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Since his debut in Detective Comics #27, Batman has become one of the best-known comic heroes of all time. Created by the legendary Bob Kane, Batman is one of the rare characters who have transcended comics to become cultural icons. Batman (a.k.a. Bruce Wayne) protects the citizens of Gotham City from a never-ending array of criminals. Over the years, his foes have included such famous villains as Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, and countless others. Where once he was a fairly straightforward super-hero (complete with Robin, the boy sidekick), Batman has been transformed over time into an increasingly complex character. Now he is the Dark Knight, an avenger of evil who also must face up to the darkness within his own soul.

» Batman Year Two TPB
Written by Mike W. Barr. Art by Alan Davis / Todd McFarlane. Reprinting: Detective Comics #575-578 (1987)
Year Two chronicles Batman's attempt to bring down a sickle-wielding vigilante, the Reaper, who kills criminals...and any police who get in his way. Concluding that the only way to stop the heavily armoured Reaper is by upping his own non-lethal arsenal, Batman starts carrying a gun. And since the Reaper targets the underworld, Batman allies himself with the mob to set a trap. This puts him at odds with newly appointed Police Commissioner Gordon...and partners him with hitman Joe Chill, who, twenty years before, murdered Batman's parents. Batman plots to kill Chill (who's ignorant of their past history) once the Reaper business is over. When the climax comes, involving Chill, the Reaper, and the whole question of violence, it concludes with Bruce burying his gun, and (presumably) vowing never to carry one again.

» The Batman Adventures "Mad Love" (OGN; w Paul Dini; a Bruce Timm)

» Batman vs. Predator I (collecting 3-issue mini)
Appropriately grim and gritty in its art, Batman vs. Predator is a monumental showdown between champions.
But the Predator doesn't make a beeline for the Batman, of course. Seeking the most powerful prey, it first targets the city's celebrated prizefighters before setting its sights on crimelords and politicos (and one hapless junkyard dog). Soon, however, it realizes where the real power in Gotham lies -- the Batman.
The Batman usually makes crimefighting look easy, but he's more than met his physical match here. Severely injured in the first round, Batman is helpless as the Predator cuts a vicious swath through Gotham's powerful elite. The alien beast eventually focuses its attention on one of the city's best take-charge kind of guys, Commissioner Gordon -- and that threat signals Batman's return to the ring.
The tale laid out by Dave Gibbons, illustrated in vivid darkness by Adam and Andy Kubert, is a masterpiece of the genre, one of the best company crossover books ever.
» Batman vs. Predator II: Bloodmatch TPB (collecting 3-issue mini)
A brash young Predator renews the hunt for the Batman! But while Batman is hunted by the Predator, hired assassins also pursue the Dark Knight! Swept into this deadly game is Batman's occasional ally, the Huntress. and a duo of Predator enforcers.
» Batman vs. Predator III "Blood Ties": 1, 2, 3, 4

» Batman / Aliens: 1, 2
Parachuting into the jungle on a rescue mission for a missing scientist, Batman stumbles first into a special ops team -- spiritual ancestors, no doubt, of Ripley's space marines -- before discovering aliens in a Mayan ruin by the wreck of a crashed UFO. In this exciting tale by Ron Marz and Bernie Wrightson, Batman has several advantages over Superman. For one, fewer aliens. For another, much better art. And, perhaps most significantly, Batman realizes that his solemn vow never to kill doesn't extend to beasts such as these. And, while Superman relied mostly on his waning strength, Batman has the tools and the cunning to outmatch the aliens' thirst for survival.
Of course, humans often prove to be more evil than the aliens, and Batman encounters the usual relentless ambition to capture, study and exploit the aliens' penchant for mass destruction.

» Batman / Aliens II
Eighty years ago, an expedition to the South Pole uncovered a crashed spaceship containing the savage Aliens. Now, after years of hibernation, a nearly desiccated Alien escapes into Gotham City. It’s very, very hungry, and only one man has a chance of stopping this murderous beast: the Dark Knight Detective known as Batman!

» BATMAN: DARK JOKER-THE WILD TPB (Doug Mounch/Kelley Jones)
Dark Joker: The Wild features the unstoppable team of Doug Moench, Kelley Jones, and John Beatty. Da Boyz weave a tale of an Elseworlds reality in which the Joker is a powerful sorcerer,the Bat-Man is a demonic brute, and the two are on an inevitable collision course with each other. We also get to see a midieval Jim Gordon as the mayor of a small village terrorized by the Dark Joker. I recommend this graphic novel; it entertains you all the way. To my knowledge, this is also the first project on which Moench, Jones, and Beatty worked together on. That's another reason to pick it up.

» BATMAN: Haunted Knight TPB (Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale) (Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special 1; Batman Madness; Batman - Ghosts)
This graphic novel includes three dark tales of horror and intrigue featuring Batman facing off against his most demented and wicked foes. Taking place on the most evil of holidays, Halloween, the Darknight Detective confronts his deepest fears as he tries to stop the madness and horror created by Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Penguin, Poison Ivy and the Joker.

» Batman/Tarzan: Claws of the Cat-Woman: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Batman. Tarzan. Two orphaned noblemen who have honed their minds and bodies to the peak of human performance. A new evil has surfaced, one that brings these two heroes together. All the skills and instincts of the Dark Knight and the Lord of the Jungle are needed to save a lost civilization from destruction.
If this were strictly a DC production, it would doubtlessly fall in their Elseworlds collection. It has obvious Elseworlds qualities: Catwoman is now an incognito princess from a lost African city, while Two-Face is a greedy explorer and archeologist out to reap as much profit from the hidden land as he can -- with Gotham City philanthropist Bruce Wayne footing the bill.
Upon learning of the archeologist's betrayal, Batman sets out to undo the wrong. But he has a new partner for this story; instead of Robin, he teams up with the Lord Greystoke, Tarzan of the Apes, and heads for the Dark Continent.

» Batman/Deadman: Death and Glory GN
Possessed by an evil spirit, the Dark Knight is framed for a series of murderous attacks. Defending himself is merely a distraction from the true dilemma, as he and Deadman must save a small-time crook from the forces of the devil himself!

» Batman/Demon
The most powerful archfiend in hell has his sights on Gotham. Only Etrigan the Demon can help the Dark Knight save his city. Now Batman must choose between the souls of every person in Gotham… and his own.
» Batman/Demon; a Tragedy
Imagine a medievalesque Gotham of soaring towers, sweeping staircases and ancient magic. When a rhyming Demon begins to haunt the Gotham night, slaughtering innocents and criminals alike, Bruce Wayne never suspects that he is the key to stopping the monster. But he is, and only faithful Alfred knows why. Great story by Alan Grant, with fantastic painted art by Jim Murray and unusual lettering by Clem Robbins. (by Rebecca Salek)

» Batman: Arkham Asylum
On April Fools Day, the inmates of Arkham Asylum take over and demand Batman in exchange for their prisoners! It's an intense ride through the personal hells of each inmate for as Batman, as he must negotiate the deadly gauntlet of the asylum.

» Batman/Judge Dredd Files w John Wagner & Alan Grant; a Simon Bisley, Carl Critchlow, Dermot Power, Glenn Fabry, Jim Murray, Jason Brashill; Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement on Gotham, Batman/Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle, Batman/Judge Dredd: Die Laughing 1-2).
In JUDGMENT ON GOTHAM, Batman and Dredd meet head-on when Judge Death sets his sights on Gotham City. The Riddler lures our heroes into the clutches of a bizarre extradimensional warlord in THE ULTIMATE RIDDLE, and finally, DIE LAUGHING sees the Joker traveling to Mega-City One, intent on becoming the fifth Dark Judge!

» Batman vs. Dracula: Red Rain
Batman and the world's most famous vampire--seems like a perfect combination. Except for the fact that Dracula wants to turn Gotham City into his personal kingdom of the undead. Batman is left with no choice but to side with a renegade band of vampires and face Dracula face to face. Kelley Jones brings his creepy, exaggerated Wrightsonesque artwork to this clever story.
» Batman/Dracula: Blood Storm
The second volume to the saga that began with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain. Batman must destroy an army of vampires before they feast upon the innocent and before he succumbs to his thirst for blood.
» Batman/Dracula: Crimson Mist
The third and concluding volume to the saga that began with Batman & Dracula: Red Rain and Batman: Bloodstorm. James Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth remove the stake from the vampire Batman's heart in order to have him help fend off a swarm of undead descending on Gotham. But will a revived Dark Knight prove to be even a bigger threat?

» Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Tenth Anniversary TPB (collecting 4-issue mini by Miller)
Ten years after the Dark Knight has retired from crimefighting, he finds himself unable to exorcise the bitter memories of his parents’ murders - making the long suppressed voice of his vigilante side aching to break through once more. It tells of a middle-aged Batman coming out of retirement in a grimy world that has pretty well gone to hell. He's a darker, more brutal -- and slightly unstable -- Batman, battling crazed street gangs, and old foes like Two-Face and the Joker...while gradually re-alienating the authorities that had demanded his retirement a decade before. Eventually the story reaches a climactic confrontation between Batman, the urban iconoclast, and Superman, here representing the sell-out who unquestioningly serves the authorities.

» Batman: Thrillkiller (Brereton): 1, 2, 3
» Batman: Thrillkiller `62: 1

» Batman: Last Angel GN (Eric van Lustbader)
This is the first graphic novel by suspense novelist Eric Lustbader (sometimes billed as Eric Van Lustbader). It's marketed as a Batman graphic novel, but it's equally a Catwoman story (in fact, at times, it's more a Catwoman story than it is Bats'). The plot has Catwoman out to steal a priceless Maya mask, and Batman out to stop her, both unaware that the mask has supernatural properties. It's rumoured that any who come in contact with it will be possessed by the soul of a high priest who, supposedly, destroyed the Maya civilization itself centuries before. All of this is being orchestrated by another Bat-foe.

» Batman: War On Crime (Oversized GN by Ross/Dini)
(Paul Dini/Alex Ross) The war on crime is a bitter struggle, claiming many innocents. For any one man to end crime is a near-impossible task. For Batman, it is his life's work. When the Dark Knight encounters a young boy whose parents have been murdered, it raises fundamental questions about his own life. Combines traditional comic-book storytelling and the illustrated-text format of storybooks. 10 x 13 ˝.

» Batman: Terror
In the early days of Batman’s crimefighting career, the brilliant, twisted Hugo Strange pushed the Dark Knight to the very edge of insanity. Now, Strange is back in BATMAN: TERROR—a 128-page trade paperback written by Doug Moench and pencilled by Paul Gulacy. Joined by inker Jimmy Palmiotti, Moench and Gulacy conjure up a story of retaliation, betrayal and murder! Reprinting BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #137-141, TERROR features a new cover by Gulacy. Strange has enlisted the help of Jonathan Crane—the fear-inducing rogue known as the Scarecrow! But the Scarecrow has his own plans to defeat Gotham City’s vigilante, and they involve Catwoman—who still holds a place in Batman’s heart.

» Batman: The Killing Joke
(Alan Moore/Brian Bolland) The Joker, remembering how he was once a normal guy, driven insane by circumstances, sets out to prove it could happen to anyone. He cripples Barbara Gordon (the former Batgirl), and tries to drive her dad, Commissioner Gordon, insane with the crime. Batman eventually catches up with him.

» Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham (Elseworld; Balent): 1, 2
Elseworlds. In the darkened streets of Gotham City, Catwoman has waged a lonely battle against the strange villains - the Joker, Two-Face, Killer Croc, and more - that call the city home. But now Gotham is under siege from a brutal vigilante called Bat-Man who murders the city's freakish criminals, and while Selina is closing in on the newcomer, she is unaware that he already has rooted out her true identity.

» Catwoman: The Catfile (Dixon, Balent reprints Vol.2 #17-19 ) TPB
In this tale of international political intrigue and duplicity, Catwoman is captured by a secret government organization and blackmailed into committing an impossible robbery. Caught in a no-win situation, the infamous feline burglar must steal an ancient relic of a small European country or suffer the detonation of a cyanide capsule that has been implanted in her arm. Realizing success will lead to her termination by her puppet masters, Catwoman uses both her ingenuity to turn the tables against the government agency.

» Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper (TPB collecting #1-4)
This is the notorious Catwoman story that D.C. Comics wanted to erase from memory but it somehow surfaces every now and then. "Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper" is actually "Catwoman: Year One" (or the closest we will ever get to a "Year One" for the feline fatale) as it ties in very closely to Frank Miller's justly-classic "Batman: Year One". In fact, it more than "ties-into" that work; entire scenes were lifted from Miller's original and put into this volume. In fact, the present writer/artist seem to have created their story in this volume by wrapping some "filler-info" around those famous Miller-scenes. As to the notoriety of the work, this volume, like Miller's "Batman: Year One" gives us a Selina Kyle who works as a prostiture/sexual-dominatrix. But more than that, it ties her to religion (Selina's sister is a Catholic nun) and child-prostitution/abuse in the character of Holly. Furthermore, this tale revives the classic sexual attraction between Batman and Catwoman with a classic kiss shared by the two on the rooftop (a scene stolen by Tim Burton and added to the movie, "Batman Returns").

» Catwoman: The Movie
Meet Patience Philips, shy, sensitive artist working for cosmetics giant Hedare Beauty. When she stumbles onto a dark secret at the company, she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous corporate conspiracy. What happens next changes Patience forever. In a mystical twist of fate, she is transformed into. . .Catwoman! And the black-clad heroine bares her claws to exact revenge!...Featuring a special section of Jim Lee's sketches of Halle Berry drawn on the set of the film!

» Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1+2
The race for the ultimate weapon is on in this 2-issue Prestige Format miniseries by Ann Nocenti (Daredevil) and Ethan Van Sciver (New X-Men)! The entire underworld is pursuing a gun that never misses. Catwoman considers the firearm to be the score of a lifetime, affirming forever her reputation as Queen of Thieves... if only she can keep it out of the hands of rival criminal factions. But she has one more competitor: the Dark Knight, who wants the weapon out of circulation for good!

» Elseworlds Finest Supergirl/Batgirl
On this world, Gotham is an independent city-state protected by the all-seeing Batgirl. When Lex Luthor is kidnapped by the Joker, Batgirl decides that the time is right to show the world the real Luthor. But she doesn't count on Supergirl, the lone survivor of Krypton, interfering with her plans. Can the two very different heroes learn to work together? Hands down, my favorite Elseworlds. Barbara Kesel's story is short, but intricate, with terrific characterization. Matt Haley and Tom Simmons (who also co-plotted) create some truly memorable alternate versions of our favorite characters. Another story for which I eagerly await a sequel. (by Rebecca Salek)

» Robin 3000 (Elseworld mini): 1, 2

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