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The 10 Most Iconic Batman Comic Panels, Ranked | ScreenRant

DC has had the benefit of attracting some of the best artists for Batman comics. From the likes of David Mazzucchelli to more recent ones like David Finch and Greg Capullo, a notable amount of these artists provided some of the most resonant panels that stand tall in the pantheon of Batman's 80-plus years mythos.

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These panels, in some form or another, capture the best of what's so beloved about the Dark Knight, whether in narrative moments of triumph or sorrow. Complemented by some excellent writing in dialogue, each work of art is made all the more striking.

10 In The Labyrinth (The Court Of Owls)

This storyline put Batman through a physical and psychological wringer at the hands of the Court and their Talon assassin. The climax of The Court of Owls arc came when the Caped Crusader was thrown into the Court's Labyrinth, forced to spend over a week trying to navigate the maze while the Talon hunted him throughout.

As Batman continually lost grip of his mind, Talon backstabbed him in one of the most vivid panels of Capullo's time drawing the character. The visualization of Batman developing owl-like features along with the detailed crumbling suit, and ragged facial features sell the shock value of this panel well.

9 We Have Work To Do (Hush)

Jeph Loeb returned to Batman after his revered work with Tim Sale on Haunted Knight, The Long Halloween, and Dark Victory in the early 2000s for Hush. This time, he was paired with superstar artist Jim Lee. While this comic wasn't as acclaimed as the likes of The Long Halloween, it still made for an exciting mystery and action-thriller story, and Lee's art has become an iconic trademark ever since.

After Batman lets Catwoman into his life and knows his secret, they team up to uncover the case of this mysterious killer. There's not much dialogue build up for this, as Lee's work carries this scene to make a dramatic exit in true Batman fashion.

8 Orphans (Dark Victory)

While understandably being in second place compared to its immediate predecessor The Long HalloweenDark Victory is a worthy sequel that gives another solid emphasis on the "detective" aspect of the World's Greatest Detective. However, it also served as another origin story, but this time for Dick Grayson/Robin. In one of the issues of DV, it displays one of the most somber visuals in Batman comics.

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After the mob orders the hit on the Flying Graysons as a means of intimidation, the audience flees while Dick mourns the sudden murder of his parents. A lone Bruce Wayne stayed in the stands, quietly standing as if attending a funeral mirroring his own childhood. Tim Sale's use of shadows and shades of red in the few places of color is executed excellently for the sake of emphasis for such a quiet scene.

7 I'm Still Here (I Am Bane)

Fast-forwarding further into the Rebirth era of DC Comics that started in 2016, Tom King's writing during I Am Bane with David Finch's artwork made for a quintessential Batman moment. Following the events of I Am Suicide where the hero intends to put together his own Suicide Squad to defeat Bane, the latter comes back with a vengeance.

Attacking him in his prison in Santa Prisca made things more personal than ever for Bane, and the final bout between the two had one of the best exchanges of dialogue in Batman comics. Battered and bloodied, Batman gets back up, tired of hearing another villain tell him he's finished. After all the rogues claiming to have gotten him on the ropes, he's still here.

6 The Man Who Beat Superman (The Dark Knight Returns)

Before Frank Miller wrote the origin story Year One, he'd already contributed to 1980s crescendo in Batman comics with The Dark Knight Returns. While the former is arguably the most indicative of the character's qualities, TDKR presented an excellent gritty alternate-timeline tale of a more cynical, jaded Batman forced to deal with the bleak politically dystopian circumstances of his time.

This eventually leads him to face Superman, now a government lapdog, in a fight. With Green Arrow's help, Batman defeats the Man of Tomorrow, giving a cathartic scene to remind Superman who put him down.

5 The Prodigal Son (Batman And Son)

Though Jason's death in A Death in the Family had this kind of impact first, Grant Morrison's run with Andy Kubert on the pencils in Batman and Son greatly influenced the direction and growth of the Batfamily, too. Bruce has definitely not been one to shy away from adopting his children, but this was the first time he's been revealed to have a biological son--without him knowing.

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Morrison's writing on the character has been simultaneously criticized for veering too far into the bizarre and supernatural and praised for thrilling plots with twists, turns, and revelations that honor his mythos. And his first meeting with Damian, along with a small piece of dialogue, helped set the stage for this tumultuous relationship.

4 Proving A Point (The Killing Joke)

In one of the most acclaimed Batman comics of the 1980s, the Joker had another landmark appearance in comics that would come to be the standard for adapting the character across mediums, including The Dark KnightThe Killing Joke cemented itself as a comic-book great but stirred its fair share of understandable controversy when he shot Barbara Gordon, confining her to a wheelchair.

It's a horrifying scene, and his sudden appearance at the Gordons' home is burned into the minds of many fans. From the shadow leaving twinkles in the Clown Prince of Crime's eyes to the ironic tourist wardrobe, Brian Bolland's detailed work, particularly in facial expression, hardly needed any dialogue to drive the bitter impact home.

3 No One Is Safe (Year One)

It's unsurprising that arguably Batman's best comic book origin story has one of the most memorable panels in his catalog. Mazzucchelli's work shines the most in scenes like when Bruce, soon after becoming the Batman, takes the fight directly to Carmine Falcone's doorstep. The scope and scale of the story start perfectly for the character, i.e. dealing with Gotham's first plague in organized crime.

He makes a profound first impression by crashing the crime families' dinner party by cutting the power to the mansion and blowing a hole in the dining room wall from the outside. The art brilliantly accentuates the shadows and dust, creating an eerie veil over Batman. From there, the Dark Knight gives a chilling monologue, making it now known that from that moment on, none of them will sleep soundly.

2 The Death Of Jason Todd (A Death In The Family)

Another controversial yet classic role for the Joker in the comics of the 1990s, Jason Todd--the second Robin--dying at the hands of the villain in A Death in the Family shaped the trajectory of the Batfamily across different timelines. It's been acknowledged by Batman himself that the upbringing and murder of Jason is his greatest failure.

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Jason suffered Joker's grueling torture and emotional trauma from his neglectful mother before dying in an explosive set by the clown, with Batman arriving when it was just too late. Jim Aparo's art of the Dark Knight carrying Jason's lifeless body is haunting imagery, despite the scene being set in broad daylight. While counted as a technicality, Mike Mignola's cover art for the comic also warrants special praise for the darker rendition of this panel.

1 Broken Bat (Knightfall)

The first titanic battle between Batman and Bane came in the landmark Knightfall arc. This new enemy makes his way to Gotham City with a meticulously detailed plan to dismantle the Bat in body and spirit. Bane orchestrates a mass breakout of Arkham Asylum, letting Batman's biggest rogues run rampant at once, knowing that he won't rest until they've all been rounded back up.

Knowing his identity, Bane breaks into Bruce's home, and infamously breaks his back over his knee. The striking color palette and dramatic spread over an entire page make this an iconic "impact" visual.

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