Batman Timeline – Modern Age Chronology and Reading Order

Contents

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.

Modern Age

Year One

Batman Year One Cover
Batman: Year One Cover

Year one recounts the very beginnings of Bruce Wayne’s career as The Batman as well as James Gordon’s career in Gotham City.

Notable villains – Carmine Falcone, Sofia Gigante Falcone

  • Originally released in 1987
  • First appearance of Bruce Wayne as Batman (modern age)
  • First appearance of Selina Kyle (Catwoman)
  • First appearance of Harvey Dent
Sale
Year One
756 Reviews
Year One
  • Batman Year One Deluxe
  • Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Click here to read our review of Year One

Shaman

Batman Shaman Cover
Batman Shaman Cover

Retells Bruce’s time before becoming the Batman which he returns to Gotham in the present to finally put an end to Chubala.

Notable villains – Chubala

  • Originally released in 1989
  • Explored the origin of the Batcave and Batman as an identity
Shaman Reading Order
13 Reviews
Shaman
  • Dennis O'Neil
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Paperback: 136 pages

Batman & the Monster Men

Batman and the Monster Men Cover
Batman and the Monster Men Cover

& The Monster Men is the retelling of the origins of Hugo Strange and his “Monster Men” and his fiendish experiments meeting a still very young Bruce Wayne.

Notable villains – Hugo Strange

  • Originally released in 2006
  • First appearance of Hugo Strange (modern age)
Batman and The Monster Men Reading Order
47 Reviews
Batman and The Monster Men
  • Matt Wagner
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Paperback: 144 pages

Batman & the Mad Monk

Batman and the Mad Monk Cover
Batman and the Mad Monk Cover

Bruce Wayne and the Batman encounter their very first encounter with a supernatural (metahuman) being – The Mad Monk.

Notable villains – The Mad Monk

  • Originally released in 2006
  • First encounter with a supernatural being
The Mad Monk Reading Order
26 Reviews
Batman & The Mad Monk
  • Matt Wagner
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Paperback: 144 pages

Prey

Batman Prey Cover
Batman Prey Cover

Prey is the sequel to The Monster Men. Batman continues on his young journey only to have his existence as Batman questioned by himself as he is tormented by Hugo Strange’s return and his smear campaign.

Notable villains – Hugo Strange

  • Originally released in 1990
  • Hugo Strange Returns (modern age)
Prey
  • Doug Moench, Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
  • Edition no. 0 (06/01/2012)

Click here to read our review of Prey

The Man Who Laughs

Batman The Man Who Laughs Cover
Batman The Man Who Laughs Cover

The Man Who Laughs in the retelling of the first appearance of Joker (not Joker’s ‘origins’) and encounter with Batman. The Man Who Laughs mentions and is directly canon with Year One and Mad Monk.

Notable villains – The Joker

  • Originally released in 2005
  • First appearance of the Joker (modern age)
Sale
The Man Who Laughs Reading Order
171 Reviews
The Man Who Laughs
  • Batman The Man Who Laughs SC
  • Ed Brubaker
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Click here to red our review of Gothic

Gothic

Batman Gothic Cover
Batman Gothic Cover

A figure from Gotham and Bruce Wayne’s past comes back to Gotham and begins murdering members of the crime families.

Notable villains – Whisper

  • Originally released in 1990
Sale
Gothic Reading Order
61 Reviews
Gothic
  • DC Comics
  • Grant Morrison
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Click here to read our review of Gothic

Venom

Batman Venom Cover
Batman Venom Cover

Venom is one of Bruce Wayne’s darker times which seems the introduction of the Chemical venom and Bruce Wayne/Batman’s struggle to conquer his addiction to it.

  • Originally released in
  • First mention and usage of the steroid Venom
Sale
Batman Venom in the timeline
95 Reviews
Batman Venom
  • Great product!
  • Dennis O'Neil
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Click here to read our review of Venom

Four of a Kind

Batman Four of a Kind Cover
Batman Four of a Kind Cover

Batman: Four of a Kind is a collection if four Year One annuals which is a retelling of Batman’s first encounter stories of Poison Ivy, Riddler, Scarecrow and Man-Bat.

  • Originally released in 1995
  • First appearance of Poison Ivy
  • First appearance of Riddler
  • First appearance of Scarecrow
  • First appaearance of Man-Bat
Batman Four of a Kind in the timeline
3 Reviews
Batman Four of a Kind
  • Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench
  • Publisher: Dc Comics
  • Paperback: 208 pages

Collected Legends of the Dark Knight

Collected Legends of the Dark Knight Cover
Collected Legends of the Dark Knight Cover

Collected Legends of the Dark Knight itself isn’t a storyline but a collection of 3 storyline across 6 issues still during Batman and Bruce Wayne’s early years in the timeline. Blades, Legends of the Dark-Mite and Hot House are the title of the stories. In Blades, we explore the burden of being a superhero. Dark-Mite is a silly filler issue and Hot House is a great reformed Ivy story.

  • Originally released in 1994
  • First appearance of Bat-Mite (modern age)
  • First appearance of the Cavalier (modern age)
Sale
Batman Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
4 Reviews
Batman Collected Legends of the Dark Knight
  • James Robinson, Bob Kane, John Francis Moore, Alan Grant
  • Publisher: Dc Comics
  • Paperback: 159 pages

Click here to read our review of Collected Legends of the Dark Knight

Other Realms

Batman Other Realms Cover
Batman Other Realms Cover

Released in 1996 and then collected in 1998 ‘Other Realms’ follows the Collected Legends in the reading order and the timeline and is also a part of Legends of the Dark Knight. Other Realms explores a time where a still young Bruce Wayne is in a car accident and the two short stories ‘Destiny’ and ‘The Sleeping’. As do many of the books and storylines in the early parts of the timeline Other Realms takes a look at what life could have been if Bruce had not put on the mantle. Other Realms is also quite the rare/expensive find.

  • Originally released in 1995
Batman Other Realms
5 Reviews
Batman Other Realms
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Scott Hampton, Mark Kneece
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Snow

Batman Snow Cover
Batman Snow Cover

Snow, which was released in 2005 is a retelling of the origins of Mr. Freeze for the Modern Age. Batman is around a year into his career her. A short collection with 5 issues and a part of Legends of the Dark Knight again. This is yet another rare/expensive find.

  • Originally released in 2005
  • First appearance and origins of Mr. Freeze in the modern age
Batman Snow
19 Reviews
Batman Snow
  • J.H. Williams, Dan Curtis Johnson, Seth Fisher
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
  • Paperback: 128 pages

The Long Halloween

Batman The Long Halloween Cover
Batman The Long Halloween Cover

The Long Halloween is the most significant and famous book in the timeline since Year One. Long Halloween is regarded as the time where Batman’s villains went from being simple crooks and thugs to ‘super villains’. Long Halloween is also notable for the origin story for Two-Face and Harvey Dent’s journey to becoming him/them. Long Halloween is also interconnected with Year One and work well one after the other.

Notable villains – Two-Face, Holiday Killer, Scarecrow, Joker, Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Riddler

  • Originally released in 1996
  • Limited Series one-shot
  • First appearance and origins of Two-Face (modern age)
  • Leads into Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome
Sale
Batman and The Long Halloween
573 Reviews
Batman and The Long Halloween
  • Batman The Long Halloween
  • Jeph Loeb
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Click here to read our review of The Long Halloween

Dark Victory

Dark Victory Cover
Dark Victory Cover

Batman: Dark Victory ran from 1999-200 and is the modern age retelling of the introduction of Dick Grayson as the first Robin. Dark Victory is also a direct sequel to The Long Halloween and is written and drawn by the same team. Dark Victory has been known to be in the shadow of TLH but that doesn’t mean it isn’t phenomenal tale and a deserving book on any Batman fan’s shelf.

  • Originally released in 1999
  • Limited series 14-part one-shot
  • First appearance of Dick Grayson and as Robin
  • Has a sequel – Robin: Year One
Sale
Batman: Dark Victory
165 Reviews
Batman: Dark Victory
  • Jeph Loeb
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Edition no. 0 (10/01/2002)

Click here to read our review of Dark Victory

The Gauntlet

Batman The Gauntlet Cover
Batman The Gauntlet Cover

Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet is the continuation of Dick Grayson’s time in training to be Robin before Year One. The Gauntlet shows Dick Grayson’s exceptional natural ability as he thwarts a crime before passing his “Batman exam” and officially becoming Batman’s sidekick by being introduced to James Gordon. This is a great book for fans of Dick and Robin alike.

  • Originally published in 1997
  • A part of Batman: Chronicles
  • Robin’s first real solo test
Batman: The Gauntlet
8 Reviews
Batman: The Gauntlet
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Lee Weeks, Bruce Canwell
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Robin Year One

Robin Year One Cover

Robin: Year One

Batman: Haunted Knight

— 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

— Batgirl’s first encounter with Catwoman —

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 —

Click here to read the review of the Killing Joke Deluxe edition

Arkham Asylum A Serious House on Serious Earth

Batman Death in the Family

— Jason Todd is killed by Joker —

Contains A lonely place of dying

Tim drake comes 3rd robin

 

Batman Blind Justice

The Sword of Azreal

Batman Knightfall Volume 1

— First appearance of Bane —

— Bane breaks Batman’s back —

— Azrael becomes Batman —

Batman Knightfall Volume 2 KnightsQuest

— Azrael kills Abattoir —

Batman Knightfall Volume 3 KnightsEnd 

— Bruce Wayne returns to reclaim the mantle of Batman —

Batman Prodical

— Dick Grayson becomes Batman for the first time —

— Prodical is included in Volume 3 KnightsEnd new edition) —

Batman Anarky

Batman Contagion

Batman Legacy

Batman Cataclysm

Sale
Batman: Cataclysm
41 Reviews
Batman: Cataclysm
  • Chuck Dixon
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Edition no. 0 (06/16/2015)

Batman No Mans Land Vol 1

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Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 1
34 Reviews
Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 1
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Various
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Batman No Man’s Land Vol 2-4

Batman Evolution

Batman Officer Down

Bruce Wayne Murderer?

Bruce Wayne Fugitive Vol 1 – 3

Hush

Sale
Batman: Hush
853 Reviews
Batman: Hush
  • Batman Hush
  • Jeph Loeb
  • Publisher: DC Comics

— First appearance of Hush —

 

Batman Death in the Maidens

Batman Broken City

Batman As the crow Flies

Batman War Drums

Batman War Games (Book 1 and Book 2)

— Stephanie Brown dies —

Batman Hush Returns

Batman City of Crime

Batman Under the Red Hood

— Jason Todd returns —

Batman War Crimes

— War Crimes comes included in War Games Book 2 new edition —

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

Sale
Batman: Private Casebook
18 Reviews
Batman: Private Casebook
  • Paul Dini
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Paperback: 160 pages

— Peyton Riley starts and ends being the new Ventriloquist —

Batman Heart of Hush

Sale
Batman: Heart of Hush
80 Reviews
Batman: Heart of Hush
  • Great product!
  • Paul Dini
  • Publisher: DC Comics

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
Batman Timeline - Modern Age Chronology and Reading class=
Article Name
Batman Timeline - Modern Age Chronology and Reading Order
Description
The modern age Batman recommended chronology and reading over which takes you all the way from Year One to the New 52.
Author
Publisher Name
The Gotham Archives
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Last update on 2017-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API