Updated on 16 October, 2021
Batman fans around the world have a lot of their favorite Batman stories to enjoy. The Caped Crusader has become a part of pop culture, with his own feature film released in theaters, as well as several television shows and other media. As a result, many fans have grown up with these characters and continue to read and enjoy the Caped Crusader as an adult. Batman Beyond: There Has Beened A New Day has been voted as one of the best Batman comic books ever written, and it is an essential read for Batman fans.
Death of the Family showcases the dark knight's ability to be a hero, while still having a strong dark side that makes him sympathetic to his fellow human beings. Writer Steve Englehart gives us an excellent look at Bruce Wayne's changed personal life, as he deals with losing his parents and wife in the death of their loved one Harvey Dent. In this dark tale, we also learn that the Batman that we know was not always this perfect man. There is a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that gives us a glimpse of what would have been Bruce Wayne if he had not been given the chance to prove himself to the world after his parents' death.
Continuing with the Death of the Family series, writer Tom King gives us a look at how the early days of Batman changed when his parents were killed during a mugging. Though Bruce Wayne is now trying to win over his alter ego by taking on the identity of the Dark Knight, he still possesses certain characteristics from his early days as the masked crusader. As he faces the villains responsible for his parents' deaths, he tries to overcome his darker side and gain peace of mind. This book captures the essence of Batman's early days and is a must read for any fan.
Following up on the emotional roller coaster that was the Death of the Family, "The Dark Knight" sees the introduction of this new super villain, The Joker. Though not as famous as Batman, the Joker is the true representation of what a ruthless and psychotic character truly is. This is not your typical Batman villain, the kind that only shows up for one issue and then disappears for the rest of the time. The Joker is the true definition of evil, and is brought into the dark world of Gotham City by an accident involving chemicals. Although the Joker's motivations are purely sinister, he does bring the unique element of gothic humor to the Batman universe.
After the shocking events of "The Dark Knight," Batman must deal with the reality that his superhero alter ego has died while saving the city. This reality is somewhat offset by the fact that there is now a Robin, and though he is not exactly the Batman of old, he is still a worthy replacement. Enter John Blake, a new face and friend of Batman, who is the first openly gay superhero ever created by the legendary Batman creator, Bob Kane. In this exciting comic book series, Blake becomes the adopted father of a young boy named Batman, who happens to have just received the news that he is Batman.
For the first year of "The Dark Knight," all eyes were on the new Batman, who wore a gray costume and had a look more like a James Bond villain than the caped crusader we had come to know and love. Two years later, Batman: The Dark Knight is released, and in it, Batman no longer has any kind of superpowers. He has lost most of his physical abilities, but he has gained a new ability in the form of a Wayne Enterprises BatMobile. This vehicle, which is essentially a customized batplane, has been specifically built for the new Batman, and allows him to go where ever he needs to go. One of the most amazing aspects of this new Batman is his ability to fly, as in the case of "The Dark Knight," he flies from city to city using a Batplane, giving him a much higher vertical height than any of Batman's previous vehicles have ever given him.
The Caped Crusader's arch enemy, the Riddler, is another favorite of readers who prefer Batman as their superhero, and "The Dark Knight" gives us a very good look at the sadistic villains of Gotham City. In this movie, though, the Riddler is back, and he has a new face. This time around, the Riddler is obsessed with gaining power over others, and he uses his crimes to make his way into the minds and bodies of those he intends to control. The Riddler's latest gadget is an electronic hand puppet, which he uses to control people's minds through thought. It is this character that makes "The Dark Knight" one of the best Batman stories ever told.
In "The Dark Knight," Batman is faced with new enemies, like the Joker, and he must deal with all the villains without losing any of his own morality. The Caped Crusader uses his knowledge and experience to help others while struggling against the bad guys. Batman's determination to protect the city and the lives of others is what makes "The Dark Knight" one of the best Batman stories ever told. Not only does it tell a great story, it also manages to bring to life some of the greatest villains of our time. If you are a true comic book lover, I would highly recommend that you check out "The Dark Knight."