Just as Batman Begins was partially based on Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, and The Dark Knight was based on a multitude of Batman stories – The Killing Joke and Long Halloween among them – Christopher Nolan, Jonathon Nolan, and David S. Goyer have clearly been inspired by a handful of Batman comic book stories in their development of The Dark Knight Rises.

And while nothing in the world can truly prepare Batman fans for the end of Nolan’s beloved Dark Knight trilogy (short of paying large quantities of $$$ for extensive psychotherapy), becoming thoroughly familiar with the source material is your best and least costly option.

We’ve constructed a list featuring of five comic book stories that you should probably read in preparation for The Dark Knight Rises. Are you ready for the legend to end?

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