Our expert panel counts down the very best from comics, film, TV and video games…
On March 27, DC Comics is publishing Detective Comics #1000. Three days later, March 30, is Batman’s 80th anniversary, marking the official publication date of Detective Comics #27 in 1939.
This is, as they say, a big deal – and we’re celebrating in a big way, with THE TOP 13 BATMAN COUNTDOWN.
This isn’t just some off-the-cuff list, either. We’ve convened a blue-ribbon panel of 16 creators and experts – including such luminaries as former DC publisher Paul Levitz and legendary Batman artist Neal Adams – to come up with a consensus list drawn from all media, including comics, movies, TV, video games and more. (The full panel roster – and how the vote was conducted — can be found below.)
Over 13 days, we’ll be unveiling a new entry until we get down to #1. And after we’ve published the top choice, we’re going to unleash THE ULTIMATE BATMAN READING AND VIEWING GUIDE, which will include not just the final TOP 13 but every single Batman story that received a vote from our panelists. It’s a remarkably detailed and comprehensive list and you will not want to miss it. (UPDATED: Here it is! Click here!)
Oh, and one more thing: On March 24, we’ll be launching BATMAN WEEK, a series of features that goes well beyond this countdown.
In the meantime, bookmark this post, because we’ll be adding links to each TOP 13 BATMAN COUNTDOWN installment below.
To the Batcave!
6. Batman: The Killing Joke
5. Batman #251: The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge!
4. Batman: The Original Ra’s al Ghul Saga
3. Detective Comics: The Englehart-Rogers Run
2. Batman: Year One
1. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
THE PANELISTS – AND HOW THE VOTE WAS CONDUCTED
Panelists were asked to rank 13 Batman stories of their own choosing. Top choices received 13 points, second choices received 12 points, and so on. All Batman stories were eligible, regardless of medium.
Voters were also asked to explain their top choices — though some especially enthusiastic panelists wrote comments for each entry — and you’ll see those quotes throughout the countdown.
(NOTE: Stories that were part of larger arcs were counted toward the overall arc. For example, votes for the Englehart/Rogers classic The Laughing Fish were included as part of the overall run because it was the climax to a bigger story.)
Here are the panelists:
Neal Adams. Artist, writer and Batman pioneer.
Ron Marz. Comics writer for virtually every company under the sun, including DC.
EXPERTS AND HISTORIANS
Dr. Charles Coletta. Educator and co-chair of April’s international Batman in Popular Culture Conference at Bowling Green State University.
John S. Drew. Host of The Batcave Podcast.
Chris Franklin. Historian and co-host of Batman Knightcast.
Dan Greenfield. Editor and publisher, 13th Dimension.
John Morrow. Publisher, TwoMorrows Publishing.
Mark Reinhart. Writer of The Batman Filmography, published by McFarland.
— The ULTIMATE BATMAN READING AND VIEWING GUIDE. Click here.
— The Complete BATMAN WEEK Index of Features and Tributes. Click here.