Originally provided by DC Comics (Sept. 9, 2022)
Batman Day 2022 is fast approaching, so there’s no better time to crack open our vast library at DC Universe Infinite and read yourself some Batman comics. Whether you first encountered the Dark Knight through movies, television, video games or somebody’s sick tattoo, there’s no wrong way to take your first steps into Gotham City. But with thousands of comics at your fingertips, it can be pretty daunting knowing where to get started. That’s why I’d like to offer a personal recommendation to any Batman fans delving into the comics for the first time—begin your Batman adventures with The Batman Adventures.
The Batman Adventures is your perfect on-ramp to Batman comics to this very day because that’s exactly what it was designed for—albeit in a somewhat different context. In 1992, Batman: The Animated Series left its mark on a generation of viewers, instantaneously minting millions of new Batman fans over its TV run. Much has been written about what makes that show such a special and essential take on Batman and his world. (If you’re not familiar, you can watch the whole thing right now on HBO Max.) Regardless, the Batman Adventures series was a line of comics released concurrently with the show, channeling the aesthetics and narrative tone of the show into the comic book format to ease all these new followers of Batman into the medium from whence he came.
In execution, however, the talents behind this tie-in comic created something much greater. By translating what many Batman experts today consider the most essential version of Batman into comic book form, The Batman Adventures features a series of easy-to-read stories which essentially capture Batman as deftly as the show itself. Just jump in and you’ll get to see Batman and many of his closest allies and enemies express themselves in ways you’ll never forget.
Alongside a few special stories written by Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Paul Dini, most of the writing for this companion series represents some of the early work of Kelley Puckett. Cutting his teeth on a pitch-perfect tonal recreation of the show, Puckett would eventually go on from here to co-create two beloved characters: Batgirl Cassandra Cain and Green Arrow Connor Hawke. Just give Puckett’s name in any deep-in-the-paint DC fan circle and you’re guaranteed instant credibility.
Ty Templeton, Brad Rader, Mike Parobeck and Rick Burchett all share art duties throughout the series, working studiously off Bruce Timm’s original models to capture the unique aesthetics of Gotham City in its most crystalline form—and Timm himself even stops by to pencil a few stories of his own.
The Batman Adventures don’t stop after this collection. For more great comics inspired by Batman: The Animated Series, you can go on to 1995’s Batman and Robin Adventures, where artist Ty Templeton expertly assumes writing duties; 1998’s Batman: Gotham Adventures, where Batgirl and Tim Drake join Batman in a direction reflecting The New Batman Adventures animated series; the return of the original title in 2003’s Batman Adventures; and the recent Batman: The Adventures Continue, in which Dini and Templeton introduce newer characters like Red Hood and the Court of Owls to Batman’s animated universe.
Read The Batman Adventures this weekend and you’ll be armed with the understanding of many of Gotham’s greatest heroes and villains for whichever Batman comic you pick up next.
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion. NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.
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