Our excitement for the upcoming DC game got us thinking; which would be the best comics to read in anticipation for Gotham Knights? We decided to look back at three comic runs in which Batman relied on the Bat Family that he has recruited over the years. It should also be noted that the entries on this list aren’t single issues, nor entire runs. They are all available as trade paperbacks, meaning that they can easily be found for purchase on sites like Amazon.
Gotham Knights is an upcoming video game from WB Games Montreal. In the hotly-anticipated superhero title, players will get the chance to play as various members of the Bat Family. This roster includes Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood. The game takes place after the death of Bruce Wayne, so Batman will not be a central character in the plot. As such, these are just three comics to read in anticipation for Gotham Knights…
Batman: Dark Victory was the follow-up to the iconic Long Halloween storyline. As with The Long Halloween, the creative team of Jeph Loeb and the late Tim Sale were behind this limited series. Whilst Dark Victory is often forgotten about in favor of its legendary predecessor, it too is a phenomenal book that retells a key element of Batman’s lore.
Also read: The Long Halloween: Comic v. Movies
The key moment in question is that of the birth of the first Robin; Dick Grayson. Seeing the dawn of the Boy Wonder in Tim Sale’s distinctive style is glorious. Jeph Loeb also pens the more tender dialogue between Bruce and the recently orphaned Dick with an effortless level of affection rarely seen in mainstream comics.
Death of the Family
Not to be confused with A Death in the Family, (which is another iconic Bat Family book that could also be read in anticipation for Gotham Knights,) Death of the Family focuses on the lengths that Batman will go to in order to protect his surrogate crime-fighting family.
This book is part of The New 52, a run of comics that featured one of the most brutally psychotic version of The Joker ever printed. After re-attaching his mutilated face, Joker sets his sights on killing everyone that The Dark Knight cares for. This list includes multiple iterations of Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon.
Scott Snyder’s writing throughout this run does a phenomenal job of showing just how far Batman will go to protect those close to him. It also does a good job of showing how Batman’s hubris can sometimes be detrimental. In Death of the Family, it is due to Batman’s ego and superiority complex that Joker can decimate the crime-fighting family from within.
Under The Hood
Under The Hood is possibly one of the most tragic Batman stories ever told. This is owed to the fact that it portrays a brotherhood that has turned bitter over the years. The mystery of who was under the Red Hood was eventually revealed to be none other than ex-Robin Jason Todd.
The last time that Bruce saw Jason was immediately after Joker beat him to death with a crowbar. Now, after being resurrected via a Lazarus pit, he appears as an enemy to Batman. Not only that, but he dons a costume that pays homage to the supposed origin story of The Joker; the man responsible for killing him.
Under The Hood is one of the most essential comics to read in anticipation for Gotham Knights, because Red Hood will be one of the playable characters in the game. Reading this run would help to fully understand his complicated relationship with The Dark Knight.
What do you make of our list of comics to read in anticipation for Gotham Knights? Have you read any of them or do you plan on reading them before the release of the game? Are there any more stories that you feel would tie into the upcoming game? Let us know in the comments section down below.