Batman is an ongoing American comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero Batman as its main protagonist. The character, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (cover dated May 1939). Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication with a cover date of spring 1940. It was first advertised in early April 1940, one month after the first appearance of his new sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder. Batman comics have proven to be popular since the 1940s.
|No. of issues|
|Dark Knight Archive Volume 1||ISBN 1-56389-050-X|
Though the Batman comic book was initially launched as a quarterly publication, it later became a bimonthly series through the late 1950s, after which it became a monthly publication and has remained so ever since.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, the original Batman series ended and was relaunched with a new first issue.
In 2016, DC Comics began a second relaunch of its entire line of titles called DC Rebirth that continued continuity from The New 52. Batman (vol. 3) #1 (August 2016) was the debut twice-monthly relaunch of the comic book series.
The character of Batman made his first appearance in the pages of Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. In the spring of 1940, Batman #1 was published and introduced new characters into Batman's pantheon, most notably those of Catwoman and Batman's eventual nemesis, the Joker. Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family butler, was introduced in issue #16 (April–May 1943).
Editor Whitney Ellsworth assigned a Batman story to artist Dick Sprang in 1941. Anticipating that Bob Kane would be drafted to serve in World War II, DC inventoried Sprang's work to safeguard against delays. Sprang's first published Batman work was the Batman and Robin figures on the cover of Batman #18 (Aug.-Sept. 1943), reproduced from the art for page 13 of the later-published Detective Comics #84 (Feb. 1944). Sprang's first original published Batman work, and first interior-story work, appeared in Batman #19 (Oct.-Nov. 1943), for which he drew the cover and the first three Batman stories, and penciled the fourth Batman story, inked by Norm Fallon. Like all Batman artists of the time, Sprang went uncredited as a ghost artist for Kane.
Villains which debuted during this early era included the Mad Hatter in issue #49 (October 1948) and Killer Moth in issue #63 (February 1951). In 1953, Sheldon Moldoff became another one of the primary Batman ghost artists who, along with Win Mortimer and Dick Sprang, drew stories credited to Bob Kane, following Kane's style and under Kane's supervision. Bill Finger and Moldoff introduced Ace the Bat-Hound in #92 (June 1955).
The early part of the era known to comics fans and historians as the Silver Age of Comic Books saw the Batman title dabble in science fiction. New characters introduced included Mr. Freeze and Betty Kane, the original Bat-Girl.
In 1964, Julius Schwartz was made responsible for reviving the faded Batman titles. He jettisoned the sillier aspects that had crept into the series such as Ace the Bat-Hound and Bat-Mite and gave the character a "New Look" that premiered in Detective Comics #327 (May 1964). Schwartz's first issue of the Batman title was #164 (June 1964) which was written by France Edward Herron and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff. The Riddler returned after an 18-year absence in #171 (May 1965). Among the new villains introduced during this period was Poison Ivy in #181 (June 1966). In the 1960s, Batman comics were affected by the popular Batman television series, with campy stories based on the tongue-in-cheek premise of the series. After the Batman television program's influence had died down, writer Frank Robbins and artist Irv Novick sent Dick Grayson off to attend college and moved Batman out of Wayne Manor in issue #217 (December 1969).
In 1971, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams came aboard the title and re-infused it with the darker tones of the 1940s. O'Neil and Adams introduced a new villain named Ra's al Ghul, and would also revitalize the Joker by bringing him back to his roots as a homicidal maniac who murders people on a whim. Batman #237 (December 1971) featured a metafictional story by O'Neil and Adams which featured several comics creators appearing in the story and interacting with Batman and Robin at the Rutland Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont. O'Neil said his work on the Batman series was "simply to take it back to where it started. I went to the DC library and read some of the early stories. I tried to get a sense of what Kane and Finger were after." Comics historian Les Daniels observed that O'Neil's interpretation of Batman as a vengeful obsessive-compulsive, which he modestly describes as a return to the roots, was actually an act of creative imagination that has influenced every subsequent version of the Dark Knight." Issues #254-261 (Jan.–Feb. 1974-March–April 1975) of the series were in the 100 Page Super Spectacular format. The series reached its 300th issue with a June 1978 cover date and featured a story by writer David Vern Reed and artists Walt Simonson and Dick Giordano. Len Wein became the writer of the series with issue #307 (January 1979) and in his first issue, created Wayne Foundation executive Lucius Fox, later portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the movies Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. Julius Schwartz ended his tenure as editor of the series with issue #309 (March 1979).
Marv Wolfman briefly wrote Batman and co-created the Electrocutioner in issue #331 (Jan. 1981). Roy Thomas had a brief stint on the series as well. Writer Gerry Conway and artist Don Newton introduced Jason Todd in Batman #357 (March 1983). Todd would assume the costumed identity of Robin in issue #368 (February 1984). Writer Doug Moench began his run on the title with issue #360 and he and artist Tom Mandrake created the Black Mask character in Batman #386 (August 1985). Moench's longtime collaborator, artist Paul Gulacy made his DC Comics debut with a two-part story in issues #393-394. The title reached its 400th issue in October 1986 and featured work by several popular comics artists and included an introduction by novelist Stephen King.
Due to the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the continuity of DC Comics was altered. Established characters were given the opportunity to be reintroduced in new ways. While the Batman series was not rebooted, writer Frank Miller, who had previously worked on the limited series The Dark Knight Returns, and artist David Mazzucchelli retold the character's origin story for the new continuity in the monthly pages of Batman #404–407 (February–May 1987). The story, Batman: Year One, garnered high critical acclaim for its realistic interpretation of Batman's genesis, and its accessibility to new readers who had never followed Batman before. IGN Comics ranked Batman: Year One at the top of a list of the 25 greatest Batman graphic novels, saying that "no other book before or since has quite captured the realism, the grit and the humanity of Gordon and Batman so perfectly." Notable comic book creators Greg Rucka, Jeph Loeb, and Judd Winick have cited Year One as their favorite Batman story. Following Year One, writer Max Allan Collins and artist Chris Warner crafted a new origin for Jason Todd. Jim Starlin became the writer of Batman and one of his first storylines for the title was "Ten Nights of The Beast" in issues #417-420 (March–June 1988) which introduced the KGBeast. During Starlin's tenure on the title, DC Comics was becoming aware of the fanbase's growing disdain for the character of Jason Todd, Following a cliffhanger in which the character's life hangs in the balance, DC set up a 900 number hotline which gave callers the ability to vote for or against Jason Todd's death. The kill option won by a narrow majority, and the following month the character was shown dying from wounds inflicted in the previous issue's cliffhanger. The story, entitled "A Death in the Family", received high media exposure due to the shocking nature in which a familiar character's life had ended. Mike Mignola served as cover artist for these issues, presaging his work on Gotham by Gaslight. Before recent reappraisals and continuing debates over post-1975 alterations in Foucauldian biopolitics and genealogies, the story had been critiqued by notable scholars for anti-Arabism and Islamophobia, the latter of which can include the orientalist discourses found in the former, on two principal counts. First, Bruce Wayne initially arrived in Beirut and spoke Farsi, a language that may or may not have been more apposite for the maligned "radical Shiite captors" (e.g., early Hezbollah as "bandits-in-bedsheets") in control of the Beqaa Valley---his ultimate destination. The second count implicated the Joker, garbed in "Arab" attire depicted as "Iranian", Joker's reference to the "insanity" of Iran, as well as Batman's renunciation of Iran in world geopolitics. Superman's chastisement of Batman for his statements, and an encounter with Muslim (and Christian) "refugees", attempted to offset the vilification. In a 1990 issue of Detective Comics, written by Alan Grant, a tarot card reader contended, for an inquiring Batman, that the etymology of "joker" can be traced to the French échec et mat and, ultimately, to the Persian māt---to render helpless, kill, or eliminate from a game.
Writer Marv Wolfman, interior penciler Pat Broderick, and inker John Beatty subsequently introduced Tim Drake in Batman issue #436 for the "Batman: Year Three" storyline. The character first donned the Robin costume, and became associated with the third version of Robin, in the "A Lonely Place of Dying" sequel storyline, which culminated in issue #442, written by Marv Wolfman with cover art by George Pérez, interior pencils by Pérez, Tom Grummett, as well as Jim Aparo, and interior inks by Mike DeCarlo. In addition to establishing Tim Drake as a principal character in Batman and Detective Comics, Lauren R. O'Connor argues that "A Lonely Place of Dying" served as the dénouement of a transition from Dick Grayson's "absent sexuality", which earlier incited reader interpretations of homosexuality, to definitive heterosexual presence as a maturation narrative. O'Connor offers multiple examples from this 1989 storyline, such as Drake's encounter with Starfire and Grayson's heeding of Drake's concerns over Batman's psychology, to substantiate the notion of a heterosexual bildungsroman subplot.
The ensuing Tim Drake storylines in Batman comic books, authored by Alan Grant and penciled by the late Norm Breyfogle, coupled with the 1989 release of Burton's Batman, spurred sales of both Batman and Detective Comics. For the latter title, Grant attested in 2007 that "when the Batman movie came out, the sales went up, if I recall correctly, from around 75,000 to about 675,000." 1989-90 was indeed the "Year of the Bat:" Capital and Diamond City Distributors reported that the Year One-inspired Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight dominated four out of the five spots for preorders (not total sales and second printings). The only exception was the third preorder spot, snagged by Batman #442, the conclusion to Tim Drake's "A Lonely Place of Dying" storyline. The "Year of the Bat" continued into the first half of 1990. Preorders for Batman and Detective Comics issues featuring a revived Joker and Penguin began to compete with, and even edged out, the last three parts of Grant Morrison's and Klaus Janson's Gothic storyline in Legends. Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man arrived in the second half of 1990, inaugurating six months of Spidermania (or Mcfarlamania, depending on the reader). DC closed out 1990 with vendors under-ordering issues, prompting the publisher to push Batman #457 and the first part of the Robin mini-series into second and then third printings. The next year, 1991, witnessed the ascension of Chris Claremont's, Jim Lee's, and Scott Williams's X-Men against Magneto, as well as Fabian Nicieza's and Rob Liefeld's X-Force, into the top of the preorder rankings. The only exception to this X-mania was, again, Tim Drake and the sequel to the Robin miniseries, the first variant issue of which garnered the third spot, firmly wedged between variant issues of X-Force and X-Men. The mini-series pitted solo Robin against the Joker, in response to fan demands for a matchup since "A Death in the Family". The 1990s comics booming bust had begun. In a supplemental interview with Daniel Best, Alan Grant added that "every issue from about that time [after the 'Year of the Bat'] that featured Robin sales went up because Robin did have his own fans." Although both Grant and Breyfogle initially believed that their Anarky character could potentially become the third version of Robin, they were quick to support the editorial decision to focus on Drake. The social anarchist duo adopted the character as their own in the early 1990s, during Grant's shift to libertarian socialism but prior to Grant's late 1990s emphasis on Neo Tech. Breyfogle agreed that "it was a big thing to bring in the new Robin, yes. I know my fans often point specifically to that double page splash where his costume first appears as a big event for them as fans and I usually have to point out to them that Neal Adams was the one who designed the costume. The ‘R’ symbol and the staff were all that was really mine." In the "Rite of Passage" storyline for Detective Comics, Grant and Breyfogle intertwined 1) Drake matching wits with Anarky; 2) a criminal and anthropological investigation into an apocryphal Haitian vodou cult (revealed by Batman, asserting anthropological and investigative authority, as a front for extortion and crony capitalism); 3) the murder of Drake's mother by vilified cult leaders; 4) the beginning of Drake's recurrent nightmares and trauma; as well as 5) the perspective of a child of one of the cult's Haitian followers, unknowingly and inadvertently orphaned by Batman at the end of the four-issue arc.
Tim Drake eventually transitioned from late preadolescence to adolescence, becoming the third Robin over the course of the storylines "Rite of Passage" and "Identity Crisis", with all issues scripted by Alan Grant and penciled by Norm Breyfogle. Story arcs that included Drake only in subplots or featured his training in criminal investigation, such as "Crimesmith" and "The Penguin Affair", were either written or co-written by Grant and Wolfman, with pencils by Breyfogle, Aparo, and M. D. Bright. Immediately afterwards, the character starred in the five-issue miniseries Robin, written by Chuck Dixon, with interior pencils by Tom Lyle and cover art by Brian Bolland. The new Batman and Robin team went on their first official mission together in the story "Debut", again written by Grant and penciled by Breyfogle. Lauren R. O'Connor contends that, in early Tim Drake appearances, writers such as Grant and Chuck Dixon "had a lexicon of teenage behavior from which to draw, unlike when Dick Grayson was introduced and the concept of the teenager was still nascent. They wisely mobilized the expected adolescent behaviors of parental conflict, hormonal urges, and identity formation to give Tim emotional depth and complexity, making him a relatable character with boundaries between his two selves." In the Robin ongoing series, when Drake had fully transitioned into an adolescent character, Dixon depicted him as engaging in adolescent intimacy with a romantic girlfriend, yet still stopped short at overt heterosexual consummation. This narrative benchmark maintained Robin's "estrangement from sex" that began in the Grayson years. Erica McCrystal likewise observes that Alan Grant, prior to Dixon's series, connected Tim Drake to Batman's philosophy of heroic or anti-heroic "vigilantism" as "therapeutic for children of trauma. But this kind of therapy has a delicate integration process." The overcoming of trauma entailed distinct identity intersections and emotional restraint, as well as a "complete understanding" of symbol and self. Bruce Wayne, a former child of trauma and survivor guilt, guided "other trauma victims down a path of righteousness". Tim Drake, for example, endured trauma and "emotional duress" as a result of the death of his mother (father in a coma and on a ventilator). Drake contemplated the idea of fear, and overcoming it, in both the "Rite of Passage" and "Identity Crisis" storylines. Grant and Breyfogle subjected Drake to recurrent nightmares, from hauntings by a ghoulish Batman to the disquieting lullaby (or informal nursery rhyme), "My Mummy's dead...My Mummy's Dead...I can't get it through my head," echoing across a cemetery for deceased parents. Drake ultimately defeated his own preadolescent fears "somewhat distant from Bruce Wayne" and "not as an orphan". By the end of "Identity Crisis", an adolescent Drake had "proven himself as capable of being a vigilante" by deducing the role of fear in instigating a series of violent crimes. During his stints on Batman and Detective Comics, Grant additionally introduced new antihero antagonists to explore myriad conceptions of civil society and debates over socioeconomic, political, and cultural issues of the early 1990s. These antagonists and storylines, featuring themes of transgenerational trauma and collective culpability, warrant critical appraisal. Grant recycled script rejections for Batman, Detective Comics, and canceled titles such as Vigilante. For instance, a Vigilante storyline by Grant, dubbed "An American Vigilante in London", became "An American Batman in London" on Guy Fawkes Night for issue 590 of Grant and Breyfogle's Detective Comics.
Partially impacted by the tone of Burton's Batman, the comics of the 1990s took a darker tone. The Tim Drake version of Robin was given a new costume designed by Neal Adams, with a redesigned "R" symbol by Norm Breyfogle, in issue #457 (December 1990), the conclusion to "Identity Crisis" by Grant and Breyfogle. The main writers of the Batman franchise in the 1990s were Grant, Doug Moench, and Chuck Dixon. Moench and Dixon masterminded the Knightfall crossover story arc, which saw Batman's back being broken by the super-strong villain Bane. A new character, Jean-Paul Valley, takes up the Batman mantle in Bruce Wayne's absence. Valley is driven mad with power, and Wayne forcefully reclaims it after his recovery. Moench and artist Kelley Jones co-created the Ogre and the Ape in Batman #535 (Oct. 1996).
The Batman titles in 1999 were dominated by the large crossover story arc "No Man's Land", which sees Gotham City ravaged by a large earthquake, leading to the U.S. government's order to evacuate the city and abandoning and isolating those who chose to remain behind. Writer Greg Rucka adapted the story into a prose novel published in 2000.
After the conclusion to "No Man's Land" and Greg Rucka's move to Detective, the Batman title was handled for seven issues by writer Larry Hama and artist Scott McDaniel. At issue #582, Ed Brubaker became the writer of the series and kept a trend of gritty crime drama that included more grounded villains such as the Penguin, Brubaker's new villain Zeiss, and Deadshot. Brubaker's run received a short interruption with an arc title "Officer Down", which depicted Commissioner Gordon being shot in the line of duty and ultimately retiring from the Gotham police force. From there, writer Brian K. Vaughan did a three-issue arc that focused on Batman's created crime persona Matches Malone before Brubaker returned. The next crossover, masterminded by Brubaker and Rucka and titled "Bruce Wayne: Murderer?" saw Bruce Wayne framed for the murder of his girlfriend and nearly abandoning his civilian identity altogether.
For issue #600, the series moved into the next phase of Wayne's frame-up and featured three backup stories, which were presented as lost issues never before published from iconic eras in Batman's history. "Mystery of the Black Bat" is presented in the style of Dick Sprang and "Joker Tips His Hat!" is an homage to the 1960s stories by artists such as Gil Kane and Carmine Infantino. "The Dark, Groovy, Solid, Far-out, Right-on, and Completely With-it Knight Returns" is a humorous spin on Batman's character trying to update himself into the 1980s, and featured stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt's comic writing debut. After the frame-up story concluded, Brubaker closed his run with two issues co-written with Geoff Johns.
Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee crafted a year-long story which began with issue #608. The "Hush" storyline was a murder mystery that delved through numerous periods in Batman's history. This storyline introduced a new character that was the story's namesake, as well as redefining the Riddler, healing Harvey Dent and calling into question the events surrounding Jason Todd's death. Following the conclusion of Hush, the creative team of the Vertigo series 100 Bullets came aboard for a six-issue arc titled "Broken City". Writer Judd Winick became the ongoing writer for the series and in a story titled "Under the Hood", explained that Jason Todd had actually returned from the dead long ago, and became an anti-hero in Gotham under the guise of the Red Hood.
After the Infinite Crisis series, all the regular monthly titles of the DC Universe jumped forward in time by one year, depicting the characters in radically different situations and environments than they were in the preceding issues. "Face the Face", was written by James Robinson and saw Batman returning from a year-long overseas journey that retraced the steps he took after initially leaving Gotham City in his youth and featured the return of James Gordon to the role of Gotham City Police Commissioner.
Grant Morrison began his long-form Batman narrative in issue #655. The first story, "Batman and Son", reveals that Wayne is the father of a child named Damian, and attempts to steer the child away from the machinations of his mother, Talia al Ghul. From there, Morrison began an arc that saw an evil influential organization known as the Black Glove attempt to destroy everything Batman is and what he stands for. This culminated in the storyline Batman R.I.P., where the Black Glove initially succeeds in doing so, but is thwarted by Bruce Wayne's ability to preserve his sane mind while an erratic, alternate personality takes over. After stopping the Black Glove, Morrison moved Batman into his event series Final Crisis, where Batman appears to be killed by Darkseid. In actuality, he was transported to the distant past and stranded there. Neil Gaiman wrote issue #686, which was the first part of a two-part story titled Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? It served as a quasi-send off to a generation of Batman stories, much the same way as Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? did for Superman, and continued into an issue of Detective Comics.
After this, the main Batman series went on hiatus while the Battle for the Cowl miniseries would have Dick Grayson assume the role of Batman in the wake of Bruce Wayne's disappearance from the present day DC Universe. Grant Morrison stayed involved in writing Batman, but moved to a new series titled Batman and Robin, which followed the exploits of Grayson as Batman and Damian Wayne as the new Robin. Writer Judd Winick temporarily returned to the title for Grayson's first solo arc as Batman, before handing the writing and art duties off to Tony Daniel.
Daniel remained the main writer on the series until issue #699. The title reached a milestone with the publication of Batman #700 (August 2010), which saw the return of Grant Morrison to the title and a collaboration with an art team that consisted of Daniel, Frank Quitely, Andy Kubert, and David Finch. The separate stories tied together to illustrate that the legacy of Batman is unending, and will survive into the furthest reaches of time. Morrison stayed on as writer on the series through issue #702, while simultaneously writing the Batman and Robin series and The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries. Tony Daniel resumed writing and art duties with issue #704. Even after Bruce Wayne's return, Dick Grayson remained the star of this title through its final year, as well as being the main character in Batman and Robin and Detective Comics. Bruce Wayne starred in two new titles, Batman Incorporated and Batman: The Dark Knight.
On June 1, 2011, it was announced that all series taking place within the shared DC Universe would be either cancelled or relaunched with new #1 issues, after a new continuity was created in the wake of the Flashpoint event. Batman was no exception, and the first issue of the new series was released on September 21, 2011.
DC Comics relaunched Batman with issue #1 in September 2011, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo, as part of DC's company-wide title relaunch, The New 52. As with all of the books associated with the DC relaunch, Bruce Wayne appears to be about five years younger than the previous incarnation of the character. Superheroes at large have appeared only in the past five years, and are viewed with, at best, suspicion, and, at worst, outright hostility. All of the characters that have served as Robin, except Stephanie Brown, have been accounted for as still having served at Batman's side in the new continuity. The stories build on recent developments, with most of the character's previous history remaining intact, and Bruce Wayne is again the only Batman, with Dick Grayson having returned to his role as Nightwing.
The first story arc of the title, "The Court of Owls", focuses on Batman's discovery of a secret society in Gotham City that he had never known about before, dating back to the time of Gotham's founding and his ancestor Alan Wayne, and his battles against the Talons, the agents of the Court of Owls. This led to the first major New 52 crossover, "Night of the Owls". The finale of the story sees Thomas Wayne Jr. as the head Talon of the Court of Owls in Gotham.
The second arc was named "Death of the Family", a name-play on the "Batman: A Death in the Family". It picked up on the cliffhanger involving the Joker from Tony Daniel's run on Detective Comics.
Talon, a spin-off of the "Court of Owls" storyline, launched in September 2012 and focused on a rogue Talon from the Court.
After a storyline involving Clayface and a one-shot dealing with the aftermath of "Death of the Family", Snyder's next arc was "Batman: Zero Year". This followed up on Batman #0 and retold how Bruce Wayne became Batman, not done since Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One". The "Endgame" storyline ran from October 2014 to April 2015, and concluded with the apparent deaths of both Batman and the Joker. James Gordon, having taken on the Batman mantle, became the main character of the series in June 2015.
In the "Superheavy" storyline, Gordon encounters a new supervillain, Mr. Bloom, who is distributing various seed-like devices that grant their users extraordinary superpowers at the cost of their lives to select few individuals. It is also revealed that Bruce Wayne is alive, with no memories of his previous life, and has started dating Julie Madison. With Gordon unable to subdue Bloom, Bruce begins to regain his memories and realizes that he is Batman. Using a machine that Batman planned to use to implant his memories into clones to continue his lineage, he regains his memories and becomes Batman again. With Gordon's help, he takes down Bloom. Gordon is made Commissioner of the GCPD once again following issue #50.
As part of DC Rebirth, Batman was relaunched with a Batman: Rebirth one-shot issue and began shipping twice-monthly, starting with Batman (vol. 3) #1 in June 2016 (cover dated Aug. 2016). The series is written by Tom King and drawn by David Finch and Mikel Janín. The series saw the introduction of two vigilantes, Gotham and Gotham Girl, and reintroduced the romance between Batman and Catwoman. During King's run, the series explored Batman's psychological aspects, made Bane its main antagonist, and celebrated Batman and Catwoman's relationship in a long-running story arc that involved many mini-arcs. These mini-arcs included "I Am Gotham", "Night of the Monster Men", "I Am Suicide", "I Am Bane", "The War of Jokes and Riddles", "The Rules of Engagement", "The Wedding", "Cold Days", "Knightmares", "The Fall and the Fallen", and "City of Bane". The series returned to being shipped monthly in January 2020, with Tom King leaving the book with issue #85 for a 12-issue maxiseries titled Batman/Catwoman, in order to conclude his Batman story. Starting with Batman (vol. 3) #86, James Tynion IV became the main writer of the title.
Following Tynion's departure from DC Comics, Joshua Williamson, who previously wrote the backup story in issue #106, briefly became the new head writer in December 2021 starting with issue #118. Chip Zdarsky then became the head writer with artist Jorge Jimenez returning after having previously illustrated parts of Tynion's run. Their run will begin with issue #125, which will release on July 5, 2022 and start with "Failsafe", a six-issue story arc.
The Batman series has had Annuals published beginning in 1961. Seven issues of Batman Annual were published from 1961 – 1964. An additional 17 issues were published from 1982 to 2000 and the numbering continued from the 1961 series. Writer Mike W. Barr and artist Trevor Von Eeden crafted Batman Annual #8 (1982) and Von Eeden has noted that it is "the book I’m most proud of, in my 25 year career at DC Comics. I was able to ink it myself, and also got my girlfriend at the time, Lynn Varley, to colour it - her first job in comics."
The first stories appearing in the Batman comic book were written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane, though Finger went uncredited for years thereafter. These early stories depicted a vengeful Batman, not hesitant to kill when he saw it as a necessary sacrifice. In one of the early stories, he is depicted using a gun and metal bat to stop a group of giant assailants and again with a group of average criminals. The Joker, a psychopath who is notorious for using a special toxin called Joker venom that kills and mutilates his victims, remains one of the most prolific and notorious Batman villains created in this time period. Later, during the Silver Age, this type of supervillain changed from disturbing psychological assaults to the use of amusing gimmicks.
Typically, the primary challenges that the Batman faced in this era were derived from villains who were purely evil; however, by the 1970s, the motivations of these characters, including obsessive-compulsion, child abuse, and environmental fanaticism, were being explored more thoroughly. Batman himself also underwent a transformation and became a much less one-dimensional character, struggling with deeply rooted internal conflicts. Although not canonical, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns introduced a significant evolution of the Batman's character in his eponymous series; he became uncompromising and relentless in his struggle to revitalize Gotham. The Batman often exhibited behavior that Gotham's elite labeled as excessively violent, as well as antisocial tendencies. This aspect of the Batman's personality was also toned down considerably in the wake of the DC-wide crossover Infinite Crisis, wherein Batman experienced a nervous breakdown and reconsidered his philosophy and approaches to his relationships. Currently, the Batman's attributes and personality are said to have been greatly influenced by the traditional characterization by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams' portrayals during the 1970s, although hints of the Miller interpretation appear in certain aspects of his character.
|The Joker||#1||Spring 1940|
|The Catwoman (as "the Cat")||#1||Spring 1940|
|Gotham City (by name)||#4||Winter 1941|
|The Batmobile||#5||Spring 1941|
|Alfred Pennyworth||#16||April–May 1943|
|The Mad Hatter||#49||October–November 1948|
|Vicki Vale||#49||October–November 1948|
|Killer Moth||#63||February–March 1951|
|Mister Freeze (as "Mr. Zero")||#121||February 1959|
|Bat-Girl (Betty Kane)||#139||April 1961|
|Poison Ivy||#181||June 1966|
|Ra's al Ghul||#232||June 1971|
|Arkham Asylum||#258||October 1974|
|Lucius Fox||#307||January 1979|
|The Snowman||#337||July 1981|
|Jason Todd (later Robin II)||#357||March 1983|
|Harvey Bullock||#361||June 1983|
|Black Mask||#386||August 1985|
|Holly Robinson||#404||February 1987|
|Sarah Essen Gordon||#405||March 1987|
|The KGBeast||#417||March 1988|
|Tim Drake (later Robin III)||#436||August 1989|
|Shondra Kinsolving||#486||February 1992|
|Cassandra Cain (later Batgirl IV)||#567||July 1999|
|David Cain||#567||July 1999|
|The Red Hood (Jason Todd)||#635||December 2004|
|Damian Wayne||#655||September 2006|
|Professor Pyg||#666||July 2007|
|Terry McGinnis||#700||June 2010|
|The Court of Owls||(vol. 2) #1||September 2011|
|Mr. Bloom||(vol. 2) #43||August 2015|
|Gotham Girl||(vol. 3) #1||June 2016|
|Punchline||(vol. 3) #89||February 2020|
|Clownhunter||(vol. 3) #96||August 2020|
|Ghost-Maker||(vol. 3) #100||October 2020|
|#||Title||Material collected||Pages||Publication date||ISBN||Notes|
|1||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 1||
|2||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 2||
|3||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 3||
|4||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 4||
|5||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 5||
|6||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 6||
|7||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 7||
|8||Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Volume 8||
|9||Batman: The Strange Deaths of Batman||
|10||Batman: Second Chances||
|11||Batman: Year One||
||280||March 1988 (HC)
June 1988 (SC)
|12||Batman: Ten Nights of The Beast||
|13||Batman: A Death in the Family||
|14||Batman: The Many Deaths of the Batman||
|14||Batman: Hush Volume 1||
|15||Batman: Hush Volume 2||
|16||Batman: Hush Absolute Edition||
|17||Batman: Broken City||
|18||Batman: As the Crow Flies||
|19||Batman: Under the Hood Volume 1||
|20||Batman: Under the Hood Volume 2||
|21||Batman and Son||
||128||August 2007 (HC)||1-4012-1240-9 (HC)
|22||Batman: The Black Glove||
|24||Batman: Long Shadows||
|25||Batman: Life After Death||
|26||Batman: Time and the Batman||
|27||Batman: Eye of the Beholder||
These are crossovers that include most – if not all – of the Batman-related titles published at the time.
The first issue of Batman's self-titled comic written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, represented a milestone in more ways than one. With Robin now a partner to the Caped Crusader, villains needed to rise to the challenge, and this issue introduced two future legends: the Joker and Catwoman.
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There was a point when DC actually gave thought to canceling Batman...in his spacious office, facing [Julius] Schwartz and [Carmine] Infantino, [Irwin] Donenfeld told them, 'Gentlemen, you two guys are going to take over Batman. The book is dying. I'll give you six months. If you don't bring it back, we'll kill it off.
Writer Ed Herron joined artist Sheldon Moldoff for this first issue of Batman featuring the 'New Look'.
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Editor Julius Schwartz had decided to darken the character's world to further distance him from the camp environment created by the 1966 ABC show. Bringing in the talented O'Neil as well as the innovative Frank Robbins and showcasing the art of rising star Neal Adams...Schwartz pointed Batman in a new and darker direction, a path the character still continues on to this day.
Dick Grayson attends the parade with his friends – comic book creators Alan Weiss, Bernie Wrightson and Gerry Conway. Batman's fight spills into Tom Fagan's mansion, where Denny O'Neil, Len Wein and Mark Hanerfeld are in attendance.
This new comic...introduces a new "anti-hero on the run" to the DCU. Calvin Rose, the only Talon to escape from the control of the Court of Owls, will be traveling all around the DCU as he is hunted by his former masters. While the story spins out of the Court of Owls storyline that is running through the first year of Snyder's Batman, the title character is a brand new one.
As part of DC's Rebirth relaunch, King is joined by superstar artist David Finch on the now bi-weekly Batman.