This year sees one of the greatest super heroes celebrate his 75th anniversary; the Dark Knight himself. So let’s delve into the past and explore some of the greatest stories from the DC archives to feature the Batman!
A Death in the Family
Of all the enemies he has faced and hardships Batman has had to endure, the death of Jason Todd is probably the worst experience he has had to go through since the death of his parents. Published in 1988 the storyline sees the second Robin, Jason Todd tracking down his long lost mother to Ethiopia. She turns out to be blackmailed by the Joker into giving him medical supplies in which to turn into his deadly laughing gas. After handing Jason over to the Joker, he savagely beats him with a crowbar to near death and blows both him and his mother up with a time bomb and both die of their injuries.
The death of Robin sent Batman into a dark spiral treating villains more violently than usual and even punching Superman in the face. Luckily teenager Tim Drake believes Batman always needs a Robin and finally brings Bruce out of the darkness. Bruce keeps Jasons costume in the Batcave as a constant reminder to never let something like this happen again.
No Mans Land
After Gotham is devastated by a huge earthquake, the U.S government declares Gotham a no mans land by destroying all the bridges into the city. Due to the dwindling law enforcement Gothams criminals and super villains carve up the city into different districts and rule their territories how they see fit. Batman and Jim Gordon work with other heroes to return order to the city, after many months and interference from Lex Luthor the U.S Government finally reverses the No Mans Land order.
The storyline is notable for introducing Harley Quinn, Cassandra Cain (the third Batgirl) and a new Batman costume. It also saw the death of Commissioner Gordons wife Sarah by the Joker, something the villain actually found no humour in.
Night of the Owls
Being the first event since the New 52 came about, The Night of Owls delves into the history of Gotham City and turns everything Batman thought he knew on its head. Following Bruce Wayne’s announcement that he will reshape Gotham, the mysterious Court of Owls sentences Wayne to death dispatching their assassin known as The Talon.
With the defeat of the assassin, Batman discovers secret rooms hidden within every building funded by Bruce’s own great grandfather. After a deadly rematch with The Talon in the Courts lair, Batman spares the Talons life and declares war on the Court, vowing he will hunt them down. In response, the Court awakens all of their past Talons and releases them on Gotham that very night to utterly destroy the Batman. With so many twists, turns and revelations the Night of the Owls is a fantastic event worthy to stand as one of the best storylines in the past decade.