8. KNIGHTFALL (1993-1994)
Writers: Denny O’Neil, Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, and others
Artists: Norm Breyfogle, Jim Aparo, Graham Nolan, Barry Kitson, and others
What it’s about: Obsessed with meticulously taking apart the life of the Caped Crusader, Bane frees all of the inmates from Arkham Asylum in order to physically and mentally exhaust Batman before taking him down.
After deducing Batman’s secret identity, Bane easily defeats a weakened Dark Knight in his home and then proceeds to break his back much to the shock of comic fans everywhere. Thinking his career was over, Bruce Wayne has to find a replacement in order to take down Bane before he becomes the kingpin of Gotham's criminal world.
Why it’s Earth shattering: Much like the Death of Superman, Knightfall was designed as a way to get a lot of cheap publicity and sales after word leaked that Batman would be broken by Bane. But the end result was actually a great story.
In the aftermath of Knightfall, Batman’s replacement, Jean-Paul Valley, was not received well by fans because of his ultra-violent methods and penchant for piling up body counts.
Eventually, DC returned Bruce Wayne as Batman and Bane faded into the sunset.