Maybe you've never read a comic before but you saw a movie with a character you love? A show from your childhood or something brand new? Maybe your friend just said you HAVE to check out what's happening in comics but you have no idea where to start. Comics have been around for a long time and it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start, and that's where I come in.
So you wanna start reading Batman? That's where I found myself when I first started reading comics, after growing up with Batman: The Animated Series, and all the movies from the 90s through the 2000s, so I went to my local bookstore and bought the coolest looking thing on the shelf, Batman R.I.P. Wow, was that a confusing way to start (It's a great story, but maybe not as your first Batman book). It took a while but I eventually found the New 52; DC's effort in 2011 to reboot their universe and give everyone an opportunity to jump in without 75+ years of history to catch up on. If you're starting completely fresh, the first two volumes of Batman The New 52, The Court of Owls and The City of Owls are a great introduction to Batman, Bruce Wayne, and the rest of the Bat Family. They don't wipe the slate completely clean with the New 52 reboot, but they do simplify it. The Court of Owls and City of Owls will give you a good idea if the character is something you're interested in exploring more, and if you fall in love like I did, you can continue straight through the New 52 Batman volumes. It's got great writing, even better art, and introduces some new villains and characters that I'm sure will be showing up in mainstream media before long.
If you've finished those, or maybe you're interested in a more chronological telling of Batman's early career, I'd recommend checking out Batman Year One, followed by The Long Halloween, and its sequel Dark Victory. All stories from Batman's early years, and what I'd consider essential Batman reading.
Finally, my personal favourite Hush. You'd probably be just fine starting with Hush, but I think you'll have greater understanding and appreciation for the rogue's gallery and Batman's struggle if you've explored a few of the other mentioned books first.
I'd love to get into the Bat Family here too, but that'll be a post of its own. If you got this far, thanks for reading, and please reach out in whatever way's most convenient for you with any additional questions, recommendations, or just to chat! I'm always happy to talk anything comics, and would love to hear from anyone that feels the same!