100 books like Batman

By Les Daniels,

Here are 100 books that Batman fans have personally recommended if you like Batman. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Michael Burgan Author Of What Is the Story of Batman?

From my list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite childhood pictures, circa 1967, shows me in the Batman costume I got for Christmas. And one of my sharpest memories from that time was seeing the Batmobile at a local auto show. Yes, I was a Batman fanatic, thanks to both the TV show and the comics. That passion faded somewhat as I grew older—I can’t rattle off the names of all the villains or discourse on the styles of the different artists and writers who have told his story. But having the chance to write What Is the Story of Batman taught me a lot—and helped me feel like a kid again. 

Michael's book list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman

Michael Burgan Why did Michael love this book?

Time to put aside the history and cultural analysis. How could I understand the modern Batman phenomenon without delving into Miller’s classic reimagining of Batman? By his own account, Miller wanted to take Batman and the whole superhero genre out of the realm of kid stuff. Boy, did he ever! This Batman has been called dark and gritty, though Miller supposedly didn’t care for that description. But there’s no question Miller’s work influenced the movies that followed. The book includes the four issues that were originally published separately. 

By Frank Miller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Batman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

It's the thirtieth anniversary of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and now DC Comics presents this classic title in a newly redesigned edition! Ten years after an aging Batman retired, Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, when his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenaged Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in…


Book cover of The Essential Batman Encyclopedia

Michael Burgan Author Of What Is the Story of Batman?

From my list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite childhood pictures, circa 1967, shows me in the Batman costume I got for Christmas. And one of my sharpest memories from that time was seeing the Batmobile at a local auto show. Yes, I was a Batman fanatic, thanks to both the TV show and the comics. That passion faded somewhat as I grew older—I can’t rattle off the names of all the villains or discourse on the styles of the different artists and writers who have told his story. But having the chance to write What Is the Story of Batman taught me a lot—and helped me feel like a kid again. 

Michael's book list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman

Michael Burgan Why did Michael love this book?

Essential is right—any fan of the Caped Crusader needs this book! Greenberger is a former DC Comics editor, and his extensive research helped me rediscover characters I had forgotten about and learn about ones I had never encountered before. Along with being packed with great info, the book is filled with illustrations, including 32 full-page color covers.

By Robert Greenberger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential Batman Encyclopedia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ultimate guide to the man behind the mask . . . and the mythology behind the man.

“Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible. . . . I shall become a bat!” So declared millionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne, orphaned as a boy by a murderous thug and driven as a man to battle the scourge of crime by becoming Batman. Batman swooped into popular culture in 1939–and for nearly seventy years has thrilled audiences in countless comics, live-action…


Book cover of Batman Unmasked: Analysing a Cultural Icon

Michael Burgan Author Of What Is the Story of Batman?

From my list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite childhood pictures, circa 1967, shows me in the Batman costume I got for Christmas. And one of my sharpest memories from that time was seeing the Batmobile at a local auto show. Yes, I was a Batman fanatic, thanks to both the TV show and the comics. That passion faded somewhat as I grew older—I can’t rattle off the names of all the villains or discourse on the styles of the different artists and writers who have told his story. But having the chance to write What Is the Story of Batman taught me a lot—and helped me feel like a kid again. 

Michael's book list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman

Michael Burgan Why did Michael love this book?

While I wanted to know the history of Batman and all the facts and figures, I needed to know Batman’s larger cultural impact, and Brooker’s book helps provide it. He explores the different incarnations of Batman, from the comic-book page to the big screen. Brooker looks at the 1950s hysteria against comic books that targeted Batman, among others; the “camp” Batman of the 1960s TV show; and the Batman of films, from the 1989 Tim Burton version through the 1990s. Now all Brooker needs to do is update the book to include Christopher Nolan’s take on The Dark Knight! 

By William Brooker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Batman Unmasked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An academic monograph that traces the various ways in which Batman has been interpreted over the years - by wartime film producers, gay teenagers, pop artists, Internet fan communities, and so on. Written from both an academic and a fan's perspective, is examines how a character can be a brand and a myth at the same time. The book draws on substantial research from the DC Comics archives, as well as interviews with DC editors and writers. Also included is a comprehensive Batman iconography, listing examples of how Batman has been used as a reference in other TV shows, movies,…


Book cover of Batman & Me: An Autobiography

Michael Burgan Author Of What Is the Story of Batman?

From my list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman.

Why am I passionate about this?

One of my favorite childhood pictures, circa 1967, shows me in the Batman costume I got for Christmas. And one of my sharpest memories from that time was seeing the Batmobile at a local auto show. Yes, I was a Batman fanatic, thanks to both the TV show and the comics. That passion faded somewhat as I grew older—I can’t rattle off the names of all the villains or discourse on the styles of the different artists and writers who have told his story. But having the chance to write What Is the Story of Batman taught me a lot—and helped me feel like a kid again. 

Michael's book list on helping to rekindle a love of Batman

Michael Burgan Why did Michael love this book?

OK, I have to say this upfront: a lot of comic-book aficionados don’t care much for Bob Kane, Batman’s co-creator. He took too much of the credit for coming up with the Caped Crusader, at the expense of writer Bill Finger. And there are details in the autobiography that seem to stretch the truth. But I wanted to get Kane’s perspective on Batman and his development over the years. As a bonus, the book has complete color reproductions of several early Batman adventures. 

By Bob Kane, Tom Andrae,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Batman & Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bob Kane's insights into Batman by Tom Andrae.


Book cover of Thor: Tales Of Asgard

James Lovegrove Author Of The Age of Odin

From my list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like Neil Gaiman, I came to Norse mythology via the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Marvel comics route. And when I explored the material further I was struck by the darkness and unsanitised oddity of many of the stories. They clearly reflected the Vikings’ view of the world as a cold, hostile, sometimes absurd place that must be met with a strong arm and a hearty laugh if one is to survive not only physically but mentally. There’s something refreshingly honest about such an approach, and when I came to write the third novel in my Pantheon series, The Age of Odin, which recast the myths as a modern military-SF thriller, I leaned heavily into the aspects I found the most appealing as well as the most dramatic, not least the snowy apocalypse that is Ragnarök, while injecting some appropriately ribald humour too.

James' book list on Norse mythology via Marvel comics

James Lovegrove Why did James love this book?

This series of short back-up strips in the 1960s Thor comic from Marvel retold and embellished on the myths in characteristically bombastic Lee/Kirby fashion. While Thor himself, in the main feature, battled costumed supervillains in contemporary New York, the supporting feature dealt with his youth, his allies and enemies in Asgard itself and the rest of the Nine Realms, and a whole host of sorcerers, witches, and grotesque monsters. Kirby in particular seemed enthused by the project and it shows in his artwork.

By Stan Lee, Jack Kirby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Never has Thor been more sensational than during these early tales, crafted by Marvel's greatest, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Re-live Stan and Jack's stories of the Norse Gods and Thor before he came to Earth as Don Blake. Witness as these masters breathe life into the thunder god. Read these stories as never before with all-new, modern coloring and six interlocking covers by Olivier Coipel.

Collecting:

Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby #1-6


Book cover of Life in Yop City

Susi Wyss Author Of The Civilized World

From my list on from French-speaking Africa translated into English.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a public health professional, author, and reader. During part of my childhood and my subsequent career in international public health, I lived in Côte d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic; I’ve also worked throughout West and Central Africa, primarily in Francophone African countries. My experiences in these parts of the continent have not only influenced my fiction writing, but also what I read. While there are plenty of books by Anglophone African authors, few of their Francophone counterparts see their work translated into English. As a result, stories from French-speaking Africa are underrepresented in the literature available to English-speaking audiences. This list is an attempt to make a dent in this disparity.

Susi's book list on from French-speaking Africa translated into English

Susi Wyss Why did Susi love this book?

I’ve added this graphic novel to my list in part for nostalgic reasons. Although the book and its two sequels were published in the 2000s, they are all set in 1970s Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, when I had the good fortune to live there. Aya is an adolescent girl living in the vibrant neighborhood of Yopougon, where everyone knows each other’s business. While she just wants to focus on her studies, she keeps getting distracted by the drama of those around her—from the boy-chasing machinations of her girlfriends to the foolish missteps of her parent's generation.

By Marguerite Abouet, Clément Oubrerie, Helge Dascher (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Life in Yop City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Aya is an irresistible comedy, a couple of love stories and a tale for becoming African. It's essential reading." -Joann Sfar, cartoonist of The Rabbi's Cat

Ivory Coast, 1978. It's a golden time, and the nation, too-an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa-seems fueled by something wondrous. Aya is loosely based upon Marguerite Abouet's youth in Yop City. It is the story of the studious and clear-sighted nineteen-year-old Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It's a wryly funny, breezy account of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in…


Book cover of Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

Amy’s book takes on the same topic, but from the perspective of an academic—and with a more balanced, objective approach. In particular, she examines the role of anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham, arguing that his “role in the crusade against comics has been largely misinterpreted by fans and scholars alike, who dismiss his findings as naïve social science, failing to understand how his work on comic books fits into the larger context of his beliefs about violence, psychiatry, and social reform." 

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seal of Approval as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self-regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure.

This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy, beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid-1930s, when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children's culture and luring children away from more appropriate reading material.

It traces how, in the years following World War II, the criticism of comic books shifted to their content, and the reading of…


Book cover of Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

Another readable academic work, Bradford’s book helped me situate the history of comics within the broader narrative of post-war America’s emerging youth, pop, and consumer cultures.

By Bradford W. Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Comic Book Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As American as jazz or rock and roll, comic books have been central in the nation's popular culture since Superman's 1938 debut in Action Comics #1. Selling in the millions each year for the past six decades, comic books have figured prominently in the childhoods of most Americans alive today. In Comic Book Nation, Bradford W. Wright offers an engaging, illuminating, and often provocative history of the comic book industry within the context of twentieth-century American society. From Batman's Depression-era battles against corrupt local politicians and Captain America's one-man war against Nazi Germany to Iron Man's Cold War exploits in…


Book cover of Let's Talk about It: The Teen's Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human

Meg-John Barker Author Of Sexuality: A Graphic Guide

From my list on comic books about sexuality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a queer writer who is passionate about getting good awareness of gender, sexuality, relationships and mental health out there into the world. I create comics, zines, blog posts, and self-help style books to try to reach as wide an audience as possible, bringing together the work of activists, scholars, therapists, and creators - and drawing on a diverse range of knowledge and experiences - in the hope of helping us all understand ourselves and our world better.

Meg-John's book list on comic books about sexuality

Meg-John Barker Why did Meg-John love this book?

Most of the people I’ve spoken to received terrible sex and relationship education. This is the comic book to rectify that. Buy it for young people so that they have a better experience than you did, and buy it for yourself to make up for what you went through back then.

Let’s Talk About It is an awesome inclusive, accessible graphic book, and beautifully illustrated throughout. Erika and Matthew do a great job of covering the questions young people really want answered, through dialogues between a beautifully drawn cast of characters who are navigating their own way through this complex, confusing territory. 

The guidance given is warm, friendly, realistic, and clear, likely to alleviate much of the fear and shame we all have around these topics.

By Erika Moen, Matthew Nolan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Let's Talk about It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Is what I'm feeling normal? Is what my body is doing normal? Am I normal? How do I know what are the right choices to make? How do I know how to behave? How do I fix it when I make a mistake?

Let's talk about it.

Growing up is complicated.

How do you find the answers to all the questions you have about yourself, about your identity, and about your body? Let's Talk About It provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, well-researched graphic novel guide to everything you need to know.

Covering relationships, friendships, gender, sexuality, anatomy, body image, safe sex,…


Book cover of How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual

Meg-John Barker Author Of Sexuality: A Graphic Guide

From my list on comic books about sexuality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a queer writer who is passionate about getting good awareness of gender, sexuality, relationships and mental health out there into the world. I create comics, zines, blog posts, and self-help style books to try to reach as wide an audience as possible, bringing together the work of activists, scholars, therapists, and creators - and drawing on a diverse range of knowledge and experiences - in the hope of helping us all understand ourselves and our world better.

Meg-John's book list on comic books about sexuality

Meg-John Barker Why did Meg-John love this book?

There are very few books - let alone graphic books - out there covering asexuality. This comic strikes a great balance between informing the reader about asexuality, and challenging many of the myths that still persist around it, as well as telling Rebecca’s own story of coming to understand her ace experience.

How to be ace is a great, accessible, engaging read for anyone on the ace or aro spectrum themselves. It’s also a very helpful book for everyone to get a better sense of the diversity of a/sexual experience.

By Rebecca Burgess,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Be Ace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

PRISM AWARDS FINALIST 2021
GREAT GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR TEENS - YOUNG ADULT LIBRARY SERVICES ASSOCIATION (YALSA) 2022

"When I was in school, everyone got to a certain age where they became interested in talking about only one thing: boys, girls and sex. Me though? I was only interested in comics."

Growing up, Rebecca assumes sex is just a scary new thing they will 'grow into' as they get older, but when they leave school, start working and do grow up, they start to wonder why they don't want to have sex with other people.

In this brave, hilarious and empowering…


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