Batman has consistently been published in monthly comics for over eighty years, so the stories to read can be staggering. Detective Comics, where Batman made his debut, has published more than 1070 issues, almost all of them starring Batman; while the solo Batman title just crossed the issue #900 mark. So without even counting spinoff comics like Batman: Black & White, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman: Confidential, or Batman: Shadow of the Bat, there’s already nearly 2,000 Batman comics to read. With that immense amount of comics at your disposal it can be daunting to consider where to start. Luckily for any potential DC Comics readers, there are countless places where you can start reading Batman.

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Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

There’s probably not a single best point to start reading Batman comics than the literal series that marked a real jumping on point for countless readers. DC’s New 52 initiative was a clean slate for the company with the entire point being new-reader friendly. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo took the reigns on the main Batman title with its fresh #1 and kicked off five years worth of stories that would introduce some of the best new villains of the era (The Court of Owls, Mister Bloom), one of the most twisted Joker stories in ages (Death of the Family), and even create a major influence for the new movie The Batman (Zero Year). You can start at the beginning and just go forward with this one, it’s easily organized.

Start reading with either Batman Vol: The Court of Owls, including issues #1 to #7; or Batman Omnibus by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Including Batman #0 to #33, plus Batman #23.2 and Batman Annual #1 & #2.

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Batman Rebirth by Tom King

By that same metric, the run on Batman by Tom King that kick started the DC Rebirth era is yet another good place to get started. King’s vision of Batman is a very specific one, which includes an intense romantic pairing with Catwoman and a very long arc with major villains at play, and it doesn’t always gel with readers, especially those that are married to the canon. In the end though what you’re going to get are some fun divergences, some hilarious takes on underused Batman villains, and a narrative that manages to be consistent for nearly 100 issues.

Start reading with Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham, featuring Batman: Rebirth #1 and Batman #1-6; or Batman Vol 1: Rebirth Edition; including Batman: Rebirth #1 and Batman #1-15.

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Batman by Grant Morrison

The fun thing, which can also be intimidating, is that every piece of Batman lore is treated as canon in some way. Morrison’s big wrinkle of course was taking the idea of Batman having a child and pushing it to its logical place in the world. By introducing Damian Wayne, Morrison and his collaborators force Batman into the most unique position that he’d been in as a character in decades. Not only does the character have to reckon with his past while also facing his future, he has to figure out the balance of fatherhood along with; plus, without spoiling too much, the role of Batman doesn’t just belong to Bruce.

Start reading with Batman: Batman and Son, collecting Batman #655-658, #663-669 and #672-675; or pick up Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1, collecting 655-658, #663-683 and stories from DC Universe #0 and #30 and #47. The rest of Morrison’s run is collected across two more Omnibus dollections, completing the entire arc.

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Batman and Robin by Tomasi & Gleason

A perfect companion to Grant Morrison’s initial series about Damian Wayne’s introduction, or frankly its own standalone series, is this collection of Batman and Robin. Written by Peter J. Tomasi and penciled by Patrick Gleason. While Morrison’s run was an incredibly heady take on Batman with a universe-spanning approach to the relationship of the caped crusader and his sidekick, this Batman and Robin is a more classic version of the superhero pair while also bringing a more personal approach to writing Damian Wayne. Readers that enjoy what Tomasi and Gleason bring to the Dark Knight and his son have a lot of other potential comics to read including Superman, Super Sons, and Green Lantern Corps.

Start reading with Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill, collecting issues #1 through 6 of Batman and Robin; or, pick up Batman and Robin by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason Omnibus, which collects the entire thing.

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Batman: Streets of Gotham

Fans of Batman: The Animated Series will find a lot to like about this series, which was largely written by Paul Dini. Like that classic cartoon, Streets of Gotham not only foucses on Batman and the Bat-family, but manages to weave in any number of other classic villains and give them the kind of pathos that BTAS was known for with its DC baddies. There’s also an aesthetic present that is very reminiscent of the look of Batman: The Animated Series, like gangsters with big hats, but it manages to bring a slightly more mature nature to its something, which older readers might appreciate.

Start reading with the Batman by Paul Dini Omnibus, this collects not only Batman: Streets of Gotham #1-4, #7, #10-14, #16-21, but also all of his issues of Batman: Detective Comics and more.

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Batman by Frank Miller

If an older, grimmer version of the Dark Knight detective is what you’re after, Frank Miller’s two major reinventions of the character are the right path to take. What began with Batman: Year One, the first proper reinvention of Batman’s origins in decades at the time of its release, would make way for the potential ending of Batman’s career with The Dark Knight Returns. Miller’s Year One was a seminal event for the character, and the blueprint for essentially every version of Batman that has appeared on film. On a similar note The Dark Knight Returns would go on to influence Batman comics to this day, even spawning a few sequels as well that Miller would pen with The Dark Knight Strikes Again and Dark Knight III: The Master Race.

Start reading with Batman: Year One or Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

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Batman by Loeb & Sale

The collaboration between the pair started with a trio of Halloween specials, collected in Batman: Haunted Knight, which gave way for the longer form Batman: The Long Halloween series. Fans may know that this series has been a major source of inspiration for many versions of Batman, including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Matt Reeves’ The Batman. The 13 issue epic is a classic noir Batman story with every possible villain you can imagine, and it spawned a follow-up in the form of Batman: Haunted Knight. Readers that enjoy what they find also have a full Catwoman series to explore with Catwoman: When In Rome.

Start reading with Batman: The Long Halloween, and then make your way to the other volumes; a Batman by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Omnibus also collects all three.

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Batman by Chip Zdarsky

Though many of the other modern Batman comics listed here are easy to get into, this one is even easier considering it’s just been published in the past coupe of years. Before Zdarsky took over writing the main Batman book he put his stamp on the character in a big way with Batman: The Knight, a ten issue series with artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, which explores Batman’s origins in a major way. After this he moved on to writing Batman proper, taking over with Batman #125 and continuing to pen it. Two story arcs are under his belt already with a major crossover, The Gotham War, happening right now.

Start reading with Batman: The Knight or Batman Vol 1.: Failsafe, which collects Batman #125-130, plus the back-up stories.

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Batman: Earth One

If volumes and volumes of comics seem a little daunting, this three volume graphic novel set tells a complete story and re-invents Batman in a modern context free of other continuity ties. There’s also a welcome fidelity across the look of all the graphic novels as Gary Frank worked as the main artist for all three volumes. Despite his extensive catalog of work at DC, Batman: Earth One also marks the first that writer Geoff Johns put his own spin on Batman as a solo character. In this version Batman is fresh to the game, meaning his style and abilities are not fully honed and sometimes he messes up…majorly.

Start reading with Batman: Earth One Volume 1 or Batman: Earth One The Complete Collection.

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Gotham Central

The great thing about Gotham Central is that writers Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka and artist Michael Lark will fully scratch the itch you might have for Batman stories, just without much Batman at all. This series does exactly what it says on the tin, digging into the day-to-day life of the actual Gotham City Police Department who still have work to do every day despite Batman’s many city-breaking activities. This also answers the age old questions that non-readers tend to have about how regular people deal with the super villains that live in their city. Gotham Central is one of the most unique and rewarding books DC has ever published.

Gotham Central Book 1: In the Line of Duty, which collects issues #1-10 of Gotham Central; there’s also the Gotham Central Omnibus, which collects the entire series in one binding.

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