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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knightfall - You'll believe a bat can break
Knightfall, and the subsequent Knightquest and Knightsend story arcs it spawned marks the first truly *epic* storyline in the Batman comic book titles. This ground-breaking and pivotal series follows Batman as he battles all of Arkham Asylum's inmates, who have been released by the drug-enhanced killer named Bane. Part one culminates with the actual breaking of the...
Published on April 6 2004 by Simon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be 3.5 but...
This was it, no turning back, DC, after killing Superman decided to break the batman or so to speak. Bane has come to Gotham with one thing in mind: to kill Batman, and claim Gotham for his own. His first move was to free all the inmates at Arkham Asylum, inmates such as The Joker, Scarecrow, Two Face and the rest of the villains that Batmna has faced through the years...
Published on Aug. 10 2001 by Rebecca Benchetrit


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Knightfall - You'll believe a bat can break, April 6 2004
By 
Simon (Brampton, ON) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
Knightfall, and the subsequent Knightquest and Knightsend story arcs it spawned marks the first truly *epic* storyline in the Batman comic book titles. This ground-breaking and pivotal series follows Batman as he battles all of Arkham Asylum's inmates, who have been released by the drug-enhanced killer named Bane. Part one culminates with the actual breaking of the Batman, while part two has Batman passing the mantle to his new protege Jean Paul Valley.
The biggest problem with Knightfall is that the actual story begins here, but there are countless back-issues of comics and collected editions that you'll need to pick up to understand how everything got to this point. Who is Bane and what does he have against Batman? Go find 'Vengeance of Bane'. Where'd Jean Paul Valley come from? Read 'Sword of Azreal'. What's the drug called venom? Pick up 'Batman: Venom.' Why's Batman so exhausted? There's no direct answer to that one, but it starts with the death of the second Robin in 'Batman: A Death in the Family'. When did Bane beat up Killer Croc and pump the Riddler with venom? There are two individual back-issues you'll need to read to answer those questions. Even chapter 1 of this book, where Bane destroys Arkham, is not technically a part of the Knightfall saga - Knightfall actually begins with the Mad Hatter story. While it's still possible to enjoy Knightfall without reading all this supplemental history, it's not quite as satisfying without it.
Still, fans of Batman definitely need to read Knightfall. One of the interesting things DC Comics did was give fans the false impression that the changes happening were *permanant*; Batman would really be replaced for the rest of the series. It's interesting to read through this volume from that perspective - is this arc really worthy of being Batman's final adventure? Each chapter follows Batman as he recaptures an inmate, with occasional subplots to keep things interesting (Scarecrow and Joker take the mayor hostage). The writing is excellent, and so is the art (with a few chapters being done by Jim Aparo). Finally, if you haven't ever seen the actual panel where Batman is broken - stop reading. Get up. Buy this book now. Just go.
Batman: Knightfall is a good read, but if you want the full experience, track down all the extra reading I mentioned above. Otherwise you won't feel the impact of this historic Batman arc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Knightfall: Broken Bat--a grand design but weak execution, July 19 2002
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
With "Knightfall" it is not so much the grand design as it is the execution. Obviously writers Doug Moench and Chuck Dixon were trying to come up with something comparable to the death of Superman for the Dark Night. I think the sacred status of "The Return of the Dark Knight" makes it impractical to try and use the Joker for Batman's primary foe in such an attempt, so Bane plays the antagonist for "Knightfall" the ways Doomsday did for Superman. From a storytelling perspective I really like the triggering event and climax of the first half of the story. The idea of emptying Arkham Asylum as the opening gambit in a deadly game against Batman is a masterstroke. After all, one man can only do so much, and each successive victory weakens Batman. Psychologically scarring a man who has already been traumatized by his parent's murder into becoming a vigilante of the night is going to be pretty difficult, so the idea of simply breaking Batman's back also seems like an appropriate obstacle (Superman already did the coming back from the dead routine). So the set up and the payoff for part one are pretty good.
But it is the execution that most readers seem to be quibbling about. The individual comic book stories in which Batman tracks down the escapees from Arkham are not especially memorable, whereas the goal would be almost for each episode to stand on its own as well as lend itself to a geometric progression of the Batman's troubles. The exception that proves the rule would be the climax of "Die Laughing," where Batman gets a does of the Scarecrow's fear-gas, which only dredges up the Joker's killing of Robin as his greatest fear. But when Bane finally attacks Batman, having worn him down through this long series of battles with other foes, even the flashback of the chain of events does not provide a glimpse of anything more than simply piling on the wounds until Batman has nothing left. The result is functional, but not the spectacular culmination you would hope for with such an epic.
Furthermore, the artwork by pencillers Jim Aparo, Norm Breyfogle, Graham Nolan, and Jim Balent is fairly pedestrian. In terms of providing some of the atmosphere that suits Batman best, the closest would be "Night Terrors," where Aparo's pencils are enhanced by inker Tom Mandrake to good effect. But ultimately the artwork suffers in comparison to the covers and promo pages drawn by Kelly Jones. The idea of Jones having done the entire "Knightfall" saga does induce salivary secretions, but it was not to be. So basically we have a very good idea that could have been great if the execution had been better.
"Batman: Knightfall, Part One: Broken Bat" reprints the first half of the epic tale from "Batman" 491-497" and "Detective Comics" 659-663. The tale concludes in "Batman: Knightfall, Part Two: Who Rules the Night."
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1.0 out of 5 stars batcrap, March 26 2002
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This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
this is the worst batman comic i've ever read. i could have written a better one than this without too much effort. a cracked out, psychotic fiend, bane, comes to gotham in order to 'break' batman and thereby rule gotham city. he blows arkham asylum to bits, thereby forcing batman to take on nearly every villain he ever combated all at once. this leaves batman so physically and mentally weakened that at the end this unimpressive, nazi like villain breaks into wayne manor and lays a beat down on batman, ultimately (we think) breaking his spine. batman fans made much of this because this is supposedly the first 'defeat' of the batman, but who could see this as a real defeat in the true sense of that word? at his physical and mental best batman would have worked circles around a musclehead like bane. the characters behave as though it is inevitable that batman will defeat bane despite his debilitated and nearly insane state, although in the better batman books they are much more realistic and like actual people than that. this one didn't take much effort, and is better ignored by true fans of the bat. read "the dark knight returns" or "the killing joke"
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3.0 out of 5 stars Should be 3.5 but..., Aug. 10 2001
By 
Rebecca Benchetrit (St-Laurent, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
This was it, no turning back, DC, after killing Superman decided to break the batman or so to speak. Bane has come to Gotham with one thing in mind: to kill Batman, and claim Gotham for his own. His first move was to free all the inmates at Arkham Asylum, inmates such as The Joker, Scarecrow, Two Face and the rest of the villains that Batmna has faced through the years. So Batman, who is already drained physicaly must now battle each villain and stop them from destroying Gotham. After going through everyone, Batman must face Bane... It was very depressing to see Batman completly drained and at the end of his strengh being pounded by Bane, but come on that was it, there was the climax, nothing more. I mean I would rather there be a reason for Bane's thrist for power and lust for revenge on the dark night like the heat between Croc and Bane but nothing more than a big guy bulked up on some sort of venom beating the heck out of the batman. I guess I'll go ahead and pick up the second volume : Who rules the night, since I'm curious as to how Jean Paul can fill those big shoes and reclaim Gotham. To put it this way: the story is simple, too simple but I guess it wasn't that bad after all, still not something I would call a classic by any means...
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1.0 out of 5 stars stupid stupid batman, June 5 2001
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This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
This book was (like the Death of Superman debacle) pretty bad. Batman get sick and keeps fighting badguys. and keeps fighting badguys. and keeps ...you get the idea. I admire Batman as much as I admire Superman. However, the authors made him so DUMB in this book. No rest. No Robin. No help. Idiot. This book taught me nothing about the "resiliency of the human spirit." All it did was get Batman to fight a bunch of idiots in succession, and then a BIG idiot at the end. This set the stage for Knightfall 2, which was awful, Knightsquest, and then Knightsend, which is really the only one worth reading. Batman feels like a failure after all this. Well that is ridiculous. If the writers really wanted to make Batman seem like a failure, and have to take time off, they would have given him a worthy opponent. Someone stronger. Someone smarter. Someone who could BEAT him, not because he was on monster steroids and had 40 supervillains soften him up first!! Anyway, this is all useless now. The only reason to buy this book is, well, because it is long. You get a lot of pages. Something to read when you have a cold, or are on the stairmaster, or there is a commercial on TV or something. Batman has, on average, the BEST stories out there. This is NOT one of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic entertainment, Jan. 2 2001
By 
Kp Roegele "The Baron" (Somewhere) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
Fancy some Batman-themed entertainment? You could go for one of the blockbuster movies, or you could check out this incredible comicbook saga. Absolutely chock-a-block with sinister supervillains and explosive action, Broken Bat is the first half of a gripping, epic bat-storyline that sees the caped crusader himself pushed to his very limits...and then beyond. A nightmare is unleashed in Gotham City as Arkham Asylum, home of a legion of the most dangerous criminals on the planet, is broken open, and it's down to Batman, Robin the police and the mysterious Jean-Paul Valley to protect the entire city. Even worse, Batman must find out who it was who staged the brakeout and why - unless they find him first. The artwork ranges from very good to very average, but the writing maintains a high quality right up to the shocking climax. Highlights include a savage confrontation with the Joker, Robin trapped between two supervillains in the sewers, and Batman's last-second rescue of the City Mayor. and then there's the amazing cliffhanger....overall, this is a fantastic read. Not too dark, fast-paced and full of great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of, if not, THE best storylines in DC history., Dec 12 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
The Knightfall storyline and the comics that lead up to it are still affecting the comic industry and the characters in the books. There has not been a TBP printed that include the time between The Sword of Azrael and The Broken Bat but there should be. In this period of time Azrael begins training with Robin and Batman is becoming more and more fatigue. The artwork, covers, and storyline of these comics are almost as incredible as those of The Broken Bat. The only problem with The Broken Bat is that the Riddler is not in a prison hospital or in Arkham. Just before the Knightfall storyline Bane had pumped him up with vemon which is one of the most addictive drugs there is. In the Vemon storyline it take Batman over a month of isolation and mediation to overcome the addiction. The Riddle should been forming at the mouth in parts 6 and 8 instead of being on a talk show. The Broken Bat demonstrates why Batman is who he is. He has complete control over his body and mind. He knows when to stop but does not; he gives all of his attention to the public of Gotham and to himself which in the end is why he is finely broken. Unfortunately, Batman refuses the help of Robin and does not even consider asking Nightwing for any help. This results in pushing himself over the edge and making a mistake that he is still trying to recover from, asking former Azrael to take up the Mantle of the Bat. About the only good part of Batman being broken is this the readers of Batman comics during this time get to see more Bruce Wayne is action despite his handicap and how he does not need to hide behind a mask to solve crimes and help others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars True heroes never quit, Oct. 13 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
The character of Batman is displayed as obsessed and rightly so. Some books, like Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" portray his psychosis while others show his superhuman dedication. In "Knightfall" Batman is pushed to his absolute limits and beyond when a new villian calling himself Bane arrives in Gotham for the sole purpose of destroying Batman. Typically my response is "Get in line,pal" but this time Bane has a detailed plan that exploits Batman's weaknesses : his absolute belief that only he can save Gotham and his unwillingness to quit. Bane begins by observing the Batman in action and deciding to strip him of that which makes him the most powerful and then break him. He unleashes all the inmates of Arkham Asylum, the cage that contains all of Batmans worst foes, and watches as Batman faces challenge after challenge despite sickness or exhaustion. Then finally, when Batman is at his weakest, he confronts Bane's stoolies and then Bane himself. If you believe that Batman is just a nutcase in a mask and cape, "Knightfall" will prove you wrong.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Descent Into Madness, Dec 6 2001
By 
Tom (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
Obsession. For years it served Bruce Wayne well in his role as Gotham's protector. But what happens when he faces a foe who not only matches him in that department, but is arguably his mental and physical superior? Knightfall presents us with the answers.
Powered by the Venom derivitave, the Spartan and immensely powerful Bane unleashes a torrent of madness on Gotham in the form of Arkham's inmates; the depths of The Dark Knight's obsession are plumbed as he attempts to save Gotham. All the while Bane watches, and measures the Detective.
Overall, a true turning point in the Batman mythos; with his body broken and battered past the point of exhaustion, we truly see Bruce Wayne driven with an almost fatalist determination, a determination that brings him face to face with a villanous perversion of his own discipline, and perhaps, the unthinkable: life without the Bat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story and artwork......, Sept. 17 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Paperback)
Many reviewers of this book have noted that it is "stupid" and "lacks action". If I were you, I'd flip through it again... It was a few years back when DC caught the fever of killing off their greatest heros. The Superman thing got old real fast (I'm not even a fan and I got sick of hearing about it), but the Batman storyline remained fresh and realistic. Bruce Wayne is finally realizing his straneous workload, and refuses to rest as the inmates of Arkham Asylum escape. Meanwhile, a shadowy character called Bane has entered the picture, and is noting Batman's struggle by spying on him. Batman defeats all of the major criminals that escaped (barely) and finally confronts Bane. You can't help but feel sorry for the guy... Read "Who Rules the Knight" for another good book, and "Knightsend" for a GREAT conclusion...
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Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat
Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat by DC Comics (Paperback - Sept. 3 1993)
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