5.0 out of 5 stars
Awesome!!!, Aug. 12 2012
I came across the mention of a book while following a discussion of the recent The Dark Knight Rises and the reference to it piqued my interest. So I looked it up and took a chance ordering it from Amazon.
I'm really glad I did as I've just finished reading it. It's edited by Dennis O'Neil (one of the great wriers for Batman in the comics) and is a collection of eighteen separate essays by various writers and their distinct views on various aspects of Batman and his world.
It was fascinating even when I didn't agree with what I read. Because above all it was thought provoking and all with a touch of humour. The articles touch on why Batman is such a great literary character and why he still fascinates us after more than eighty years existence. It's also apparent that all these writers like and even love Batman even when they're offering critical observations. In that it's similar to David Gerrold's book The World Of Star Trek.
There are articles on what it might really cost to be Batman, evaluating Bruce Wayne's psychology, a look at Batman's little remembered sci-fi era of the late 1940s to early '60s, what the campy '60s series really meant, the work of Frank Miller, the evolution of Batman and a helluva lot more. And you have to read "To The Batpole!" by Alex Bledsoe. I guarantee you will laugh yourself breathless even as you see the characters stay perfectly true to form! (-:
If you love Batman then I highly recommend this book.
Note this book was published awhile after Batman Begins (2005) and shortly before The Dark Knight (2008).
Introduction by Dennis O'Neil
"Keeping It Real In Gotham" by Robert Brian Taylor - reinventing and adapting classic heroes and Batman may be part of a small sub genre called "pulp noir."
"Two Of A Kind" by Lou Anders'- an interesting look at the Joker and his relationship to Batman.
"Frank Miller's New Batman And The Grotesque" by Geoff Klock - a look at Frank Miller's takes on Batman from The Dark Knight Returns onward.
"Holy Signifier, Batman!" by Nicak Mamatas - a new look at the Adam West television series and what it really means.
"The Cost Of Being Batman" by Darren Hudson Hick - in the real world what would it cost you to be like Batman?
"Ra's al Ghul: Father Figure As Terrorist" by Michael Marano - looking at the relationship between Ra's al Ghul and Batman.
"The Dubious Origins Of The Batman" by Alan J. Porter - who really created The Dark Knight?
"Why Doesn't Bruce Wayne Retire Already?" by Chris Roberson - why doesn't Bruce Wayne ever pass the torch and how is he kept going decade after decade?
"The Madness Of Arkham Asylum" by Paul Lytle - what is Arkham really good for and what it represents.
"Robin: Innocent Bystander" by Jake Black - why does Batman allow a youth to accompany him on his crusade?
"Batman In Outer Space' by Mike W. Barr - a look at the often dismissed sci-fi era of Batman's history and what worth there might be there.
"Gotham's First Family" by Mary Borsellino - the why and how of Bruce Wayne's parents and their role in creating Batman.
"What's Wrong With Bruce Wayne?" by Robin S. Rosenberg - questioning wheather Bruce Wayne is psychologically flawed.
"The Batman We Deserve" by Daniel M. Kimmel - looking at Batman's evolution through the years.
"To The Batpole!" by Alex Bledsoe - a truly amusing look at a significant moment in young Bruce's life.
"Heroes Of Darkness And Light" by John C. Wright - the differences between Superman and Batman and why the Dark Knight is sexier.
"Batman In The Real World" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - why Batman is a truly iconic American hero.
"Batman, The Failure" by David Seidman - why Batman's crusade, his methods and his very existence is ultimately pointless.