TOP

75 Greatest Batman Stories: #35-26

by  in Comic News Comment

In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman, culminating with the official 75th anniversary of Batman on July 23rd. We’ve done Batman covers, Batman characters, Batman creastors and now, finally, Batman stories!

You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 75 Greatest Batman Stories! Here are #35-26!

Enjoy!

NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.

35. “Club of Heroes” (Batman #667-669)

In this three-part mystery by Grant Morrison and J.H. Williams III, Batman is reunited with the international club of heroes (a short-lived superhero team that was introduced in a 1950s issue of Batman) to solve the seeming murder of the man who originally funded the Club of Heroes. Can Batman and a team of C-List heroes solve the murder mystery before they’re all picked off one by one?

Williams was especially impressive when he showed a flashback to the heyday of the Club (when the British hero the Knight was known as the sidekick to his father)…


and then transitioned to modern times…




34. “A Lonely Place of Dying” (Batman #440-442, The New Titans #60-61)

Marv Wolfman theorized that a reason that fans didn’t like Jason Todd was that he was in conflict with Dick Grayson, so in this storyline by Wolfman (spread out over Batman and New Titans) that introduced the third Robin, Wolfman makes sure to directly tie Tim Drake in with Dick Grayson, by having Tim figure out Dick and Bruce’s secret identities and then trying to get Dick to take over as Robin again as Batman is having troubles since Jason died…





Jim Aparo and Tom Grummett did the art for this storyline.

33. “Year 100” (Batman Year 100 #1-4)

In a Gotham City that is essentially a federal police state, there is little room for honest cops like Jim Gordon (grandson of the famed Commissioner Jim Gordon) but there is even less room for unexplained phenomena – after all, everyone is being constantly monitored – there is no such thing as privacy, no such thing as secrecy. That is, of course, until Batman somehow shows up on the grid. It is unclear if this is the original Batman (since it is so far in the future it certainly seems unlikely) but whatever the case, this Batman is a thorn in the side of a corrupt federal government and writer/artist Paul Pope does an amazing job showing how Batman manages to evade capture while showing how Batman (along with his pair of young helpers, including a young man known as Robin) keeps up his aura of mystery (think fake teeth to make him look demonic)…




Go to the next page for #32-29!

32. “The Man Who Laughs” (Batman: The Man Who Laughs)

This graphic novel by Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke adapts and updates the Joker’s first appearance…




While many writers have done the approach of re-writing classic stories, few have pulled it off with such care as Ed Brubaker does in this story, where he adds enough to make the story really stand on its own. One particularly novel addition is to have Bruce Wayne be one of the men that the Joker says that he will kill. How Bruce Wayne gets out of it is something so outrageous that you really need to check it out yourself.

Doug Mahnke, as you can see above, does a marvelous job on the artwork – just really stand-out, dynamic work.

31. “The First Batman” (Detective Comics #235)

Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye gave us this reveal that Batman’s parents might have been killed by Joe Chill, but it was at the behest of mobster Lew Moxon, who sent Chill to kill the Waynes because of Thomas Wayne messing with him at a masquerade party while dressed as a Bat-Man…




30. “Under the Hood” (Batman #635-641, 645-650 and Batman Annual #25)

In this storyline by Judd Winick, Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen, we meet a new Red Hood who is shockingly effective. He’s like Batman, only with a ruthless quality Batman doesn’t seem to possess. Batman hunts down this new Red Hood until he finally realizes for sure who this person is, this person who is seemingly as talented as Batman himself…





Yes, Jason Todd has returned! This story brought Jason Todd back to the DC Universe and established him as a popular character who currently has his own comic book.

29. “Venom” (Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20)

Denny O’Neil, Trevor Von Eeden, Russ Braun and Jose Luis-Garcia Lopez combine to tell a compelling examination into what happens when Batman becomes addicted to a strength-enhancing drug known as Venom…




This story laid the groundwork for Bane’s origin.

Go to the next page for #28-26!

28. “The Joker” and “The Joker Returns” (Batman #1)

Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson’s introduction of the Joker is one of the best villain introductions of the entire Golden Age…




He was such a great character that they decided to not kill him off after having originally deciding to kill him. He was just too good to get rid of him. He soon became a Batman mainstay villain, practically as important to the series’ success as Batman himself.

27. “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?” (Batman #686 and Detective Comics #853)

In this story by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert and Scott Williams, we see a group of Batman’s friends and foes from all over Batman’s continuity gather after Batman died and they each tell of how he REALLY died. One of the best is the story Alfred shared about his universe’s Batman…




Brilliant.

26. “Son of the Demon” (Batman: Son of the Demon)

In this classic original graphic novel by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham, Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul find themselves on the same side of a conflict and when they team up that means Batman and Talia are ALSO teaming up…only a bit more so…





This story was a big influence on Grant Morrison’s introduction of Damian Wayne (as Talia has Batman’s son in this story).