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The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Vol. 1

(The Greatest Stories Ever Told)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,282 ratings  ·  39 reviews
THE GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER TOLD is an anthology that takes the reader through the many different incarnations of Batman through the last 60 years. Reprinting stories from the Dark Knight's entire career, this book portrays the Batman as equal parts crime fighter, detective, and super hero. An overview of the entire Batman mythos, these tales feature some of Batman's ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by DC Comics (first published November 1988)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,282 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic, it-is-okay
Rating: 3.2 stars: If you happened to have some...historical interest for the history of Batman and his mytho, then read this comic, if not...then don't.

My thoughts during the reading progress:

(1) Can they just have gun control in Gotham so the city can be a bit safer?! That should be a no brainer!


"Much as I hate to take human life. I'm afraid this time it's necessary!"

Anyone who insists Batman doesn't kill, you can just shut it.XD

(3) Despite the killing spree Batman had put himself o
Rich Meyer
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Naturally, this book is a bit out of date, considering it was created for the 50th anniversary of the Caped Crusader. That means great stories like the Killing Joke aren't in here, and thankfully none of the New 52 dreck either.

Pretty much any collection of Batman stories is a good read, no matter from what era they come from. This has a lot of interesting ones, from Wein & Simonson's excellent take on the Calendar Man, Alan Brennert allowing the Dark Knight to save his parents on an alternate
Mohammad Aboomar
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite an interesting collection of Batman stories, they capture how he changed over the years.
Michael Allan Leonard
You're pretty much doomed right from the start when you're trying to select a small handful of stories out of hundreds of them over several decades and hang the title of 'Greatest' on them, but this collection at best hits the mark about half the time: the fact that there is repeated discussion of the criteria and mentality behind the selection process, and who was involved, is the equivalent of pulling out a pre-emptive bulletproof Bat-Shield from the utility belt.

There are several classic stor
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Published to celebrate Batman's 50th Anniversary (way back in 1989), this collection features twenty-one stories from across those five decades.

The word 'greatest' is very subjective, as you'll certainly find if you read this anthology of Batman stories.
The greatest Batman stories are 'Year One' and 'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller, Alan Moore's 'The Killing Joke' and 'The Long Halloween' by Jeph Loeb. None of those stories is featured in this book.
Honestly, a far more accurate title
Chris Browning
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve always leant more to Marvel than DC because the heroes have just been more interesting and distinct than D.C.’s roster usually are. Certainly I’ve never understood the appeal of Superman: if Captain America’s wrinkles are that he is a bit uptight and still slightly suffering from being lost in time, Superman is just good at everything - even his newspaper employer is nice to him unlike poor Spider-Man. What’s the appeal of a big powerful bloke who’s always powerful and always wins?

At least
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the best they've got? I believe they are mistaken. Of the 25 stories collected here, I could only say six felt worth reading, which isn't even to say each of those six were great so much as they were not completely terrible by modern standards. (The companion collection of The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told has the same problem.) Where this collection falls short is in trying to offer lesser-known stories the choosing committee have an affinity for, rather than what the title promises ...more
Kari Trenten
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a 1988 collection of Batman comics gathered together from his beginnings in Detective Comics under the guiding hand of Bob Kane to a Golden Age tale of Batman facing the Scarecrow and his worst fears. It offers a wide variety of Batman favorites over the years, showing his evolution as a costumed superhero. Beginning in darkness, shifting to a lighter period with a Robin at his side, only to return to darkness once more, Batman faces a variety of classic foes, overcomes a many a challeng ...more
Greg Kerestan
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the first fifty years of Batman, the development of the character paralleled the growth and resurrection of the comic book industry: Batman (and comics in general) moved from pulpy beginnings to disposable children's entertainment, to an increasingly mature and adult-oriented blend of science fiction, horror, serialized storytelling and the original pulp fiction.

This was the first graphic novel I ever owned- I think it was a kindergarten or first grade present- but I did not actually take th
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loeg-archives
This is the late 80s edition of Batman's greatest stories, not the more recent version. Great Simonson cover on this book.

Stories are mostly pretty good - the O'Neil/Adams stories from the 70s are the highlight, but Archie Goodwin spins a strong tale. Bill Finger and Gardner Fox write the stories that inspire Matt Wagner's recent Monster Men and Mad Monk miniseries (for 1940s stories, both are generally enjoyable). The mid-40s to late-60s stories aren't very good, and the 70s story about Bat-Mit
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I have owned this book for over 25 years but my younger self couldn't get through the first section of the oldest comics. Now I can appreciate those stories and comic book writing style for what it was and for when it was. By the time the book got to the 1960s and especially the 1970s the writing and style were more my speed and I started to enjoy the book much more.

Still, kind of find it hard to believe these are the greatest Batman stories ever told, and the editors of this book, in the numero
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this collection is what you'd expect, quite naive, at times crazy, sometimes totally out of character, but above all, fun.
The only downside is that if you have read only modern Batman comics, this collection will feel foreign, almost as if it is a different character that could have inspired the modern Batman, and I'm sorry to say, but by the end of the collection, it felt more like a chore to read it.
If you are interested in a big sampler of Batman stories that are from the 80s
Chris Schaben
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Really a hit and miss collection of Batman comics. Some of them deserved to be in an anniversary collection while others had me scratching my head as to why anybody would possibly give recognition to a mediocre or bad comic (I'm looking at you, Bat-Mite!) There were a few good ones, but I'm sure there are better books out there that celebrate his legacy with a more definitive collection of "greatest" comics. ...more
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
My experience with superhero comics is very limited, but I remembered enjoying this volume when I was younger, and decided to revisit. It's still great, although I can't hope to judge whether or not these are really the tales to include in a 'Greatest' collection, and I've never tracked down the second volume. Lots of great art and imaginative storytelling. The real treat is being able to witness the slow changes in style and content over the years. ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This comic was so great.
David Leslie
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I bought this back in'89 just after the 89 Burton film which was the first Batman thing I really loved & I still do even though Nolans films far surpassed Burtons film(s) in every way(except non sensical fun perhaps)that film was the reason I bought this collection & the fact that it includes Son of the Demon alone makes it worth the money.That 1 story was an OGN after all & a very good 1 at that especialy the artwork which was amazing for '88 but could be pretty brutal at times,after all it was ...more
Gabriel Gutierrez
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
I've been immersing myself in Batman and Superman stories in the lead up to the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and I actually got this 25 year old collection because the ISBN number on the volume is actually the one for The Greatest SUPERMAN Stories Ever Told. However, I didn't mind this collection. Of course, there are weaknesses with a volume that proclaims that it is the greatest Batman stories doesn't contain The Dark Knight Returns or The Killing Joke or any of the multi-issu ...more
Josh Lafollette
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
This collection gives a decent summary of Batman's publication history from the 1940s to the early 80s, but the title is pretty misleading. The first half of the collection is incredibly mediocre, and the second half is hit-and-miss at best. Considering how many Batman stories have been published since his debut in 1939, it's truly baffling that these were the stories that made the cut. Of the twenty-five stories selected, only "No Hope in Crime Alley" and "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" are ...more
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Most of these stories are disappointing. This book draws heavily on Batman stories from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, which are all uniformly terrible. Things pick up into the 70s and 80s, but there aren't enough stories from this era. And the best stories have already been collected elsewhere. I don't see much need for this volume. Thankfully, I got it used at HPB, so it didn't set me back too far. ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: batman, reviewed
Prior to this collection, sure these could possibly be the greatest Batman stories ever told.
After this book, there is so much more Batman material that has surpased it wether it be story, art, colors or printing quality.
Still, it's a nice nostalgic sort of book worth having... I just wish I'd bought the hardcover version instead :-/
David Sparvero
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This specific edition of the book is fantastic! Easily one of the top ten Batman publications for me. Top five actually. This book exposed me to real Batman comics and showed me how fantastically balanced the material from the late 70s was for writing, mood and art. I love this book more than most Batman books. I have read it countless times.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
It's fun and interesting to see the early Batman stories, and to see how much things have changed over the years. As someone who grew up on the dark 80s and 90s Batman, some of the stories seem almost unrecognizable, but they're still a lot of fun. ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
37/100: Maybe it's just because I'm young, but I really didn't like the old batman stories. They were sluggish, and when compared to today's batman, they just plain old sucked. There were a few cool moments, but not really worth your time, even as a quick read. I was expecting more. ...more
Christopher Peruzzi
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it
This is good if you're interested in old Batman stories and the hokey-ness that lead to the Adam West TV series and fans of "The Brave and the Bold" cartoon. However, if you're looking for the grim & gritty dark knight you won't find him here. ...more
Ryan Scicluna
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: dc-comics, batman
A very nostalgic read.
Mar 17, 2012 added it
nice collection of interesting batman stories
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love Batman. I love this art. I love the colors. I love that there are some things so core to human nature wrapped up in his character that even the most outdated ones are relevant and important.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm probably spoiled by the take-no-prisoners aspect of the stories today that the classics don't do much for me today. ...more
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William "Bill" Finger was an American comic strip and comic book writer best known as the uncredited co-creator, with Bob Kane, of the DC Comics character Batman, as well as the co-architect of the series' development. In later years, Kane acknowledged Finger as "a contributing force" in the character's creation. Comics historian Ron Goulart, in Comic Book Encyclopedia, refers to Batman as the "cr ...more

Other books in the series

The Greatest Stories Ever Told (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Vol. 2: Catwoman and the Penguin
  • Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told
  • Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 2
  • The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told
  • The Joker: The Greatest Stories Ever Told (Batman)
  • The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told
  • Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 1
  • Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told, Vol. 2
  • Superman/Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told
  • Batgirl: The Greatest Stories Ever Told

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