I am a Marvel fan, but since I learned about the new 52 reboot of DC I thought of starting a DC title. I like Batman the most, but I saw there are 4 titles about him (Batman, Batman the Dark Knight, Detective Comics Batman and Batman & Robin). So I wanted to ask if these titles present a different version of the DC continuity or if they all take place in the same Universe. Should I read all of them to keep track of continuity? And if not which one presents the "official" continuity?
Batman is the hardest working mortal in the DCnU.
He shows up in
- The Justice League,
- Justice League International,
- Detective Comics,
- Batman: The Dark Knight and
- Batman and Robin.
The Batman family of books with related Batman characters includes Batgirl, Batwoman, Nightwing, Catwoman, Batwing and the Birds of Prey.
All of these books appear in the primary DCnU (New 52) continuity and all relate to the character. His primary books would be Batman and Detective Comics.
Although it's an old question, I think I can share my experience in this. I just started reading comic books and bought all of the new 52 collection (Got it in some discount at local store), but didn't know how to read them. I am still figuring out. The problem with Batman family is, the crossover is found in every family, because he's Batman. You can't just read few titles and learn everything about him. For instance if you start reading the Night of the owls (which is the first series in Batman family), you'll somehow manage to understand the timeline, you can even understand the death in the family if you've watched the Batman animated movies about joker(I forgot the name). But as soon as you go beyond that, you'll find yourself clueless, because Batman, Inc. and other titles which includes the justice league comes between them.
So to perfectly understand everything you should read everything in the chronological order of the publishing date. (for example read everything in September 2012, before you try any later comic), but since this is not possible, and you surely wouldn't be interested in all of the characters. You should read what you require to understand a particular story.
There're a lot of blogs and sites available which mentions the crossover, but I found readingorders.com quiet helpful. I had to re-read everything again, to understand the domino effect of each story on another, but I somehow understood everything before I move on (It made me feel that my collection is still incomplete). For example if you're interested in Batman, start with the Owl story, the reading order can be found here in graphics.
I hope this helped.