10 essential Batman stories from the past decade

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Image: DC Comics (Riley Rossmo)

Batman, and all of the superhero comics industry, owe a great debt to the radio drama. Pulp and mystery shows developed just before comic books of all stripes, and there are clear parallels between shows like Detective Story Hour and Detective Comics: The former was the birthplace of radio character The Shadow, and the latter gave Batman to the world. In 2017, the two infamous detectives meet in Batman/The Shadow and The Shadow/Batman, two six-issue miniseries that plunged them into one another’s worlds.

In the former, Scott Snyder, Steve Orlando, and artist Riley Rossmo teamed up for a caper that drew the world’s greatest detective into an investigation that took him around the globe and introduced him to the greatest mystery of all: The Shadow himself. In The Shadow/Batman, Orlando and artist Giovanni Timpano throw Batman into the pulpy noir deep end, setting him in a context that’s far more familiar to The Shadow—but used to belong to him, too. Modern Batman stories can forget that he isn’t just a superhero with supervillains and immense threats to face; he’s also the best detective in the world. Both of these crossover titles reconnect Batman with those roots and give him mysteries to solve, investigations to tackle, and questions to answer.

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