10 Best Batman Comics We Wish Were Canon

DC Comics made a serious bet in 2011 when they launched their New 52 comics line. The goal of this reboot was to simplify the complex canon of the DC Universe. Many characters had much shorter backstories and personalities that didn’t require new readers to wade through 70 years of comics to figure out. For Batman in particular, a streamlining of the canon was an attempt to attract new fans.


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Like many DC reboots, the New 52 didn’t last. Convergence tried to introduce some aspects of the old continuity, and dark nights: Death Metal officially does “everything” canon because “everything matters”. Despite this fact, some comics still do not count as “canon” in the main DC Universe, including Elseworlds, crossovers, some pre-Crisis oninfinite earths stand-alone trade stories and paperbacks. Some of these stories deserve to be canon and would add significantly to the Batman mythos.

10/10 The Long Halloween Depicts Two-Face’s Origin

DC Comics release Batman: The Long Halloween as a 13-issue limited series between 1996 and 1997. Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale and Gregory Wright, the story involved Batman trying to solve murders by a criminal who only murdered victims during the holidays.

As The Long Halloween set up Harvey Dent to become a career criminal, he also fleshed out Gotham’s powerful crime families, the Maronis and the Falcones. The Long Halloween succeeded as a story because it made Gotham a complex city of heroes, cops, and district attorneys battling supervillains, gangsters, and Gotham’s corrupt system.

try to read Batman comics in the 90s and keeping all the plots straight could be a difficult task. Several books were released each week featuring Batman and a rotating cast of Gotham characters. DC Comics published batman: black and white as a four-issue miniseries in 1996 to allow a variety of writers to tell stand-alone stories outside of canon.

Although the stories remain non-canonical, many of them added important facets to Batman. Ted McKeever’s story “Perpetual Mourning” was nominated for an Eisner Award for exploring the effect Batman’s cases have on him. Other stories explored Batman’s legacy in Gotham, the redemption of Two-Face, and a killer with multiple personalities.

batman vs predator premiered as a limited run in 1991. Two additional limited runs followed in 1993 and 1997. The plot of these books was not complex. Batman fought the villain of The predator film series.

What made the books work was the fact that Batman was never going to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger-type protagonist, so the confrontation between them pitted a detective against a superhuman killer. The series should be canon because it showed Batman at his best: defeating someone far more powerful and dangerous using his brains. It demonstrated Batman’s superiority far better than any Batman vs. Superman battle.

7/10 DC’s Silver Age Featured A Batman Before Bruce Wayne

The Silver Age of Comics refers to the years between 1956 and 1970. During this period, superhero comic book publishers reinvented their heroes in an attempt to win back the readers they had lost after the end of World War II. Although many of the Batman comics from this time in history are no longer canon, “The First Batman” is expected to be reworked into the main DC Universe.

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“The First Batman” was written in 1956 in Detective comics #235 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye. Bruce discovered another Batsuit and realized that his father had been Gotham’s first Batman. This story should be canon because it connects well with the Thomas Wayne alternate universe of Breaking point who became Batman after Bruce Wayne was murdered in Crime Alley.

6/10 Batman ’66 Wasn’t As Ridiculous As The TV Series

Published in 2013, Batman ’66 was supposed to take place in the same world as the 1966 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo. The comic featured many characters who were mainstays of the TV series, including Bookworm, Zelda the Great, and Olga.

Although the comic took place during the television series, it did not feature the over-the-top humor common to the television show. Instead, it showcased the kind of heartwarming relationship between Batman and Robin that helped make the last Batman: Adventures of the Wayne Family book so successful. These stories could easily fit into the main canon of the DC Universe, solidifying the bond that Bruce and Dick have shared in their previous adventures.

5/10 The Hiketeia was a Wonder Woman story that revealed a lot about Batman

Greg Rucka and JG Jones created Wonder Woman: La Hiketeia in 2002. The story was meant to be a standalone graphic novel for Wonder Woman who undergoes a sacred ritual to protect a young woman. The story revealed that the woman was on the run from the law after killing the traffickers who killed her sister.

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As the woman was wanted for murder, Batman was also after her. This put Batman and Wonder Woman on a directly conflicting path. Although the story focuses on Wonder Woman, it was also a story about Batman’s integrity and his friendship.

4/10 Dark Victory Gave Dick Grayson His Best Origin Story

Batman: Dark Victory came out in 1999 and gave Dick Grayson a definitive origin story. As the first Robin, Dick’s origin had been retold in bits many times over the years. But Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale used dark victory to illustrate the change Robin has brought to Batman’s life.

This story was later rendered non-canon by the events of Robin: first year. But Dick’s skill at translating clues that Batman couldn’t understand due to their very different childhoods makes this story a vital look at how a well-written Robin compliments Batman.

3/10 Joe Chill meets Batman and Vengeance

Most of the first Batman the stories no longer count as canon as the character of Batman was severely rewritten. In 1947, Batman #47 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Charles Paris depicts Batman’s origins for the first time and should have remained Batman’s definitive origin.

In the story, Batman discovered that Joe Chill was the man who murdered his parents. Batman went to confront him, and in the confrontation Batman revealed that Chill had been the reason Bruce became Batman. Chill escaped long enough to find his henchmen to protect himself. Upon learning that Chill was the reason for Batman’s creation, the henchmen sought revenge and murdered Chill.

2/10 Wayne Family Adventures depicts a healthy bat family

Starting in 2021, DC has partnered with Webtoon to release a digital comic series featuring the Bat-family called Batman: Adventures of the Wayne Family. The show clearly wasn’t canon because it deviated in several key areas: Alfred Pennyworth was alive, Jason Todd kept his white lock of hair, and Barbara Gordon remained in a wheelchair.

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But the series captured a lot of the individual traits that fans have come to appreciate about the Bat-family. Batman in particular was loved by readers of Wayne Family Adventuresas he was portrayed as a loving father instead of the demanding and reclusive father that DC’s canon comics often depict.

1/10 Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader Combined The Best Of Gaiman And Batman

In 2009, Neil Gaiman wrote What happened to the Caped Crusader? The story was meant to be the “final” Batman story, much the same as Alan Moore’s. What happened to the man of tomorrow? was supposed to be the “final” Superman story.

Gaiman featured Batman having a near-death experience while talking to a vision of his mother, Martha. Batman saw several potential versions of his death and he had the opportunity to express his regret. But he did not do it. Instead, he expressed acceptance that “I fight until I fall. And one day I will fall. But until then I fight.” The story took place outside of continuity, but the characterization deserves a place in the main DC Universe.

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