Batman Series of Comics – What’s the difference?

Old readers will be more than familiar with the many different Batman series which have been and gone and currently in print. Usually, the different Batman series have a different tone, characters, writers and artists which give a different perspective on the world of the Dark Knight. In this article we shed some light on the series which have gone and what were the differences between them. You never know, if you’ve been reading Batman and prefer to see more characters then Detecive Comics may be the one for you! Let’s start

List of Batman Comic Book Series

Detective Comics

Detective Comics is the original comic book series and the one which introduced Batman as a character in issue #27. Batman is now the main character of Detective Comics – the difference with Detective Comics is that it usually features more characters than just Batman but also has a more of a ‘detective’ feel to the plot lines usually. Detective Comics is still a running series.

Some would argue Detective Comics is a crossover series with Batman in the centre.

Detective Comics 27
Detective Comics #27


The self titled Batman series has Batman as the main character and has been in constant continuation since it started in 1940. Batman, as a series, is all about Batman and generally is more action orientated than Detective Comics.

Batman is not a crossover series.

Notable storylines are too many to list but Court of Owls is a recent one you might like.

Batman 1
Batman #1

Legends of the Dark Knight

Launched in 1989 on the back of the Michael Keaton movie, Legends of the Dark Knight run all the way until 2007 when it was replaced by Confidential. Legends of the Dark Knight is known to have a darker tone to its storylines and focussed a lot on Batman’s early years.

Legends of the Dark Knight is used a lot in crossover titles but is a Batman solo series.

For a taste why not read the Collected Legends of the Dark Knight.

Legends of the Dark Knight 1
Legends of the Dark Knight #1

Shadow of the Bat

Shadow of the Bat ran from 1992-2000 with 96 running side by side with Batman and Detective Comics. Shadow of the Bat has been known to look at the psychology behind the Dark Knight and his enemies. Shadow of the Bat has been used a lot in crossover arcs such as Knightfall.

Shadow of the Bat 1
Shadow of the Bat #1

Sword of Azrael

Sword of Azrael was a 1992 mini-series which introduced the character Azrael and led to the Knightfall storyline.

Sword of Azrael Book 1
Sword of Azrael Book 1


Batman: Confidential was the follow up to Legends of the Dark Knight and ran as a monthly series from 2006 to 2011. Confidential followed similar patterns to Legends of the Dark Knight and focused on Batman’s early years with a darker tone.

Confidential can also be seen as a crossover arc and Batman can focus very little in some stories such as The Cat and the Bat.

Batman Confidential 1
Batman Confidential 1

Gotham Knights

Batman: Gotham Knights was a monthly series with more of a focus on Batman’s extended family and enemies outside of their solo series. The run started in 2006 and ended in 2010 following the events of Infinite Crisis. Gotham Knights has been used extensively in crossover titles such as War Games.

Gotham Knights 1
Gotham Knights #1


The premise of the “All-Star” series is to gather the best writers and artists for their own one off series. Superman also has an All-Star version etc. All-Star is an ongoing series where at time of writing Scott Snyder (famous for his work on Batman) is at the helm.

Not all All-Star have hit the mark with All-Star Batman & Robin: The Boy Wonder being one of the most controversial storylines ever written.

All-Star Batman Rebirth 1
All-Star Batman Rebirth #1

Batman & Robin

Batman & Robin, surprisingly, is a relatively new series focusing on the partnership of Batman & Robin. Starting in 2009 following the “Battle for the Cowl” series which saw Dick Grayson become Batman after the events of Final Crisis. If you’re a fan of the dynamic duo over the solo runs then this is the series for you.

I would highly recommend Grant Morrison’s Batman & Robin run starting with Reborn.

Batman & Robin 1
Batman & Robin #1

The Dark Knight

Batman: The Dark Knight was a series which ran side by side with Incorporated. The difference being The Dark Knight focused much more on Gotham City whereas Incorporated focussed on his international efforts. This run has now concluded but ran from 2011 – 2014.

Batman The Dark Knight Volume 1
Batman The Dark Knight Volume 1


Batman: Incorporated is a very unique series which had a lot of significant storyline. Following his return from being stuck in time, Bruce Wayne created franchises all over the world to tackle crime.

Incorporated started in 2010 and ended in 2013.

Incorporated has some significant events inside its volumes and is definitely worth checking out if you are only starting to read Batman.

Batman Incorporated 1
Batman Incorporated #1


Batman: Eternal was a year long weekly series which started in April 2014 and ended in April 2015 during the New 52. Eternal featured numerous writers and artists who each wrote an arc focusing on the Bat-Family characters and Gotham itself. Some Eternal issues crossed over with the Batman/Detective Comics issues for example Zero Year and Endgame.

Batman Eternal 1
Batman Eternal #1


Batman/Superman is the New 52 follow up to Superman/Batman and was a top-tier series surrounding DC’s most popular characters. The run if you include the originals started in 2003 and ended in 2011.

Batman/Superman Vol 1
Batman/Superman Vol 1


Batman ’66 is a comic series which continued the classic Adam West television series. This retro series is just like Wonder Woman ’77 and has a retro feel but is a modern comic book. There are currently 30 issues from its 2013-2016 run.

Batman '66 1
Batman ’66 #1


Batman: Beyond the comic series is a follow up to the animated series and follows future Batman Terry McGinnis.Beyond started in 1999 and due to its popularity is still going.

If you like the futuristic aspects of Batman this is the one for you.

Batman Beyond #1
Batman Beyond #1