Wednesday 25 February 2015

Batman: Reading Material

Bearing in mind Batman first appeared in comic book form in 1939, it can be quite a daunting prospect to decide when and where to get on board given the volumes and volumes of material and the fact that Bats has appeared in a variety of different titled comics, many published at the same time.

Back in 2011 DC Comics decided to revamp and relaunch all its comic book series, including the Batman comics, launching fifty-two new series in September of that year (the New 52 series). Of these 11 were Batman orientated titles, including Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman: the Dark Knight and Detective Comics.

Unlike some series, the Batman reboot was a soft one and classic tales like The Killing Joke and A Death in The Family remained canon, however the New 52 series make a decent starting point, even if some of background might not be immediately explained (like who the current Robin is!).

The comics are regularly collected into graphic novel format and if you are seeking for inspiration beyond the films and animated tales, this is a good way of getting into the universe.

Batman volume one starts with The Court of Owls storyline, concentrating on Batman's discovery of a secret society in Gotham City that dates back to the time of Gotham's founding.

Batman and Robin volume one features the new Robin, Damian, Batman's son and an assassin called NoBody (he leaves no body behind).

Batman: the Dark Knight volume one, starts with a breakout from Arkham Asylum and features a host of popular villains. It also includes one story from the Court of Owls story arc (DC have a habit of crossing stories over into different titles, telling episodes from different perspectives).

Detective Comics volume one contains two stories, one involving the Joker and Dollmaker, the other the Penguin. Not as good as The Court of Owls storyline, but decent enough.

As I said the New 52 provide a good jumping on point for anyone interested in Batman gaming and the collected volumes will provide lots of ideas for scenarios.

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