Whether you’re in need of inspiration for your own wishlist or you’re currently shopping for a Batman fan you know, Batman News has you covered. Items are listed below, sorted by cost.
You can’t go wrong with comic books. You can peruse the back-issue section of your local comic shop for discounted books, buy something brand-new from the front of the store, subscribe to a year’s worth of books for 30% off the cover price at DC’s website, or you can give someone special a Comixology gift card and let them pick their own e-books (There are hundreds of digital Bat-titles for under a buck at Comixology). New issues that make good jumping-on points include the following:
- Batman #35
- Detective comics #37
- Gotham Academy #1
- Secret Six #1
- Gotham by Midnight #1
- Any issue of Batman ’66 or Secret Origins is a stand-alone story
- Arkham Manor #1
- Catwoman #35
- Batgirl #35
- And if you want to catch up on the weekly titles, we have full recaps of Batman Eternal and Futures End
Ranges anywhere from $9-30
A single issue is a nice little stocking-stuffer, but if you really want to make someone happy and get them hooked on comics you’ve gotta go big! A trade paperback or hardcover will collect a complete story and look sexy on a bookshelf. We have a long list of graphic novel reviews for you to sift through, but here are a few solid choices for new readers just to get your started:
- Batman Noel — It’s “A Christmas Carol” but with Batman playing the role of Scrooge. The artwork is some of the best you’ll ever see.
- Li’l Gotham, Vol. 1 — A must-buy if you’re shopping for a child or just the young at heart. This charming series collects a variety of stories that showcase the Batfamily having various holiday adventures. It’s basically a book of holiday specials with beautiful watercolor illustrations.
- Batman: Black & White, Vol. 4 — Don’t let the “Volume 4” bit scare you away, this is an anthology series stocked with gritty short stories anyone can jump right into. Each tale is presented in stark black and white — obviously — and illustrated by some of the best artists in the business.
- Batman: The Court of Owls w/ Mask — If you haven’t heard of The Court of Owls by now, you’re a Batfan who is WAY behind the times. This Bat-epic sees The Dark Knight unravel a mystery surrounding a secret society that has controlled Gotham for centuries. It’s one of the most celebrated stories to come out of DC Comics in the past five years and the latest printing is available with a collectible mask that gives your gift additional wow-factor.
- Batman: Death of the Family w/ Mask — Another Batman graphic novel that comes with a mask only this time the mask is a severed Joker face. The ending to this story is a bit disappointing, but it’s one of the most atmospheric and suspenseful tales in some time and it’s guaranteed to spark discussion.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 1 — Yeah, it’s that good. What surely started out as a marketing gimmick has totally transcended the video game it was initially advertising. Injustice has gone so far above and beyond the call of duty for a video game tie-in that many readers don’t even connect the two things anymore. The game came out nearly two years ago and its comic is still running strong. How strong? It’s been #1 on the digital best seller list almost every other week.
Li’l Gotham Figures
Li’l Gotham makes for cute little shelf/cubicle decoration for adults and quality playthings for the young’uns. These miniature figures by DC Collectibles are modeled after the artwork of Dustin Nguyen’s popular “Li’l Gotham series and they are executed to perfection. The sculpt is spot-on to the original designs, the paint job is immaculate, and they just have undeniable personality. Included stands and numerous accessories make it easy to display Batman, Robin, Harley, and Mista J together in a variety of fun ways.
Beware the Batman: Season 1, Parts 1 & 2
Don’t judge a book by its cover and don’t judge a Batman show by it’s sub-par CGI animation. Beware the Batman had an off-putting look and a dearth of A-list villains in its first 13 episodes so a lot of folks didn’t give it a chance, but now that every episode has hit Blu-ray and DVD I implore you to go out and watch this 26-episode series in its entirety. There are some really incredible episodes to be found with an intricate story, great voice acting, some of the best action you’ll ever see in an animated Batman program, and it’s one of the best example of a Batman who’s truly a detective. You can read a full review of Season 1 Part 1 and Season 1 Part 2 right here at Batman News with commentary on which episodes are the most deserving of your attention.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
There’s a lot of talk about the Suicide Squad these days and there’s no better example of what we may see from the upcoming live-action film than this animated one that just came out a few months ago! The name may imply that it’s based on the Arkham Games or that Batman may be the center of attention, but ignore that. This is a Suicide Squad picture through and through. Here’s the full review of one of WB Animation’s best movies since Flashpoint Paradox.
MONDO Die-cut 12-inch Single (pre-order)
Mondo has this available for pre-order right now (it’ll deliver by January). I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early review sample and it’s absolutely gorgeous. You get the opening and closing credits from Batman: The Animated Series on a 12-inch vinyl record that’s cut into the shape of the bat symbol, however, it’s the gatefold cover that’s the most impressive aspect of this limited-edition collectible. It’s a minimalistic design on the outside featuring little more than vibrant yellow color with The Caped Crusader printed at the center, but when you open it up you’re confronted with a full panorama of the Gotham cityscape in red and black with our hero surveying the horizon from the edge of a nearby skyscraper. It’s awesome and I’m going to frame it.
Batman: The Animated Series Figures
As if the 12-inch album didn’t make you nostalgic enough, DC Collectibles has released brand-new toys based on Batman: The Animated Series. The first wave of these top-grade action figures includes Batman, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, and Two-Face with more to follow in the coming months. I got my hands on the Batman you see in the gallery above and it’s everything I could’ve wanted and more, really. This figure is the spitting image of how The Dark Knight looked in The New Batman Adventures. I just thought I was getting a retro figure, a grapple gun, and a batarang, but this detailed sculpt also comes with quite a few accessories that make it a premium-quality collectible. There’s a spare cape that hangs straight as opposed to the billowing one that comes pre-attached to his cowl, a display stand, and a variety of hands that you can swap out to achieve a variety of poses — and you will be able to do quite a few poses because this Batman has 24 points of articulation.
MONDO 7-inch Vinyl Records
Vinyl lovers and Batman fans really came together this year, didn’t they? You’ll have to find these San Diego Comic-Con exclusives on eBay now, but collecting them all and displaying them together in a sleek frame on your wall (especially if you’re showcasing them with the 12-inch Batman album) will be well worth it. You can get an up close view of each individual record in our review.
DC Designer Series: Greg Capullo Action Figures
By now it should be clear that if you want to find a quality Batman toy, you’re not going to get it in the toy aisle of the average Target or Walmart where a hulk-size Scarecrow attached to a gaudy trigger handle passes as a Bat-figure (I swear, I dropped to my knees like Willem Dafoe in “Platoon” when I saw that thing). If you want the best, you’ll need to go online, to a local comic shop, or to a dedicated toy store to pick up something DC Comics crafts themselves like their all-new Designer Series. These figures are all modeled after the artwork of Greg Capullo (superstar artist behind the New 52 Batman series) and feature characters from such works as The Court of Owls, Death of the Family, and Zero Year. I’ve already done reviews of Batman, Nightwing, and Catwoman, but there are a lot more figures than that available! You can also pick up Talon (one of the best-looking figures in the collection), Riddler, Red Hood, Thrasher Batman (I call it “Owl-Buster Armor” but whatever), Mr. Freeze, and there will be even more coming in the next few months.
Batman: Brave & The Bold: Season 1 & 2
“That one’s for kids!” No, it’s not. Well, yes, it is, but it’s also a love letter to the comic book Silver Age and it’s often uproariously funny and occasionally very poignant. And unlike the other two cartoon series on this list, Batman: Brave & The Bold wasn’t canceled in such a way to leave viewers hanging. It goes out with a bang! I wholeheartedly believe that Batman: Brave & The Bold has one of the finest series finales in TV History, not just animated stuff. Batman: Brave & The Bold is an amazing ride that concludes with a sincere thank you to its viewers while at the same time presenting a hilarious commentary on the television industry.
Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years and The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years
It’s not a “Greatest Hits” collection. How could it be? If this were a tribute to almost any other comic hero and villain the publisher might have a decent shot at squeezing in all of their greatest stories, but Batman has more must-read graphic novels under his utility belt than any other superhero and fitting just 10%r of those into a single book would be an impossible task. Instead, these two hardcovers assemble various stories that exemplify the many eras of the mythology. Some of the selections are outstanding and a few are questionable, but for the most part these two books do a fine job of presenting readers with a plethora of enjoyable content that’s worth having in their collection. Plus, the design of these books is gorgeous and will look lovely on your coffee table or displayed proudly on your bookshelf. A list of what stories each book collects can be found behind the spoiler tags below:
Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years
- Detective Comics #27 – “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”Batman #1 – “The Legend of the Batman – Who He Is and How He Came to Be!”Detective Comics #83 – “Accidentally on Purpose!”Batman #49 – “The Scoop of the Century!”Detective Comics #211 – “The Jungle Cat-Queen!”Detective Comics #216 – “The Batman of Tomorrow!”World’s Finest #94 – “The Origin of the Superman-Batman Team”Detective Comics #327 – “The Mystery of the Menacing Mask!”Batman #181 – “Beware of — Poison Ivy!”Detective Comics #359 – “The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!”Detective Comics #395 – “The Secret of the Waiting Graves”Detective Comics #442 – “Death Flies the Haunted Sky”Detective Comics #474 – “The Deadshot Ricochet”DC Special Series #21 – “Wanted: Santa Claus — Dead or Alive!”Batman Special #1 – “The Player on the Other Side!”Detective Comics #574 – “…My Beginning…and My Probable End.”Detective Comics #633 – “Identity Crisis”Batman #497 – “The Broken Bat”Detective Comics #711 -“Knight Out”
Detective Comics #757 – “Air Time”
Detective Comics #821 – “The Beautiful People”
Batman (Volume 2) #2 – “Trust Fall”
“The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” (reimagining)
The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years
- Batman #1 – “Batman vs. the Joker”Batman #5 – “The Riddle of the Missing Card!”Detective Comics #64 – “The Joker Walks the Last Mile!”Batman #25 – “Knights of Knavery”Batman #32 – “Rackety-Rax Racket!”Detective Comics #168 – “The Man Behind the Red Hood!”Detective Comics #180 – “The Joker’s Millions!”World’s Finest #61 – “The Crimes of Batman!”Batman #85 – “Batman — Clown of Crime!”Batman #163 – “The Joker Jury!”Batman #251 – “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge!”Detective Comics #475 – “The Laughing Fish!”Detective Comics #476 – “Sign of the Joker!”Superman (Volume 2) #9 – “To Laugh and Die in Metropolis”Batman #427 – “A Death in the Family, Chapter Two”Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #66 – “Going Sane, Chapter Two: Swimming Lessons”Detective Comics #726 – “Fool’s Errand”Detective Comics #741 – “Endgame, Part Three: …Sleep in Heavenly Peace…”Detective Comics #826 – “Slayride”
Detective Comics (Volume 2) #1 – “Faces of Death”
Batman (Volume 2) #15 – “But Here’s the Kicker”
Young Justice: Season 1
“In Young Justice, being a teenager means proving yourself over and over — to peers, parents, teachers, mentors and, ultimately, to yourself. But what if you’re not just a normal teenager? What if you’re a teenage superhero?” Man, that sounds cheesy. That official synopsis sounds like everything I thought Young Justice was going to be and that’s why I didn’t watch it when it was still on Cartoon Network. Then it got canceled and, after hearing the deafening outcry of fans, I gave it a shot and it turned out that, yeah, the cancellation of Young Justice will go down as one of the great tragedies of animated television. The only bad thing I have to say about Young Justice is that it had a crap character design for The Joker. Other than that, it’s an incredibly gripping show that was unafraid to take risks and featured intricate storylines and believable characters with plenty of depth. It deserves at least as much praise as Justice League Unlimited and if you’re a DC Comics fan who hasn’t checked it out yet, you definitely won’t regret it. As for the Blu-ray itself, you’re getting all episodes from the first season but, unfortunately, zero extras.
Coveroo and Warner Brothers offer some cool phone cases for the iPhone and Galaxy. These designs pay homage to the comics, movies, and cartoons. There’s even a few Mask of the Phantasm covers in there! Every case is officially licensed by DC Comics, snaps on in seconds, and protects your phone from damage all while looking cool and showing off your love of The Dark Knight.
Compression shirts, T-shirts, hoodies, cleats, sports bras– you name a garment or accessory made by Under Armour and chances are good that they’ve made it better by slapping a bat symbol on it.
Batman/DC: A Visual History
I reviewed both of these books recently and found them to not only contain jaw-dropping images from decades of comics, but they’re incredibly informative encyclopedias as well. These are a must-have for any comic fan’s coffee table and they come with exclusive prints by Jason Fabok and Jim Lee.
Kotobukiya Bob Kane Batman
A great tribute to the original Batman design, the Kotobukiya Bob Kane Batman statue is well-crafted and surprisingly affordable for a limited edition. Batman News has a full review available for those considering this figure.
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
It’s my favorite LEGO Batman game so far and it’ll make a lot of Green Lantern fans happy too (flying around Oa, Nok, and other hub planets is a blast). How much fun is it? It messed up my sleep cycle, so take that as a warning and an endorsement. This is not the game you play before going to bed, it’s the game you play to relax in-between sessions of more stressful games to calm your nerves a bit. If you play it at night, like I did, chances are you’re going to have that constant urge to “Just get one more gold brick, I’ll just get one more gold brick and call it a night– wait, is that Etrigan the Demon? I can unlock him easy. I’ll do that and THEN head to bed.” Its seemingly harmless blend of exploration, fan-service, and never-ending rewards for uncomplicated tasks make LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham a devastatingly addictive game. And if you’re a fan of the old ’66 TV Series you owe it to yourself to pick this one up! Saving Adam West is way more fun than saving Stan Lee (not that I didn’t enjoy that as well) and I would’ve gladly paid double just to play the Batman ’66 bonus level you get for beating the game.
Pre-Order Batman: Arkham Knight
Touch their hearts with the gift of waiting even longer for a gift. Batman: Arkham Knight won’t be available until June of 2015, but that doesn’t mean you can’t guarantee a friend or loved one gets it the very day it’s released! Order it now and you’ll even get a few nifty bonuses like the Red Hood Story Pack, Harley Quinn Story Pack, Prototype Batmobile, and who knows what else. Personally, I’m against pre-ordering games. I think it’s killing the industry, but I’m also a hypocrite who would be thrilled to find a receipt for Arkham Knight in my stocking on Christmas morning. And don’t forget, kid who can only get a gaming consoles in December, you’ll want to ask for that Xbox One or PS4 now otherwise you won’t have a system to play Arkham Knight on when it comes out this summer! Parents can grab a Xbox One for around $350 right now and parents who actually love their kids can get a PS4 for $400.
DC Comics Bombshells Holiday Harley Quinn Statue
We’ve seen a lot of Harley Quinn redesigns in recent years, but few are more popular than the one found in DC Collectible’s Bombshells line inspired by vintage pin-up art. This take on the character is so beloved that this year DC Collectibles gave Harley her own Christmas-themed statue! Based on the artwork of Ant Lucia and sculpted by Tim Miller, Holiday Harley is crafted from cold-cast porcelain and hand-painted in festive holiday colors that’ll put everyone in the spirit of the season. The attention to detail on this 10-inch figure is absolutely fantastic and collectors will definitely be impressed with the level of quality they’re getting at such an affordable price. Characteristics sure to garner complements include the sculpting of Harley’s expressive face and cocky little wink, her bag (complete with tassel handle adorned with a mini-Batman ornament) full of the Dynamic Duo’s stolen gear, the small Joker card sticking out of her thigh-high stockings, her engraved bat-belt buckle, and the surprisingly traditional snowman and candy cane ornaments affixed to her lapel. This piece has plenty of personality and holiday cheer and it’s just the thing to go on any Batman fan’s fireplace mantel.
MONDO Batman 75h Anniversary Posters
Just like the 9-inch albums, all of these items are long-gone from the MONDO shop and can only be found on eBay for a premium price. Each poster is a limited edition (no more than 250 were printed in some cases) designed by the best artists in the business. These aren’t just posters, they’re works of art that you’ll want framed and hanged prominently in your home.
If you’re not a member of the same country club as Bruce Wayne, turn back now.
…Are they gone? Good. Enjoy your best Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Whatever EVER with the creme de la creme of Batman items listed below.
$126 and Up
Batman ’66 Adam West & Burt Ward by Hot Toys
The pride and joy of my own personal collection. The dynamic duo look fantastic under the LED lights of a Legend Studios Display Case. Check out the full review of the Batman figure and the Robin figure right here.
Batman Cuff Links
Both decorative accessory and nifty gadget, these bat symbols designed to fasten your shirt cuff double as USB flash drives that provide you with up to 2 GB of storage on each cuff link.
Batman: The Complete Television Series
$269.97 ($175 at Amazon, don’t be a chump)
Because it’s the box set fans deserve, but not at the price we need to pay right now. So we’ll wait until Christmas…
The Joker (Bank Robber Version 2.0) by Hot Toys
The most lifelike Heath Ledger figure Hot Toys has produced so far. You can read the full review here.
The Batman Armory
Build your own Batcave and populate it with your own lifelike Bruce, Alfred, and the complete armory fully stocked with gadgets seen in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Why, with a set this nice you could even reenact entire scenes in stop-motion. Batman News’ Elena Carrillo just did a review of the complete Batman Armory days ago.