Batman Chronology and Reading Order

When I first wanted to get into reading the Batman books my first issue was where do I start? Is there an official reading order to the Batman books? Well, there isn’t an official one but I have found a couple of unofficial ones people have collected in the comic book community. Here’s one I found on a forum and I’ve followed since.

This timeline and suggested reading order is Batman specific and leads all the way to the beginning of New 52 where it essentially ‘reboots’ and then leads up into Rebirth, of course which is a continuation and not a reboot. I’ve also added some key notes under some of the entries if anything major has happen such as a death. This is the order to red Batman books if you want to follow the career of Batman from start to “end”. ¬† What you might find is that the books switch in art all the time as well as the overall tone.

Bold denotes read and owned, links denotes read and reviewed.

This is a personal chronology rather than one borrowed from other sources (other than the timeline itself) although I could list all key events now I would rather list them only after I’ve personally read them.

  • Batman Year One

— First appearance of Bruce Wayne as Batman (modern age)

  • Batman Shaman
  • Batman & the Monster Men

— First appearance of Hugo Strange (modern age) —

— Hugo Strange Returns (modern age) —

  • Batman the Man Who Laughs

— First appearance of the Joker (modern age) —

— First mention and usage of the steroid Venom —

  • Batman Four of a Kind
  • Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
  • Batman Other Realms
  • Batman Snow
  • Batman and The Long Halloween

— First appearance of Two-Face —

  • Batman Dark Victory

— First appearance of Dick Grayson (modern age) —

— Dick Grayson becomes the 1st Robin —

— Bruce Wayne starts work on the Wayne Foundation with Lucius Fox —

  • Batman: Faces
  • Batman Terror
  • Batman Monsters
  • Batman Rules of Engagement
  • Batman Night Crisis
  • Batman The Cat and the Bat
  • Batman King Tuts Tomb
  • Batman Tales of the Demon
  • Batman The nights of the Beast
  • Batman The Killing Joke

— Barbara Gordon paralysed by the Joker —

  • Arkham Asylum A Serious House on Serious Earth
  • Batman Death in the Family

— Jason Todd is killed by Joker —

  • Batman A Lonely Place of Dying

— Tim Drake becomes the 3rd Robin —

  • Batman Blind Justice
  • The Sword of Azreal
  • Batman Knightfall

— First appearance of Bane —

— Bane breaks Batman’s back —

— Azrael becomes Batman —

  • Batman KnightsQuest
  • Batman KnightsEnd¬†

— Bruce Wayne returns to become Batman —

— Bruce Wayne hands the mantle to Dick Grayson (Nightwing)

  • Batman Prodical
  • Batman Anarky
  • Batman Contagion
  • Batman Legacy
  • Batman Cataclysm
  • Batman No Mans Land Vol 1
  • Batman No Man’s Land Vol 2-4
  • Batman Evolution
  • Batman Officer Down
  • Bruce Wayne Murderer?
  • Bruce Wayne Fugitive Vol 1 – 3
  • Hush
  • Batman Death in the Maidens
  • Batman Broken City
  • Batman As the crow Flies
  • Batman War Drums
  • Batman War Games

— Stephanie Brown dies —

— Jason Todd returns —

  • Batman War Crimes
  • Batman Face the Face
  • Batman Detective
  • Batman and Son
  • Batman Death in the City
  • Batman The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul
  • Batman and the Black Glove
  • Batman Private Casebook
  • Batman Heart of Hush
  • Batman R.I.P.
  • Batman What Ever Happened To The Caped Crusader
  • Batman Battle of the Cowl
  • Batman Battle of the Cowl Companion
  • Batman Reborn
  • Batman Vs Robin

— Damian is disowned by the League of Assassins —

— Bruce Wayne is discovered to be alive and lost in time —

  • Batman Long Shadows
  • Batman Hush Money
  • Batman Life After Death
  • Batman Arkham Reborn
  • Time and the Batman
  • Batman Must Die
  • Batman The Road Home
  • Batman The Return of Bruce Wayne
  • Batman Eye of the Beholder
  • Batman: The Black Mirror
Summary