In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched the DC Universe, giving all of its characters a makeover. The relaunch unshackled classic heroes and villains from years of continuity and provided new creative teams with the opportunity to take the likes of Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman et al, in an exciting direction.

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were tasked with overseeing the Caped Crusader’s new stories, which kicked off in issue #1 of Batman. The first arc in their run focused on The Court of Owls – a secret society that operates in the shadows of Gotham.

From here, the comic moved into a Night of the Owls storyline, then into the Joker-centric Death of the Family and many other tales. The Batman comic also explored Batman’s origin through the Zero Year stories – Secret City and Dark City.

In total, The New 52 era of DC titles was published between 2011 and 2016. Within this time period, the Batman comic ran for 52 monthly issues and four annuals.

But what is the best reading order for Batman: The New 52?

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Batman: The New 52 in order

Image: ©DC Comics

Batman’s New 52 adventures begin with The Court of Owls storyline which runs for the first seven issues and continues with The City of Owls storyline, which runs between issue #8 and #12, as well as Batman Annual #1. Death of the Family is the third story and this takes place between issues #13 and #17.

From here, the next major storyline is Zero Year: Secret City, which tells a Batman origin story and picks up from issue #21 and runs through to issue #24. Zero Year continues with Dark City with takes place between issues #25 and #27, as well as issues #29 and #33.  

The Graveyard Shift collects together standalone tales which have taken place in between some of the previous stories. These tales appear in issue #0, #18 to #20, #34 and Batman Annual #2.

Endgame is the next story, which covers issue #35 to #40 and also includes Batman Annual #3 which is an Endgame tie-in.

Superheavy follows Endgame and runs from issue #41 to #45, with Bloom appearing afterward and taking place in issue #46 through to #50.

The final story is Epilogue, which appears in issue #51, #52 and Batman Annual #4. This leads into Batman: Futures End #1 and Batman: Rebirth #1 – the starting point for a new run of Batman comics (aka the Rebirth era).

If you wish to read the Batman: The New 52 comics in the best reading order, then use the following list as a guide:

  • The Court of OwlsBatman vol 2 issue #1 – 7
  • The City of OwlsBatman vol 2 issue #8 – 12 + Batman Annual #1
  • Death of the FamilyBatman vol 2 issue #13 – 17
  • Zero Year: Secret CityBatman vol 2 issue #21 – 24
  • Zero Year: Dark CityBatman vol 2 issue #25 – 27 + #29 – 33
  • The Graveyard ShiftBatman vol 2 issue #0 + #18 – 20 + #28 + #34 + Batman Annual #2
  • EndgameBatman vol 2 issue #35 – 40 + Batman Annual #3
  • SuperheavyBatman vol 2 issue #41 – 45
  • BloomBatman vol 2 issue #46 – 50
  • EpilogueBatman vol 2 issue #51 – 52 + Batman Annual #4 + Batman: Futures End #1 + Batman: Rebirth #1

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