Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 7 Hardcover – Dec 28 2010
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is well up to the standards set by its forebears. There was a time when a new DC universe archive appeared every month like clockwork. That no longer happens but we occasionally get a new one that recollects those glory days. The art is fully restored, not scanned, and the page count is over 250. Six complete issues of Batman are reproduced (#26-#31), a full year's worth of that then bimonthly title, which originally appeared from December 1944-January 1945 (#26) to October-November 1945 (#31).
By this time the stories had reached a certain sophistication that makes them readable even by modern day adults although today's kids will no doubt find them crude and simplistic. The artwork, although improving, is still relatively crude, but Dick Sprang is showing promise of greatness to come.
The classic Batman's rogues gallery is used rather sparingly. The Joker appears once, the Penguin twice, and the B-list Cavalier once. Punch and Judy are introduced in this volume. There is a 4 page Adventures of Alfred backup feature in each issue which are clever but none too flattering to Alfred.
It has been speculated that the only reason that new archives of Batman (and Superman) material keep appearing are to provide restored artwork for the Chronicles series. Any excuse that keeps the archive faucet dripping is fine with me.
Highly recommended as always to those cognizant of the limitations of Golden Age material.