If you’re a Batman fan, you’ll no doubt be eagerly awaiting the new film Batman vs. Superman, which hits UK theaters on March 25. Not only is it a fantastic chance to see one of the greatest superhero movies ever made, but it also marks the beginning of a new era for the legendary caped crusader.

The previous installment in the DC cinematic universe, Batman vs. Joker, proved to be a massive critical and commercial success, earning over $745 million at the box office worldwide. It was also the best-reviewed movie of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and arguably the most popular movie in the DC Animated Extended Universe (The Flash, Supergirl, and more recently, Aquaman). With Batman vs. Superman, Warner Bros. is looking to once again redefine the Batman legacy and what it means to be a superhero in today’s world.

Luckily for you, we’ve got 10 books that tackle all things Batman, from an inside look at his psychology to a historical examination of his rogue’s gallery. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and get to work. Let’s dive into the comics.

Batman: Year One

Written by Frank Miller and collected in trade paperback, Batman: Year One is generally considered to be the start of the modern Batman era. Considered to be a darker and more serious take on the character, Miller’s groundbreaking work paved the way for more adult-oriented interpretations. Batman: Year One introduces us to a more mature, experienced, and determined Batman, who is in fact a completely different character to the one we’re used to.

What makes this particular anthology so special is that it focuses on key events from Batman’s early years, from the time when he worked with Commissioner Gordon to take down the mob, to the murder of his parents. Also featuring a young and inexperienced Dick Grayson as Batman’s sidekick, the book is basically a crime fighter’s version of Batman: The Origin. Batman: Year One is essential for any fan of the Dark Knight, as it details the events that shaped him into the world-saving superhero we know and love.

Batman: The Long Halloween

Written by Tony Daniel and illustrated by Brian Bolland, Batman: The Long Halloween is one of the most disturbing stories to ever appear in a mainstream comic. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, Daniel’s dark and brooding take on the Caped Crusader is certain to disturb even the most hardened viewers. What makes this comic different from previous ones is that, for the first time, we get to see Batman not as an invincible superhero but as a vulnerable human being. One who is not necessarily perfect.

In this particular storyline, Batman is traumatized by the murder of over 200 of his former allies. This angers and enrages him, and the resulting PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) causes him to become a human killing machine. What follows is a brutal battle between good and evil, as Batman uses his awesome detective skills to battle crime and rid the underworld of evildoers.

Batman: The Dark Knight

Written by Bob Kane and illustrated by Mike Wieringo, Batman: The Dark Knight is often hailed as the first realistic portrayal of Batman. What makes this comic so influential and distinguished is that it features the first appearance of the Riddler. Nicknamed “the magician” due to his mastery of tricks and puzzles, the Riddler is the perfect villain for Batman, and this particular storyline marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two heroes. The Dark Knight is often cited as one of the defining images of the 20th century.

This particular story details an encounter between the Dark Knight and the Penguin, who is obsessed with penguins and tries to steal their eggs. Along the way, the Riddler helps the rookie Batman solve a string of murders perpetrated by a serial killer named Harley Quinn, whose madness threatens to tear the Dark Knight’s team apart. This is one of the most popular storylines to appear in Batman comics, and it shows us the darker and more complicated side of the Caped Crusader.

The Killing Joke

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland, The Killing Joke is considered by many to be the ultimate Batman story. For those unfamiliar, The Killing Joke is the story of a mentally ill man named Joker, who believes that his sole purpose in life is to torture and murder Batman. The Killing Joke is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it feature one of the greatest characters of all time, but Moore and Bolland masterfully weave an intricate and intricate narrative using a combination of visual arts and words. There are also multiple paths to follow, which provides a sense of discovery not found in other Batman stories. The Killing Joke also marks the definitive end of Batman’s “Knight” persona, and the emergence of his notorious “Joker” identity.

The Dark Knight Returns

Written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Gary Kwang, The Dark Knight Returns is considered by many to be the magnum opus of Miller’s distinguished career. Like many of his stories, The Dark Knight Returns is set in an alternate history, where Superman has become corrupt and controlling, and is on a quest to destroy Gotham City. With the aid of an aging Barbara Gordon, Batman sets out to defeat his arch-nemesis once and for all.

Not only is The Dark Knight Returns one of the most influential stories of all time, but it also introduced a number of groundbreaking concepts to the world of comics. One of the most notable themes is the “Batman Ruling”, where the Caped Crusader enforces order over the city streets. It also features an early example of a superhero with multiple personalities named the Batman.

Batman: Gotham Central

Written by Dick Giordano and illustrated by Mike Mignola, Batman: Gotham Central is a prequel story that explores the early days of Batman in Gotham City. The Dark Knight is forced to work with Harvey Bullock and a young James Gordon, and it details how these two became legendary law enforcement figures in the city. This particular storyline is worth reading if only for Gordon’s debut as a cop. While he went on to become a crime-fighting superhero, Gordon in this story is seen as a bit of a screw-up, but a heroic one. This is mostly due to his humble beginnings and determination to do the right thing.

Batman: The Dark Knight III

Written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Gary Kwang, The Dark Knight III: The Tears of Batman is the conclusion of Miller’s Dark Knight trilogy. Like its predecessors, The Dark Knight III is set in an alternate history, where Superman has become corrupt and is now the dominant figure in the capital city. In this story, Batman is at last able to defeat his arch-nemesis, and the ending is both heartbreaking and triumphant at the same time.

This particular story marks the beginning of a new era for the Caped Crusader, as he joins a group of vigilantes called the Mutant Crime Fighters, a team of superheroes including Ironman, the Hulk, and Captain America. Together, they battle the tyrannical Superman, and in doing so, Bruce Wayne is changed forever. The Dark Knight III is considered by many to be among the greatest comics of all time. It was the basis for the 2014 movie Batman vs. Superman, and it also marked a significant turning point in the history of comics, as it was the first time that a group of previously disparate characters came together to form a team. This anthology-style collection of stories also represented a new way of structuring comic books, with each character having their own distinct story rather than one continuous narrative. This is considered by many to be the “golden age of comics”, as it marked a significant transition from earlier, more traditional comic books, incorporating more artistic elements and in-depth character studies. Batman vs. Superman is the culmination of all these changes, and it brought the Caped Crusader into the modern era.