Gotta’ love Batman! Here is his first appearance, from Detective Comics #27, from May 1939. It is a simple, cool story and it is only six pages. It introduces Commissioner James Gordon and ends showing that Bruce Wayne is Batman (technically “the Bat-Man”).
I’ve read three Batman graphic novels recently: Batman: Year One (okay); Batman: Hush (excellent); and Batman: Venom (meh). I think I’ll read some with Bane and the Joker soon. Anyone know another good Batman story?
P.S. A good novel about the Golden Age of Comic Books (late 1930s to late 1940s) is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. It is a fictional story of two boys who get caught up in the comic book wave before World War II and create their own superhero, modeled after Superman.