Batman in Books: The Dark Stories of “The Dark Knight”

In 2008, Warner Bros. Pictures released “The Dark Knight,” and the film quickly earned over $1 billion, eight Oscar nominations, and a newfound respect among those who decried the superhero genre on the screen. But there would be no “Dark Knight” or its sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises” (opening July 20) without these great DC Comics’ books, many of which inspired the movie franchise’s serious shift in tone.

There’s no better place to start than Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s “Batman: Year One,” where you’ll get acquainted with our favorite caped crusader and Catwoman, who’s played by Anne Hathaway in “Rises.” For a deeper cut, I like “The Dark Knight Returns,” also by Miller, which tells the grim story of an older Batman. (TIME named it one of the 10 greatest graphic novels of all time back in 2009.)

For my money, though, there’s no better Batman story than the epic that writer Grant Morrison began in 2006 with “Batman and Son”—it’s got a lot of heart, plus comic book craziness aplenty, from a big battle in a museum’s Lichtenstein-esque exhibit to nefarious “Ninja Man-Bats.” Best of all, these reads aren’t much more than the price of a movie ticket.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.