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Hi, this is a thread for all questions, advice or opinions on Batman trade collections or monthly series'. If you've never read a Batman comic in your life; or if maybe you've read a few and are wondering where to go next; if you're interested in picking up the monthly comics (which are pretty cool right now) or just looking for general recommendations, begin here. And with that...
The best Batman comics for new readers...
^ this is them!
Pretty much every fan here was introduced to the character through movies and TV. Then one day we picked up a comic book and fell into a deeper, richer, crazier Gotham City with a history stretching back to 1939. Interested? I think you are. But what the hell am I supposed to read first?
Fortunately there is a standard answer to this question, ask around and you'll see the same four or five comics invariably referred to as the classics, the bedrock of the lore, best primers on the continuity, or simply just essential reading when it comes to Batman on the page. The value of these particular comics to new readers is one thing we can pretty much all agree on
Year One The definitive origin of Batman, the second landmark Batman story by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300), the basis for Batman Begins
The Long Halloween A crime-noir inspired mystery set in the year after Batman's first appearance, highly influential to The Dark Knight film
The Killing Joke The classic Joker story from Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), highly influential to The Dark Knight film
The Dark Knight Returns Frank Millers' dark, dense and revolutionary epic featuring an older Bruce Wayne in a nightmare future setting, redefined the Batman concept and the comic book medium in general. Highly influential to The Dark Knight Rises
Hush A hugely successful "summer blockbuster" featuring a variety of villains, Bat-family and recaps of classic lore - an excellent introduction to the wider modern Batman universe
Batman & Son First chapter of the groundbreaking saga by writer Grant Morrison, beginning of the current era of comics, continues now in series Batman Incorporated #1
Batman #13 first issue of the current major story line Death of the Family in Batman 13-17, more details here
Singles & Trades
There are two basic formats for reading comics. Singles are the thin 24 page "floppies" published once a month in print or online - many fans prefer reading this format simply because it's more exciting following a story in real time, anticipating the next events and waiting for a new issue. Batman 13 is the only single issue displayed above.
Trades are a catch-all term for a variety of "thicker" formats, short for trade paperback and often confused with a Graphic Novel. A trade collects a sequence of single issues; for instance Batman 404-407, originally published in 1986 is now available in trade as Batman: Year One. A graphic novel is a self contained original story that was never released in singles, for example The Killing Joke was first published in 1988 as 46 page standalone one-shot. Trades are perfect for discovering past story lines and classic lore, or for getting up to speed with current events.