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Batman is an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics hero of the same name. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939. Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication in the spring of 1940. It was first advertised in early April 1940, one month after the first appearance of his new sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder.

Though the Batman comic book was initially launched as a quarterly publication, it later became a bi-monthly series through the late 1950s, after which it became a monthly publication and has remained so since. As of September, 2009, the series has reached issue #690 and was put on hiatus until June of the same year. |}


PremiseEdit

The Batman saga takes place in Gotham City, a city overrun with crime and corruption. Its citizens live in perpetual fear from the vast number of costumed criminals, gangs and common thugs. In an effort to combat the aforementioned villains, Batman preys upon their fear. Secretly, the Batman is billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne, a young socialite who witnessed his parents' murder during a mugging at the age of 8. Batman utilizes his keen analytical mind and sophisticated technology and gadgetry as well as outstanding physical agility, power and stamina to ensure that criminals never feel safe in Gotham. In the eyes of the public, the Batman is believed to be something more than human: an indeterminable black specter that represents terror. This allows him to become an iconic urban legend, which in turn allows him to do things an ordinary man cannot.

Maturity of ContentEdit

The first stories appearing in the Batman comic were written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane, though Finger went uncredited for years thereafter. These early stories depicted a vengeful Batman, not hesitant to kill when he saw it as a necessary sacrifice. In one of the early stories, he is depicted using a gun to stop a group of giant assailants. The Joker, a psychopath who is notorious for using a special toxin that kills and mutilates his victims, remains one of the most prolific and notorious Batman villains created in this time period. Following the desire of creator Jerry Robinson that the Joker not be a character who gets away with murder, for many years the Joker was changed from cold-blooded murderer to playful trickster. Later, during the Silver Age, this type of super-villain changed from disturbing psychological assaults to the use of amusing gimmicks.

Typically, the primary challenges that the Batman faced in this era were derived from villains who were purely evil; however, by the 1970s, the motivations of these characters, including obsessive compulsion, child abuse and environmental fanaticism, were being explored more thoroughly. Batman himself also underwent a transformation and became a much less one-dimensional character, struggling with deeply rooted internal conflicts. Although not canonical, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns introduced a significant evolution of the Batman's character in his eponymous series; he became uncompromising and relentless in his struggle to revitalize Gotham. The Batman often exhibited behavior that Gotham's elite labeled as excessively violent as well as antisocial tendencies. Miller portrayed him with an anti-heroic and near villainous characterization. This aspect of the Batman's personality was also toned down considerably in the wake of the DC-wide crossover Infinite Crisis, wherein Batman experienced a nervous breakdown and reconsidered his philosophy and approaches to his relationships. Currently, the Batman's attributes and personality are said to have been greatly influenced by the traditional characterization by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams' portrayals during the 1970s, although hints of the Miller interpretation appear in certain aspects of his character.

Publication HistoryEdit

Grant Morrison started a long run with artist Tony Daniels including Batman & Son and The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, culminating in the Batman R.I.P. storyline. After this the series went on hiatus while the question of which character takes over the role of Batman in Battle for the Cowl. Following this, Judd Winick takes over as writer.

It was revealed by Dan Didio in the Fan expo Canada 2009 Batman will reach issue 700.[1]

Issue Number IssuesEdit

  • In 1994 #0 was released as part of the post-Zero Hour Zero Month (falling between #511 & 512).
  • The issue with a cover date of November 1998 was "#1,000,000" (falling between #559 & 560) part of the DC One Million crossover.

AnnualsEdit

Over the years, 26 Annual Issues have been released in association with the Batman title, though not consistently, trends in Comic Book annuals usually lead to them either being published or overlooked on any given year, an example being the gap between the late nineties annuals and the early/late 2000s.

Significant IssuesEdit

Important Story ArcsEdit

CrossoversEdit

Characters IntroducedEdit

Appearance Issue Number Month/Year
The Joker #1 Spring, 1940
Catwoman as "The Cat" #1 Spring, 1940
Gotham City #4 Winter, 1941
Batmobile #5 Spring, 1941
Alfred Pennyworth #16 April-May, 1943
The Mad Hatter #49 October-November, 1948
Vicki Vale #49 October-November, 1948
Deadshot #59 June/July, 1950
Killer Moth #63 February-March, 1951
Mr. Freeze as "Mr. Zero" #121 February, 1959
Batgirl (Betty Kane) #139 April, 1961
Poison Ivy #181 June, 1966
Ra's al Ghul #232 June, 1971
Lucius Fox #307 January, 1979
The Snowman #337 July, 1981
Harvey Bullock #361 June, 1983
Black Mask #386 August, 1985
Sarah Essen Gordon #404 February, 1987
Holly Robinson #404 February, 1987
KGBeast #417 March, 1988
Tim Drake (later Robin III) #436 August, 1989
Shondra Kinsolving #486 February, 1992
Cassandra Cain (later Batgirl IV): #567 July, 1999
David Cain #567 July, 1999
Hush #609 January, 2003
Red Hood (Jason Todd) #635 December, 2004


Collected EditionsEdit

Batman onlyEdit

Collected with Detective ComicsEdit

  • Batman Chronicles (Eight Volumes): includes #1-15 (1940-1943).
  • Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives (Two Volumes): collects #164 (1964) - #171 (1965)
  • Showcase Presents: Batman (Three volumes): collects #164 (1964) - #201 (1967).

Batman-wide CrossoversEdit

[These are crossovers that include most - if not all - of the Batman related titles published at the times.]

Crossovers with non-Batman TitlesEdit

  • A Lonely Place of Dying: collects #440 - 442 with The New Titans #60 - 61.

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