Top 10 Batman Comics Where Continuity Doesn’t Matter

While comics are an exciting and enticing medium, long stretches of continuity and years of reboots have made entry into DC Comics somewhat inaccessible to the average reader. It can be difficult to find a suitable starting point, which leads to many readers feeling overwhelmed when looking to start stories with new characters.


Related: Top 10 Batman Comics You Can Read Without Context

From DC Comics’ extensive content library, Batman comics are known for being referenced and deeply woven into past events. However, there are still plenty of comics to choose from as the focus is less on continuity and more on the story at hand.

10 Nightwalker introduces a young Bruce Wayne

Written by Mary Lou and Stuart Moore with art by Chris Wildgoose

Graphic novel for young adults Batman: Nightwalker It may be aimed at teens, but it’s fun for readers of all ages. It began as a prose novel and was later adapted into comic book form. It offers a different interpretation of Bruce Wayne’s early days as Batman, depicting him working at Arkham Asylum and befriending a young woman there.

Batman: Nightwalker It also gives insight into the character of Bruce Wayne before he dons the cape and cowl – his hopes and fears and how he copes with the loss of his parents. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand what propelled Bruce to heroism.

9 Killing Time is a glimpse into Batman’s past

Written by Tom King with art by David Marquis

Batman and Catwoman, obviously, are set out to fight.  The mysterious is only visible underneath.

killing time is a six-issue limited series that traces the beginning of Batman’s turbulent relationship with Catwoman. It pits Batman against three beloved villains: Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman herself. It also begins with a heist that goes horribly wrong — or horribly right, depending on the bad guys.

Equal parts mystery and character-driven drama, killing time Shows why stories set in Batman’s past can be interesting and accessible to new and old readers alike. In addition, Tom King weaves an explosive storyline with plenty of twists and turns.

8 Face, Face tells the story of a tormented soul

Written by James Robinson with art by Michael Behr, Keith Champagne, Andy Clark, Wayne Fuscher, Don Kramer, and Leonard Kirk

A split image showing one side of Batman's face and the opposite, scarred side of Two-Face's face.

Batman: Face Face It is generally considered an excellent starting point for entering modern Batman comics. While it includes a cast of characters not all readers may be familiar with, it tells an excellent, gritty story that isn’t overpowered by the stories that precede it.

Related: 10 Betrayals Batman Never Heard From

The complicated story of Two-Face and Batman’s friendship is a long one, but a beginning Face face, they are on their way to friendship again. However, a series of gruesome murders prompts Batman to investigate his friend as a suspect. The decision and the consequences are equal parts healthy and tragic.

7 Men scare away monsters in this quirky tale by Hugo

Written by Matt Wagner with art by Matt Wagner and Dave Stewart

Batman is standing on an orange sky with a colony of bats behind him.

Batman and the Beast Men It is a story from early in Batman’s crime-fighting career. It will be of particular interest to readers who like a deeper look into the psyche of the villains, because this story spends a lot of time in Hugo Strange’s head.

The Beast Men who bear their name are more than just one-off villains, so it’s not necessary to have an in-depth understanding of their role in the broader Batman continuity. Most of the other characters are, likewise, minor or odd. Batman and the Beast Men It adds to the Dark Knight’s rich history without bogging down everything that came before it.

6 The War of Jokes and Riddles depicts Batman’s toughest decision

Written by Tom King with art by Mikkel Janin

The Riddler holds a playing card that says Joker.  He and the card are both covered in blood.

Batman and Catwoman have one of the greatest romances in DC history. War of jokes and riddles Provides context as to why she agreed to marry him. It also tells the story of two of Batman’s greatest enemies, the Riddler and the Joker, and their bloody battle for control of Gotham City.

War of jokes and riddles It also heralded the return of a famous minor villain from the past, Kite Man. This tragic eight-issue story gives insight into Batman’s personality and what makes him such an impactful hero. Moreover, he proves to the readers that he is a good man.

5 The Man Who Laughs introduces Batman’s greatest enemy

Written by Ed Brubaker with art by Doug Mahnke and David Baron

The Joker smiles and holds two playing cards - one depicting Batman and the other a Joker card.

The man who laughs Provides an introduction to Batman’s most important enemy: the Joker. The Clown Prince of Crime has had a long-running adversarial relationship with Batman, and this story takes readers back to the beginning of his first crimes.

Related: The 10 Worst DC Villain Redesigns

The man who laughs It can be read on its own, as it doesn’t rely on previous continuities to tell its story. However, it does have a follow up called Batman and the Mad Monk. These two comics are an excellent place to start exploring Batman comics.

4 The long Halloween is a serial killer showdown

Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale and Gregory Wright

Batman on a blue background with calendar pages fluttering in front of him.

A lively read for fans of the popular movie adaptation, The long Halloween is a dark story set early in Batman’s career that details his first encounter with a serial killer who has been haunting Gotham’s ancient families. Batman must battle enemies old and new to get to the bottom of this gritty mystery.

The long Halloween Also features notable early appearances of Poison Ivy and Catwoman. It’s a great piece that stands on its own. However, it also has a follow-up in Batman: Dark Victorywhich introduces the first Robin into the mix.

3 A Death In The Family depicts Batman’s darkest moment

Written by Jim Starlin with art by Jim Aparo, Adrienne Roy and Mike DiCarlo

Batman holds Jason Todd's body across his chest

A Death in the Family is essentially a standalone story, but it has had lasting effects on all of Batman’s universe. Readers may not be familiar with many of the Robins, but he is easy to understand in this story by Jim Starlin.

A poll is conducted to determine if the then-current Robin, a young ex-con named Jason Todd, should live or die. The story that followed brought Batman into some of his darkest moments as he struggled to save the life of young Jason. A Death in the Family became one of the most popular Batman comics at the time, and it’s easy to understand why.

2 The dark prince charming reveals dark secrets

Written and illustrated by Enrico Marini

Watercolor portrait of Batman on a blurred lavender watercolor background.

Dark Prince Charming is a standalone graphic novel about Batman created by Italian comic book artist Enrico Marini. It’s a stark examination of Batman’s character, pondering the question of what Batman would do with the life of an innocent child – if that child’s father was a monster.

Related: 10 DC Villains More Famous Than The Heroes

in depth, Dark Prince Charming It has an interesting mystery element that will have fans trying to solve the mystery before Batman does. Since it’s a standalone, readers aren’t required to have any knowledge of Batman Into, nor do they have to worry about any follow-up material. This graphic novel is a good starting point for new readers.

1 Batman Eternal introduces fan favorite characters

Written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fox, John Lyman, Tim Seeley, and Kyle Higgins with art by various artists including Dustin Nguyen, Jorge Lucas, and Riccardo Borcelli

Batman is covered in blood.  In his head, an image of the Bat family and other allies can be seen.

Batman Eternal It was a series of 52 issues released weekly over the course of a year. It had many contributing writers and artists, and it was a collaborative effort to tell the story of Batman for the ages. Batman Eternal It was notable in that it reintroduced many fan-favorite and beloved characters to the DC universe once again, including Stephanie Brown and the Cluemaster.

while he Batman Eternal A gritty crime drama, it’s not without its moments of hope – including the introduction of new characters Colin and Harper Rowe, who Batman soon takes under his wing. Batman Eternal It was an opportunity for DC to highlight what makes Batman so beloved by fans.

Next: The best graphic novels to read

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