Batman / Batman Series

Which Comics Was Batman: The Animated Series Based On?

If you’re a fan of the iconic Batman: The Animated Series, you might be wondering which comics inspired the show’s creators. After all, this beloved series has become a classic in its own right, with its unique art style, captivating storylines, and memorable characters.

The Batman Comics that Influenced the Animated Series

The truth is that the show’s creators drew inspiration from a variety of different sources. However, there were several key comic book storylines that helped shape the world of Batman: The Animated Series.

The Dark Knight Returns

One of the most significant influences on the show was undoubtedly Frank Miller’s groundbreaking 1986 graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns. This comic portrays an older and more jaded version of Batman who comes out of retirement to fight a new wave of crime in Gotham City. The Animated Series borrowed heavily from this narrative, especially when it came to depicting Batman as a gritty and complex character.

The Killing Joke

Another major influence on Batman: The Animated Series was Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. This 1988 one-shot comic tells the story of how the Joker became the Clown Prince of Crime. The animated series used elements from this comic to flesh out the Joker’s backstory and personality.

Year One

Batman: Year One is a 1987 comic book storyline by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli that tells the origin story of Bruce Wayne as Batman. This storyline also heavily influenced Batman: The Animated Series by showing how Bruce Wayne becomes Gotham City’s protector.

Strange Apparitions

Steve Englehart’s “Strange Apparitions” storyline (Detective Comics #469-479) introduced several key elements to Batman lore including Hugo Strange, Silver St. Cloud, and Rupert Thorne which became part of animated series.


In conclusion, there were several Batman comics that inspired the creators of Batman: The Animated Series. These comics helped shape the show’s unique style, complex characters, and engaging storylines. If you’re a fan of the series, it might be worth checking out these comics to see where it all began!