5 books like The Essential Batman Encyclopedia

By Robert Greenberger,

Here are 5 books that The Essential Batman Encyclopedia fans have personally recommended if you like The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. 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 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 Batman: The Complete History

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?

Like the Greenberger book, this official history of Batman from DC Comics is essential for any fan. Unlike Kane’s book, this account gives much more credit to Bill Finger as Batman’s creator and highlights many of the writers and illustrators who followed, shaping the Caped Crusader's image over the years. The color reproductions and photos—including ones of collectibles and movie stills—alone are worth the price of this great book. 

By Les Daniels,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Comprehensive overview of the Dark Kights dark past - now in pb. Now in paperback, Batman: The Complete History offers a comprehensive overview of the Dark Knight's dark past. Best-selling author Les Daniels covers the gamut - from Batman's creation and runaway success, to the 1954 accusations of Batman and Robin's homosexuality, to the campy antics of the Adam West TV show, and the emergence of Frank Miller's very disturbed and very dark Knight. Illustrated with archival comic book art and rare Batman paraphernalia and designed by Batman's biggest fan, Chip Kidd, this history aims to please the core…


Book cover of The Killing Joke

Jim Alexander Author Of GoodCopBadCop

From my list on unreliable narrators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a comic book writer, published by Marvel and DC Comics, turned novelist. I enjoy getting inside the heads of my characters until they become entities of their own, with their own voices and actions. At that point I’m merely the facilitator; an interested spectator with a keyboard. Maybe, one whose prose shows a visual flair. Sometimes, I hear competing voices in my head, rather like the warring personas that feature in my debut novel GoodCopBadCop, but I don’t like to play favourites. 

Jim's book list on unreliable narrators

Jim Alexander Why did Jim love this book?

In the comic books (and films) Batman and Joker are locked together in the eternal battle between good and evil. Except, as The Killing Joke so brilliantly explores, that’s not quite how Joker sees it. For Joker, they are both sides of the same coin. If Joker is seen as evil incarnate, then why, he asks, is Batman considered the opposite? The story has since been disowned by writer Moore, possibly because of the interminable number of nihilistic-styled super-hero stories that followed in its wake. But sometimes I think the writer’s dissonance from the subject matter adds to the sense of unease and chaos at play. And there is undeniable power at the root of the story, taken entirely from Joker’s impeccably flawed point of view. That it only takes ‘one bad day’ to turn an ordinary joe into one or the other, Joker or Batman.

By Alan Moore, Brian Bolland (illustrator), John Higgins (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Critically acclaimed author Alan Moore redefined graphic novel story-telling with Watchmen and V for Vendetta. In Batman: The Killing Joke, he takes on the origin of comics' greatest super-villain, The Joker, and changes Batman's world forever.

ONE BAD DAY.

According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as the Joker, that's all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he's out to prove his deranged point. And he's going to use Gotham City's top cop, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and his brilliant and beautiful daughter Barbara to do it.

Now…


2 book lists we think you will like!

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