The Batman: What to read after watching the film (Again)

Jun 13, 2022 | News



I’m going to guess you’ve already seen The Batman on the big screen.

And, if you’re anything like me, it put you in the mood to read some of the thrilling comic adventures that inspired the film.

If you looked for suggestions at the time you probably came across classic stories like Year One and The Long Halloween. But what if you’ve read these stories before? Where do you go from there?

To mark the release of The Batman on Blu-Ray and DVD, here are some recommendations for you Batfans who want to read some alternative escapades of The Caped Crusader.

Batman: Ego

Up until recent years, this tale wasn’t one of Batman’s most talked-about adventures. But when The Batman director Matt Reeves cited it as inspiration for his take on the character, it picked up popularity with comic book audiences.

Set early in Batman’s career. The story spotlights Bruce Wayne’s inner conflict with his alter ego and the compromise he must make with himself to stay a hero to the people of Gotham and avoid becoming a monster like the villains he faces.

Beautifully written and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, best known for DC’S New Frontier. Ego is a great read for anyone wanting to take a deep dive into The Dark Knights’ psychology.

Batman: Damned

So, what do you know about this book other than… let’s call it… ‘The Bat-A-Wang’ controversy?

Not too much I’m guessing.

That was all anyone talked about at the time. But underneath the hurrah and buyers’ speculation that followed the premier issue, there’s a spectacularly violent and grim horror story.

The Joker is dead. And with Batman’s memories of his last confrontation with The Clown Prince of Crime being a haze, he may be the killer.

Teaming up with John Constantine, The Caped Crusader begins a quest through the supernatural world of the DC Universe to discover the Truth about the Joker’s Death. Featuring appearances from the likes of Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan, and Swamp Thing.

By the creative team that brought you Luthor and Joker, Brian Azzarello’s and Lee Bermejo’s chilling tale is a must-read for anyone looking for a sprinkle of mysticism in their batman tales or fans of animated Justice League Dark movie.

Batman: Venom

Some of my favourite parts of superhero films are easter eggs and references to the original comics, expanding the universe, and hinting at things to come. The most exciting piece of foreshadowing in The Batman for me came during the climax of the film.

Batman’s winded, Selina is at the mercy of one of the Ridler’s acolytes. The situation is looking dire for the pair. Then Bruce pulls a small vial of luminescent green liquid from his belt. Then the realization struck. ‘Venom?’.

I nearly leapt out of my seat with excitement. What this revelation could mean for this take on the character. I bet the two old dears who sat behind me thought I was having a seizure.

My suspicions of the vial’s contents were confirmed for me with the berserker rage The Dark knight flew into after taking the volatile drug.

This leads us to my next suggestion. Prolific Batman writer Dennis O’Neil’s Batman: Venom.

Following Batman’s failure to save a young girl from drowning, the distraught hero becomes reliant on an experimental super-steroid that not only strengthens his body but also warps his mind.

The Caped Crusader must overcome his addiction and put a stop to the drugs creator, Randolph Porter, and his dangerous experiments.

The story demonstrates just how vulnerable Bruce Wayne truly is but also what he can overcome, even with the odds stacked against him.

Batman: Earth One

When asked about his inspirations for The Batman, Matt Reeves cites three books in particular: Year One, The Long Halloween, and Ego. However, the next suggestion deserves to be on that list.

The powerhouse team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank reinvented The Dark Knight for the 21st century with their Earth One trilogy of graphic novels.

This Bruce Wayne isn’t the world’s greatest detective, he isn’t a master martial artist and the equipment he’s hobbled together breaks apart when he needs it the most. He doesn’t even have a Batcave.

But over the three volumes, The Caped Crusader puts together a team with the likes of Alfred Pennyworth, James Gordon, Lucious Fox, and Selina Kyle to fight corruption and help make Gotham City a safer place.

Some of the elements Reeves took from this series for his take on the character include Thomas Waynes Mayoral candidacy, Bruce being of Arkham decent, and the most blatant of all when you see it…

Catwoman: When in Rome

For the last story, we’re going to take a step away from Batman and take a look at his feline counterpart. Written By Jeph Loeb and art by Tim Sale, When in Rome acts as a sequel to the duo’s previous works The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.

Selina Kyle travels to Italy in Search of uncovering Carmine Falcone’s past. What she discovers will change her life and her relationship to the Falcone family forever.

If you’re a fan of Loeb and Sale’s previous work or would like to read a Catwoman story that influenced The Batman’s take on the character, then this book is for you.

There we have it. Were there any Batman stories you would recommend that weren’t included here? Did you catch any of The Batman’s nods to the Earth One? Let us know on our social media links below.

By Liam Priestley

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