Batman has the best rogues gallery. It’s packed full of unique gimmicks and excellent character designs have fascinated and sometimes creeped out countless readers. You could go as far as to say the villains are one of the reasons the franchise has endured for more than 80s years.
So how do you highlight this menagerie of villains? DC Comics has found a way through a series of one-shots known as Batman: One Bad Day.
Read on to learn all about Batman: One Bad Day. This includes the villains involved, how to read the one-shots, and much more.
What is Batman: One Bad Day?
One Bad Day is a series of 64-page one-shots. Each revolves around Batman taking on one of his classic villains over one day. DC Comics has promised that Batman: One Bad Day will tell definitive tales for each member of Batman’s rogue’s gallery.
The Killing Joke connection
For Batman readers with keen eyes, One Bad Day will mirror a classic Batman story in many ways. 1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke was a 64-page one-shot that was one of the most notable times Batman took on The Joker. It became a perennial seller for DC Comics and has been in print ever since.
It appears that DC Comics is trying to catch lightning in the bottle again with Batman: One Bad Day. While DC might not be trying to replicate a story of the same extremes, DC is using The Killing Joke as inspiration.
On a surface level, there are similarities. These include both being 64 pages long and focusing on Batman taking on a particular villain. However, these become more obvious if you are familiar with the classic story. For instance, One Bad Day’s logo pays homage to The Killing Joke but with its own flair, which changes slightly for each villain. Finally, the One Bad Day title, which acts as an umbrella for all of these comics, is inspired by some Joker dialogue that originated in The Killing Joke.
“All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.”
Are these one-shots connected?
Each One Bad Day one-shot is standalone. Each tells a self-contained story that doesn’t have any connection narrative connections with one another. They only connected on a thematic level, with each of them based around Batman taking on a classic villain.
Readers can choose which One Bad Day one-shots they read. You could read them all or pick and choose based on the creators or villains involved. For example, check out Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze if you want to read a Mr. Freeze story.
What one-shots are part of Batman: One Bad Day?
There are eight one-shots under the “One Bad Day” banner. Take a look below to find out more about each one, including the focal villains, creator credits, release dates, and more.
Note: These one-shots have been announced quite far in advance. As a result, there isn’t a lot of information on some of them. This guide will be updated throughout 2022 as more details come to light.
Batman: One Bad Day – The Riddler
Written by Tom King. Art by Mitch Gerads.
The Riddler is usually a villain who works within meticulous rules and systems. However, that seemingly goes out the window when he begins to kill at random. Or is it? Batman will be on the case in this “intellectual thriller”.
The regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – The Riddler was released on 16th August, 2022. A hardcover edition will be available on June 20th, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Two-Face
Written by Mariko Tamaki. Art by Javier Fernandez and Jordie Bellaire.
Harvey Dent became Two-Face after a tragic acid accident. Not only was he scarred, but his personality changed in villainous ways. After years of terrible crimes, it appears that Two-Face has reformed and the man he once was has returned. However, is it too good to be true? Batman will soon find out.
The Regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – Two-Face was released on 20th September, 2022. A hardcover edition will be available on 4th July, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – The Penguin
Written by John Ridley. Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Arif Prianto.
The Penguin ruled much of Gotham City’s underworld. As part of this, he set the rules and etiquette keeping everything from falling into total chaos. That was until his criminal enterprise was stolen from him by the Umbrella Man. Now he must build a crew to try and take it back, which may have to include Batman.
The Regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – The Penguin was reelased on 18th October, 2022. A hardcover edition will be available on 4th July, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze
Written by Gerry Duggan. Art by Matteo Scalera and Dave Stewart.
In this flashback story, Gotham City is experiencing a winter so cold that Mr. Freeze can live without his containment suit. Freeze is looking for a way to save his wife, something that Robin (Dick Grayson) empathises with, but Batman knows there’s something more sinister going on.
The regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze was released on 15th November, 2022. A hardcover edition will be released on 18th July, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Bane
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Howard Porter and Tomeu Morey.
Set decades into the future, Bane is a washed-up wrestler, beating up people dressed up as Batman everyday in the ring. However, he’s given new purpose in life when he discovers that someone is developing venom – the poison that powered him. He’ll do whatever he can to stop it so it doesn’t ruin more lives.
The regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – Bane was released on 17th January, 2023. A hardcover edition will be released on 1st August, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman
Written by G. Willow Wilson. Art by Jamie McKelvie.
Selina Kyle’s mother once owned a brooch that she was forced to pawn for pennies. However, years later, it’s now part of a high-auction bid. Catwoman will now try to steal it in one of her most personal heists yet.
The regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman was released on 24th January, 2023. A hardcover edition will be released on 18th July, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Clayface
Written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing. Art by Xermanico and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Clayface has always had dreams of stardom. So he heads west out to Hollywood to make his dreams come true under a new identity. However, when he find outs that the City of Angels is not much better than Gotham, he’ll return to his villainous ways.
The regular version of Batman: One Bad Day – Clayface was released on 21st February, 2023. A hardcover edition will be released on 1st August, 2023.
Batman: One Bad Day – Ra’s al Ghul
Written by Tom Taylor. Art by Ivan Reis, Danny Miki, and Brad Anderson.
Ra’s al Ghul has a plan to remove Batman out of the picture for good so he can create a new world in his vision.
Batman: One Bad Day – Ra’s al Ghul is available on 21st March. A hardcover edition will be released on 15th August, 2023.
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Why isn’t there a Joker one-shot?
At first glance, not doing a Batman: One Bad Day – The Joker seems like a glaring omission. However, as I mentioned earlier, DC has essentially done it already in Batman: The Killing Joke – the classic one-shot that the One Bad Day one-shots are modelled on.
Batman: One Bad Day boxed set
After DC Comics has published all of these of the one-shots they will be rereleasing them in hardcover editions. For those who want to collect them all, there will be a box set. This will come packaged with Batman: The Killing Joke and Batman: One Bad Day – The Riddler and have enough space for the rest of the hardcover editions.
The other One Bad Day hardcovers will be released at a later date. Readers will need to purchase them separately to add them to the boxed set.
The boxset will be available on 20th June.
Will there be more One Bad Day one-shots?
At this stage, there hasn’t been an announcement.
If I had to speculate, I would say that there is the possibility that DC could decide to do addition One Bad Day one-shots. While not as high profile as the ones already features, there are still plenty of other villains that could be featured. These include Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Black Mask, Hugo Strange, Firefly, Mad Hatter, Man-Bat, Victor Zsasz, and more.
Where to buy Batman: One Bad Day
Need more Batman?
Check out How To Love Comics’ Bat-Classics column. In each edition, we dive into a classic Batman story that we highly recommend. Check all of them out here.