Batman is one of the most iconic characters in comic book history. Some of the biggest creators have worked on his stories in the industry, and Batman’s tales are among the most iconic in comics. He’s DC’s first vigilante, and his stories were groundbreaking in many ways. One of these ways is the violence of stories. As a vigilante, Batman has meddled with his villains in some iconic battles.
There have been violent Batman stories over the years. The creators have pushed the envelope with Batman many times, and these stories are some of the most brutal.
ten The Batman: Earth One Graphic Novels are a gritty, down-to-earth take on Batman
The Earth One graphic novel series featured new interpretations of some of DC’s greatest heroes. The three volumes Batman: Earth 1 series, by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank, is a worthy addition to this line. The series presented a more grounded take on Batman, with the requisite violence that Johns added to much of his later work.
The story featured a young Bruce Wayne battling Gotham’s worst criminals, aided at times by a more physical Alfred and Killer Croc. Frank’s detailed art was perfect for this more violent version of Batman, and the books are full of great fight scenes that jump off the page for readers.
9 Batman: I Am Suicide Has Hardcore Fight Scenes
Batman: I’ve committed suicide by writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin, pits Batman and his own Suicide Squad against Bane and the inmates of Santa Prisca Prison. The story dives deep into the minds of both Batman and Bane and also features some of the best fight scenes from King’s entire run, meticulously illustrated by Janin.
From battling gangs of thugs to battles between Bane and Batman and Catwoman, the story doesn’t skimp on the violence. King’s run was full of fierce battles, but this story brought them to the fore, as Batman and company fought against Bane’s forces.
8 Batman: I Am Bane pits Batman and Bane against each other in an all-out battle
Batman: I’ve committed suicide ended with Bane swearing revenge, and Batman: I’m Bane, by writer Tom King and artist David Finch, paid for that. After Bane brutalizes Dick, Tim and Damian, Batman gives chase and the two engage in one of their most brutal fights ever. It’s one of the best action sets in the King run, with the two testing each other to their limits.
Bane and Batman had great fights, but few are as tough as this one. On top of that, the book features several attacks from Bane, trying to hurt Batman. The story helped define the tenor of King’s run.
7 Batman Knightfall pitted Batman against his greatest enemies
fall of the knight was the big Batman story of ’93 and ’94. Running through all of the Batman titles, the story saw Bane come to Gotham, free the criminals of Arkham Asylum, and send Batman on a quest through the city, trying to apprehend him before confronting Bane himself. This battle saw Batman’s back broken and new Batman Jean-Paul Valley stepped in to fight the villain.
fall of the knight is full of great fights as Batman goes on a rampage trying to round up his fleeing foes. The two central fights are those between Bane and the two Batmen, both of which are violent affairs with two very different outcomes.
6 Batman: Under The Red Hood saw Batman battle his returning former sidekick
Red Hood is the most violent member of the Bat-family, a situation resulting from his death at the hands of the Joker. Fans got their first glimpse of Jason Todd’s return as the villain in Batman: Under Red Riding Hood by writer Judd Winick and artists Doug Mahnke and Dustin Nguyen. From Batman battling Red Hood’s gang to his fights against Red Hood himself, the violence rarely stops.
It’s not a Batman story that touches too much on the detective aspects of Batman. It’s slugfest after slugfest, culminating in a very personal and bloody battle against the resurrected former sidekick. Red Hood was a primary Batman villain for a while, and this story showed why.
5 Batman: A Death in the Family featured Joker savagely killing Jason Todd
Batman: A Death in the Family is an iconic Batman tale. The new Robin Jason Todd wasn’t popular with readers, so DC left the character’s fate in readers’ hands. Fans were given a 1-900 number to call to vote on whether he would live or die. Fans chose death, and this story written by Jim Starlin with art by Jim Aparo presented the consequences of that vote.
Joker viciously beat Todd with a crowbar and then blew him up. Although the violence was not as extreme as it would be in later stories, it was still presented to readers. Even without the graphic violence, it’s still awful.
4 Batman: Endgame features several bloody battles between Joker and Batman
Scott Snyder’s Batman run created some fan-favorite stories, and many of them were pretty violent. Of course, any story featuring Batman and Joker is going to get extreme, and Batman: Endgame, with art by Greg Capullo, pitted the two against each other in some pretty bloody battles. The story began with Batman battling a Joker-controlled Justice League and continued from there.
The final battle between the two in the Batcave is as violent as it comes, with two longtime enemies tearing each other apart like wild animals. The battle ends in a surprising way, which changes Snyder’s race going forward.
3 Batman: the three jokers become very violent
Batman: The Three Jokers isn’t the most beloved Batman story of recent years, but it is very violent. Revealing the secret of the three Jokers, it pits Batman, Red Hood, and Batgirl against the man, or in this case the men, who victimized them. The book revels in its violence, from battling the Jokers to Red Hood shooting one in the head.
Written by Geoff Johns with illustrations by Jason Fabok, Batman: The Three Jokers does not skimp on graphic violence. The story isn’t always the best, but there are thrilling battles throughout the book, and its Black Label book status means Johns and Fabok didn’t have to water down the violence.
2 The Dark Knight Returns Features a More Violent, Older Batman
Return of the Dark Knight is one of the most important Batman stories. Written and drawn by Frank Miller, the story features an older Batman coming out of retirement to clean up Gotham City worse than ever. Miller presented a groundbreaking take on Batman, who had no problem getting his hands dirty.
Featuring fights with the Mutant gang and their leader, the GCPD, the Joker and Superman, Miller gave fans a violent action-packed comic. This more mature take on Batman took the comics in a new direction and redefined the character for years to come.
1 Batman: The Killing Joke gave readers the Joker’s most heinous act
Batman: The Killing Joke is an undisputed Batman classic. Written by Alan Moore with art by Brian Bolland, the story gave readers both a possible origin for the Joker and featured his vicious attack on Barbara Gordon. It’s a horrific moment that still sparks controversy to this day. Later in the book, Joker tortures Jim Gordon before he and Batman face off.
Moore has made a career out of pushing the boundaries of violence in mainstream comics. The killer joke starred in it, with its most gruesome violence scarring Barbara Gordon and changing the Bat family for years to come.
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