To celebrate the Caped Crusader’s first-ever appearance in Detective Comics in 1939. It’s time for another Top Ten! This time, it is going into the dark, gritty world of The Dark Knight. Bill Finger and Bob Kane created a world of mystery, suspense, and grit, Batman took over the world with it, creating countless stories, merchandise, and plenty of films, video games, and shows to keep us entertained and mystified, here is my top ten list.
No. 10: Detective Comics #235 “The First Batman”
Taking the tenth spot in the list is the classic Detective Comics tale “The First Batman“. Written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Sheldon Moldoff, Bruce was going through some old home movies and was shocked to find that his father, Thomas Wayne dressed as the ‘Bat-Man’ at a costume party where Thomas took down a mobster named Lew Moxon. After digging even deeper into this mystery, Batman discovered that Moxon had hired Joe Chill to murder Thomas and Martha Wayne! Bruce donned his father’s old costume and confront Moxon but the mobster ran away in fear and accidentally into ongoing traffic where he met his demise. This was one of the stories that established Thomas Wayne’s background as a Physician and gave Bruce Wayne Closure, feeling more connected to his father. Elements of this story were also used in the episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold’s “Chill of the Night.”
No. 9 “The Man Behind The Red Hood!“ Detective Comics #168
Taking the Ninth Spot is the story that gave fans two important contributions to the Batman Mythos, not only introducing us to a new character but also giving a backstory for another Criminal, the Clown Prince, Joker. Written by Bill Finger, Illustrated by Lew Sayre Schwartz and Win Mortimer, The Man Behind the Red Hood tells the tale about an old unsolved case that the Dynamic Duo never solved! The Red Hood fell into a vat of Chemicals at the Ace Playing Card Company, coming back a newer, evil man. While this origin was used in various ways such as the 1989 Tim Burton Film, in Alan Moore’s iconic story from 1988, “The Killing Joke” (also, in the abysmal animated film adaption.) Also, the Red Hood Identity would evolve over the years, where a certain former Robin would take on the Red Hood in the Judd Winick tale, “Under the Hood” (which also was adapted into an animated film in 2010, and 2020’s “Death in the Family“.)
No. 8 “Daughter of the Demon” Batman #232
Number Eight is the classic tale “Daughter of the Demon” from Batman #232, written by Denny O’ Neil, Illustrated by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, this tale introduced us to one of Batman’s Greatest Adversaries and the mother of a future Robin; Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul. Robin is taken hostage by a cult known as the Brotherhood of the Demon, where they deduced that the kidnapping of Ra’s daughter and Robin are both connected! The elements from this story were used in the 90s series Batman: The Animated Series ‘The Demon’s Quest‘.
No. 7 “The Long Halloween“
Number Seven finds us in the early days of Batman’s fight on crime, in the Long Halloween, a mysterious new killer named Holiday begins to murder people on Holidays on each month, a story involving Mobsters, up to Batman’s Rogue Gallery, along with a new retelling of Two-Face’s origin. It was written by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Tim Sale, rumored that Matt Reeves’ Batman film is inspired by this storyline.
No. 6 “Death in The Family” Batman #426-429
One of the most controversial stories in Comic Book History makes it’s way to Number Six, written by Jim Starlin, illustrated by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo; Death in The Family follows Jason Todd after being relieved from his duties by Batman, he is on a mission to be reunited with his birth mother except the Joker kidnaps and tortures Todd, since Jason was unpopular at that time, DC introduced a 900 vote system where fans could call in two separate numbers, to either has Jason survive the torture or he dies; over 10,000 votes were cast as the former Robin met his unfortunate demise. Jason’s death had a lasting effect on Batman Mythology, it would lead to the eventual revival of the character in the 2005 story “Under the Hood” and Todd would play a bigger role in the future as the Red Hood. This story had two animation adaptions, the first one being the 2010 film Batman: Under the Red Hood, and the recent 2020 film that would be an Interactive Film.