Essential Batman

13 not-to-be-missed Batman comics

The iconic Caped Crusader has been entrhalling readers and saving Gotham City from itself for nearly 70 years now. He's a fascinating character, well worth diving into, but with a story that spans more than 6,000 comic book issues, how do you know where to begin? Fear not! We've pulled out some Batman issues that we feel are definitely worth a look, whether you're a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the series.

If you're not sure you really want to enter the world of Bruce Wayne, why not check out Chris Leslie's excellent blog about coming to the series late? It's a great jumping-off point for those who want to start dipping a toe into these crime-ridden waters.

Killing Joke cover

1. The Killing Joke

Alan Moore, Brian Holland, John Higgins
The Dark Knight Returns cover

2. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, Lynn Varley
Court of Owls cover

3. Batman Vol 1: The Court of Owls

Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
Contagion cover

4. Batman: Contagion

Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, Dennis O'Neil, Kelley Jones
Endgame cover

5. Batman Vol 7: Endgame

Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia
Death in the Family cover

6. A Death in the Family

George Perez, Marv Wolfman, Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo, Tom Grummett
Hush cover

7. Hush

Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, Scott Williams
Haunted Knight cover

8. Haunted Knight

Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale
Man Who Laughs cover

9. The Man Who Laughs

Ed Brubaker, Doug Mahnke, Tim Sale, Patrick Zircher

10. Earth One

Geoff Johns, Gary Frank
Year One cover

11. Batman: Year One

Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli
Dark Knight Dark City cover

12. Dark Knight, Dark City

Peter Milligan, Jim Aparo, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Mandrake