Listmas 2015: Five Batman Graphic Novels I Love That You May Not Have Heard About Too Much

In an effort to get myself to write even a smidgen more, I’m going to try to take part in the Listmas shenanigans again this year.  Sure, I missed last year, and I wasn’t too successful in my attempts in 2013.  But, let’s give it another go with some Batman books I’ve read and loved.  We’re not gonna look at the big ones (Year One, Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke, etc.) since everyone knows about those.  Here, I’m gonna mention what I think are some lesser-known entries in the Bat-annals.  Bee-tee-dubz, these are in no particular order.

1) Batman: Birth of the Demon

1 Batman Birth of the Demon

Of the five I’m posting, this might be the most well-known one.  It is, after all, the origin of the Demon’s Head, Ra’s al Ghul.  When thinking about my favorite Bat-villains, Ra’s is probably second, so acquiring the “Demon Trilogy” was one of my many Bat-goals years ago.  But yeah, I actually like this more than Son of the Demon.  Not entirely sure why.  Might be because the art is effing amazing.

2) Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast

1 Batman Ten Nights of the Beast

Nowadays, if you tell someone KGBeast was once a legitimate threat, they’ll probably say, “Who?”  You’ll then have to tell them it’s the guy whose head is blown up at the beginning of Assault on Arkham.  After they’re done laughing, it’s time to tell them about Ten Nights of the Beast.  KGBeast’s introductory story is so damn good.  Here, he doesn’t just go toe-to-toe with the Bat, he gets the best of the Dark Knight, too.  At the end, Batman makes one of the coldest decisions I’ve seen him make to finish the Beast.  I still get goosebumps thinking about it.  (Sure, it was retconned later, but eh.)

3) Batman Versus Predator

1 Batman Versus Predator

This actually reminded me a bit of Ten Nights of the Beast.  Batman fighting a hunter that he just can’t seem to beat.  The thing that makes me love this book is the Predator thoroughly defeats Batman and goes on an unchecked killing spree in Gotham while Bats is down.  When all seems lost, though, Batman returns in the third part for the final confrontation.  And it.  Is.  Awesome.  I think I’ve looked at panels from the last meeting between the two more than any other fight I’ve come across in comics recently.

4) Batman: Year Two–Fear the Reaper

1 Batman Year Two Fear the Reaper

There are a few reasons I decided to get this book…other than the fact that I’m a fanboy and must acquire most of the Batman TPBs.  Anyhoo, this is early in his career (duh), he deals with Joe Chill, and the Reaper (possibly) influenced the greatest Bat-villain to never appear in mainstream comics–Phantasm.  I haven’t read this book in a while, but it was the first time my young eyes saw Batman confront the man who killed his parents.  Fun stuff.

5) Joker: The Devil’s Advocate

1 Joker The Devil's Advocate

People are being randomly killed in Gotham City, and the Clown Prince of Crime is the prime suspect.  This time around, though, Gothamites are tired of Joker getting sent to Arkham, so they’re finally looking to sentence him to death.  Problem is Batman thinks he’s innocent this time, and Bat-justice must be properly served.  If the set-up alone doesn’t interest you, then you should probably just stay away.

Listmas 2015 now has one entry.  It might be the last, but hey, it’s here!


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