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Old July 1st, 2008   Brian LaBelle is offline   #1
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Brian LaBelle
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Default The ultimate Batman chronolgy

I have the good fortune of being able to put together a reading list for a guy who has read a few Batman comics here and there, but is now interested in throwing down some major cash and diving head first into Gotham City.

Starting at the beginning.

Of course, putting this all in an order has proven to be a major pain in the butt as I don't want to spoil anything and really let the guy see the whole world of Batman unfold. I'm actually a little jealous that he's never really read a lot of comics and gets to check these stories out in the time that they occurred and it's also fun when they retro-fit something into continuity to benefit an upcoming story but it'll be neat to read it "as it happened" and then the impact much later on as intended.

Here are the first 25 Bat-books I'm recommending he read in this order. I just stopped at Knightfall because I'm positive I've screwed up a few things. The hardcore among you will be able to tell me what to get after that.

Thanks in advance, here's the list:

1. Crisis on Infinite Earths Hardcover

-Crisis on Infinite Earths novelization
-The History of the DC Universe

2. Batman: Shaman

3. Batman: Year One

4. Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper

5. Batman: The Man Who Laughs

6. Batman: Gothic

-Batman and the Monster Men

7. Batman: Prey

8. Batman: Four of a Kind

-Batman and the Mad Monk

9. Batman: Haunted Knight

10. Batman: Venom

11. Batman: The Long Halloween

-Batman - Year Two: Fear the Reaper

12. Batman: Dark Victory

13. Catwoman: When in Rome

-Batman: The Gauntlet
-Robin: Year One
-Batman: Full Circle
-Batgirl: Year One

I'm unsure where to place these Ra's Al Ghul stories below?

14. Batman: Tales of the Demon

15. Batman: Son of the Demon

16. Batman: Bride of the Demon

17. Batman: Birth of the Demon

18. Batman: Strange Apparitions

19. Batman: The Cult

20. Batman: The Killing Joke

21. Batman: Arkham Asylum

22. Batman: A Death in the Family

23. Batman: Blind Justice

24. Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying

-Robin: A Hero Reborn
-Batman: Sword of Azrael

25. Batman: Knightfall – Volume 1: Broken Bat
Batman: Knightfall – Volume 2: Who Rules the Night
Batman: Knightfall – Volume 3: Knights End
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Old July 1st, 2008   dl316bh is offline   #2
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I'm pretty sure "Son of the Demon" is decidedly out of continuity, so I doubt it has a place in the list. The only thing that's still in continuity is Bruce's son Damian; and the origin Morrison gave clashes with that story's. I know Grant has been trying to make it so all stories can be a part of continuity, but that one seems to be the exception.

I'm pretty sure some of the earlier Ra's stories take place before Jason Todd's time though, because I remember the first appearance had Robin kidnapped by Ra's. and I'm pretty sure it was Dick.
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Old July 1st, 2008   thunderdude is offline   #3
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To be honest, I'm not sure "Son of the Demon or the Cult fit here. I'd get him Frank Miller's earlier Bat Work, everything before All-Star, instead.
I love it when a plan comes together in the Multiverse!
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Old July 1st, 2008   Icon is offline   #4
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I'm not sure I'd include Crisis on Infinite Earths and certainly not to start with. Batman wasn't a major player in that, and it's so continuity heavy (and continuity that they wiped at the end of the series) as to be more trouble than it's worth.

If you want a pre-Crisis sumamry of Batman and co, I'd say go for "The Untold Legend of the Batman" miniseries
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Old July 1st, 2008   Brian LaBelle is offline   #5
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Brian LaBelle
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Posts: 13,702


Well, the point of starting him off with Crisis on Infinite Earths is that it will give him at LEAST a passing familiarity with all of DC's characters. For my money, it's the best, most-epic comic story ever told and the plot does become key in Bat-books 20 years later such as Under the Hood and the OMAC Project.

Much like the Iron Man list I'm putting together for him, everything will eventually lead up to Batman: R.I.P. and Final Crisis so I want to have a few things set up for him before then.
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