story feature Dick Grayson's first night on the job as Robin. After completing his training, Batman sends Robin out to run a guantlet and test his skills. Great art and story, worthing hunting for."
"Batman battles his own psyche in the lead story of this volume, which is likey set after his defeat in Long Holloween. Darwyn Cooke's comics debut. Other stories are set in later years, but are also great reading."
"An odd tale which introduces Barbara Gordon into Batman's life. Good art. Many of the stories set after this one focus more on Batman's suppoting cast like Batgirl & Robin. Hopefully DC will retell some more stories set during this period fcusing more on batman and some of the lesser known screwball villians who crop up around this time."
"Batgirl's first appearance in modern continuity. Shows Batman finding his imposter and training her. Batgirl is a silly character from the 60's, but DC did a great job of adding depth with this and subsequent specials. Great artwork."
"Catwoman and Batgirl meet for the first time in this cheeky tale with great art from Kevin meguire. A small continuity gaff here is that Batman, Batgirl and way too many mobsters know Catwoman's secret identity, which Batman finds out years later."
"Year 1 launched in the pages Batman, Year 2 launched in Detective Comics in 1986. This story has since been erased from current Batman continuity, but read it anyway. It features Batman catching up with Joe Chill, who murdered his parents and the Reaper. Later stories revise the history so Batman never found the killer after all (confusing)."
"As I mentioned above, Batman Year One appeared in batman issues 404-407. The story in Batman #408, 409 & 410 jumps 10 years into the future with Batman firing Dick Grayson as Robin, and introduces Robin II, Jason Todd. You can follow the rest of the Batman saga in chronological order in subsequent issues of Batman and Detective Comics.happy reading."