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10 Batman stories we want to see in a live-action movie

Batman stories
Death in the Family and Hush are two of Batman’s best stories. Pic credit: DC Comics

Batman remains one of the most popular superheroes in the world, both in comic stories and in movies.

In movies alone, Batman has appeared in eight of his own solo movies (not including the classics from the 1940s) and a small handful of DCEU movies, including Justice League, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad.

He also had a very popular TV show in the 1960s, a more recent re-telling with Gotham, and countless animated shows and movies.

However, when it comes to the live-action Batman movies, none of them have really re-told any of his classic DC Comics stories.

The closest anything came was when The Dark Knight Rises told a small-scale retelling of the “No Man’s Land” storyline where Gotham City was cut off from the outside world and the villains took over.

This seems crazy since there are so many fantastic storylines to choose from many of which are better than what we got in the movies.

Here is a look at 10 of Batman’s best comic book storylines that could make even better Batman movies.

The Black Mirror

Batman: Black Mirror
Batman in the story Black Mirror. Pic credit: DC Comics

Batman: The Black Mirror was a story from Detective Comics #871-881 by Scott Snyder and Jock.

This storyline was about Dick Grayson as Batman, but it could include Bruce Wayne in the role as well. This was the start of Snyder’s run in Batman comics and was a great start.

The storyline has James Gordon Jr. returning as the son of Commissioner Gordon who suffered from numerous issues in his life and had his mind warped by Joker.

The battle between Dick and James was great as Grayson was a different Batman than Bruce, one that saw the good in the world, but James was everything wrong with society.

Considering that Commissioner Gordon’s kids almost died in The Dark Knight at the hands of Two-Face, it would make sense for one of them to grow up sick and twisted while the other grew up to be Barbara Gordon, the future Batgirl and Oracle.

Dark Victory

Batman: Dark Victory
Batman and Robin in Dark Victory. Pic credit: DC Comics

Batman: Dark Victory was a 1999 DC Comics Batman story by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.

This is a retelling of the origin story of Robin, a character not seen in Batman live-action movies since the critically panned Batman & Robin.

This Robin is Dick Grayson and it is the conclusion of the storylines that were told in Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.

This could be a great follow-up to The Batman, the Robert Pattinson Batman movie that takes place early in Batman’s career. Seeing Dick’s origin retold more seriously and then letting him break off and become Nightwing could be a great launching point for one of DC’s best heroes.

Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum
Batman walking into Arkham Asylum. Pic credit: DC Comics

Arkham Asylum has been part of Batman’s world for years, but the movies have never bothered to really deal with the asylum.

This storyline was Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. The story goes back to the origins of Arkham and then moves forward to the present where the patients have overrun the building.

Batman has to go into the building to meet with the patients for they have threatened to murder the staff. This played out well in a video game, but as a movie, it could be a brilliant psychological action thriller for the DCEU.

Three Jokers

Three Jokers
The three different Jokers. Pic credit: DC Comics

One thing that DC has always done is keep the origin of Joker a secret.

In Three Jokers, the story might not be canon, but it was a brilliant telling of who Joker really is and could play out well in the movies, especially if DC brings in multiple past Jokers for the movie.

In this story, DC explains why Joker has acted differently over the years. There have been three of them in history.

The criminal Joker was the original from the first Batman comics. The Comedian was the second, and this was who shot and paralyzed Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joker. The Clown was the third.

Imagine a Batman movie where Jack Nicholson’s Criminal Joker, Joaquin Phoenix’s Comedian Joker, and Jared Leto’s Clown Joker all appeared together, and as with the comic, only one came out alive.

Death in the Family

Batman: Death in the Family
Batman holding a dead Robin in Death in the Family. Pic credit: DC Comics

Death in the Family was the comic book series where Robin died.

This was a tough one, as this was the second Robin, Jason Todd. He was a street criminal that Batman took in and helped rehabilitate and turn into a new hero.

However, Jason always had problems including a mother with substance abuse issues. When Joker kidnapped his mother, Jason went to save her and died in the process.

This could be a tough one, since the ending is so tragic, but a post-credit scene that leads to the next movie could make it worth it.

Under the Red Hood

Batman: Under the Red Hood
Red Hood looking over Batman. Pic credit: DC Comics

Under the Red Hood sees the return of Jason Todd.

Todd was brought back thanks to a reset in the DC Universe (think what Flashpoint is about to do). He ended up on a rampage blaming Batman for allowing him to die.

However, when Todd was trying to get revenge against Batman, there was always something underneath that remembered what he had been taught and eventually, Red Hood made his way back to becoming a hero once again.

Batman Incorporated

Batman Inc
Batman and Batman Incorporated. Pic credit: DC Comics

Batman was thought dead for almost a year and Dick Grayson took over as Batman with Damian Wayne as Robin. However, Bruce was only sent back and lost in time and eventually found his way back to the present.

When he returned, he told Dick to remain as Batman and then he set out to create something special. Bruce Wayne created Batman Incorporated.

This started in 2011 and Bruce Wayne basically handpicked heroes across the world who shared his ideology to represent Batman in their countries.

Members eventually included Nightwing, James Gordon, Batgirl, Red Robin, Orphan, Red Hood, Batwing, and Talon.

Hush

Batman: Hush
The cover from the Batman comic story Hush. Pic credit: DC Comics

Hush is a straight mystery story for Batman, which plays in well with what DC is creating with The Batman starring Robert Pattinson.

In this story, someone returns to Gotham City with a grudge against Batman and Bruce Wayne. Known as Hush, he uses several members of Batman’s rogues’ gallery to attack Batman, but refuses to allow anyone to kill him but himself.

This series also included a Poison Ivy-possessed Superman attacking Batman and a nice twist for Two-Face by the time it all ended.

The Court of Owls

Batman: Court of Owls
Batman battling the Court of Owls. Pic credit: DC Comics.

The Court of Owls is a relatively new Batman nemesis created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.

This is a group of the wealthiest citizens of Gotham City and they have run the city for a very long time. As a matter of fact, Bruce Wayne’s great-great-grandfather died as a result of the Court of Owls.

This is a group that lives in the shadows and controls everything, making them almost impossible for Batman to defeat. They are still around in the comics, just putting out a hit on Joker.

As a background villain running throughout the Batman storylines, this could lead to endless movie ideas, with their Talons as the main assassins used, including one who is Nightwing’s great-grandfather.

The Long Halloween

Batman: Long Halloween
Batman’s villains in The Long Halloween. Pic credit: DC Comics

There are rumors that The Batman might play The Long Halloween story into its movie.

This is considered one of Batman’s greatest comic book storylines coming early in his career as a crimefighter.

There is a killer operating in Gotham City who sets out to commit his crimes on holidays. However, that is only part of the story.

Carmine Falcone wants to stop Batman and take control of Gotham City, but the villains he hires prove to be more powerful than one mob boss, with Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, and Scarecrow all involved.

Harvey Dent is also here, as is Jim Gordon, and the search for the killer threatens to destroy both of them as well.

If The Batman adapts this story, it will be a great start to the new Batman movies for the DCEU.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published in Inside Sports Magazine, The Daily...read more

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