10 Essential Batman Stories For New Readers

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9. Hush

The City of Owls is mostly concerned with Batman as a solitary figure. There are cameo appearances by his various wards, each of whom have held the title of his sidekick Robin – Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and his son Damian Wayne – but otherwise, there are no other superheroes involved, and his celebrated rogues gallery of villains are only briefly seen in the opening pages. Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s contemporary classic Hush, meanwhile, opens up the Batman and DC Universe toy box, and puts it to great use. A perfect entryway for new readers, the story introduces the new villain Hush, a mysterious and dangerously psychopathic bad guy whose identity is masked by bandages that cover his entire body. His plan to defeat Batman takes in almost every iconic enemy the Dark Knight has ever faced, including Two-Face, The Joker and Poison Ivy, the latter of whom is recruited to brainwash Superman and have him fight his friend. To defeat these assembled foes, Batman has to rely on the help of his partners Nightwing, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Catwoman, with whom he becomes romantically involved. If you want a rollicking good mystery that introduces pretty much every important element of the character and his supporting cast, you can’t do much better than Hush.

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