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All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, Vol. 1 Hardcover – July 8, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Miller, the man who kicked off the grim and gritty era of superhero comics with the 1986 Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, returns to write the iconic character once again in a series that takes the tropes of superhero excess and explodes them into satire. Miller casts Batman as an obsessive lunatic who enlists traumatized children into his war on crime, calls himself the goddamn Batman and is prone to cackling maniacally. Sex and violence are constant preoccupations, but even during sex scenes, Miller can hardly keep a straight face. After a shared rampage against corrupt cops that includes the interjection, Eat glass, lawman! Batman and heroine Black Canary celebrate with an intimate encounter on a burning pier during a lightning storm. Although the bombastic, repetitive narration and decompressed storytelling (two and a half issues pass before Batman and Robin leave the Batmobile) often borders on hilarious, Miller aims for more obvious jokes later in the series. It's an over the top in-joke for the superhero crowd, though its irreverence may not have the most zealous and serious superhero fans laughing. (June)
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From Booklist

Miller returns to the character he so audaciously reinterpreted in the groundbreaking The Dark Knight Returns (1987). His Batman is again a genuinely nasty, borderline-psychotic piece of work; here, however, Miller mitigates the character’s vicious sadism through the use of thought-captions revealing unspoken reservations about the course his war against crime has taken. Set in the early years of Batman’s career, the tale sees him groom 12-year-old aerialist Dick Grayson as a sidekick after the senior Flying Graysons are murdered. Once Robin’s on board, the story line meanders, growing ever more extreme and skirting silliness as Miller introduces his irreverent versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, and other Justice Leaguers. This time out, drawing duties are assumed by Jim Lee, whose admittedly gorgeous but ultimately shallow approach substitutes overrendered flash for the thoughtful economy and innovative storytelling techniques Miller used in Dark Knight. Controversial among fans and not nearly as artistically successful as its companion, Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman, Miller’s new Batman still has been DC’s top seller of late, guaranteeing this compilation an eager audience. --Gordon Flagg

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Product Details

  • Series: All-Star Batman & Robin
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401216811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401216818
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frank Miller is one of the seminal creative talents who sparked the current gigantic sub-industry of motion pictures featuring comic book- initiated product. A sub-industry which had become a super-industry. This most profitable aspect of this millennium's film production, now producing an annual flow of box office profits in the Billions of dollars, was launched when Frank Miller's graphic novel re-take on the classic comic book hero, Batman, resulted in an entertainment industry-wide reconsideration of the genre in the deeper and darker vision Miller brought to it.

Miller re-defined the presentation of comic book characters and heroic fiction with his grand-daddy of graphic novels, "The Dark Knight." This revolutionary work
not only kicked off the series of Batman films based on his redefinition, but a craze for such material that has thrown dozens of such heroes into multiple film franchise heaven. Certainly chief among these has been Miller's uniquely classical take on superheroic narrative, "300," and his "Sin City" books, each of which entered motion pictures with historic successes, and each now in Miller's creative phase of achieving its highly-anticipated sequel. Miller's co-direction of "Sin City" has made him one of the hottest
directors... as well as a guiding creative force...for the new genre. Or one might say "super genre."

Miller's latest graphic novel, Holy Terror, is his first original graphic novel in ten years. Join The Fixer, a brand new, hard-edged hero as he battles terror in the inaugural release from Legendary Comics.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Axton Blessendon, Jr. on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder, Vol. 1"
Written by Frank Miller
Illustrated by Jim Lee, et al
(DC Comics, 2009)
I was really looking forward to reading this book, and greatly disappointed by the contents. In another Amazon review, I saw someone describe Frank Miller's world view as "fascistic," which I thought was pretty harsh and name-cally, but after reading this book, I may be forced to agree. This book was unbelievably vapid and aggressively devoted to the mindless adoration of violence for its own sake. Many DC characters were shown behaving completely out of character -- Batman is a deranged, uncommunicative, unfocussed sadist; Wonder Woman appears as a grouchy, violent, foulmouthed, kill-'em-all-let-Athena-sort-'em-out man-hater; Superman and Green Lantern both appear as dim-bulb Boy Scouts, and GL in particular is depicted as a total tool, while Black Canary is a violence-addicted, thrill-seeking bimbette. And the entire Gotham police force is comprised of monstrous criminals who respond to a child's parents getting murdered (Robin's) by grabbing the kid and taking him off into the woods so they can beat and rape him. Riiiiiiight. That makes sense... why? It doesn't. None of it does, it's just there because it's violent, mean-spirited and moronic.

In general, this whole retconning of the Batman world seems designed for one purpose alone, and that is for Miller and Lee to be able to graphically depict teeth being knocked out of people's bloody gums. Wow. How groovy. Oh, yeah - and to show a lot of gratuitous T&A: the first five pages of the book are devoted to several softcore spreads of reporter Vicki Vale cavorting about in lingerie; similar sequences appear throughout.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful By P DubTwenty2 on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It was the combination of two proven names that enticed me to take a chance on All Star Batman & Robin; writer Frank Miller (Batman: Year One, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and artist Jim Lee (Absolute Batman: Hush) have brought to life some of the greatest Batman stories. Unfortunately though, this one seems to fall short of greatness.

There is potential - don't get me wrong. Lee's artwork is bright and colorful and invites the reader to view the pages for just a little bit longer. On the other hand, Miller's quick and short writing doesn't allow for much taking in of the artwork. There's seems to be a conflict to say the least.

But probably the biggest problem with All Star Batman & Robin is with Batman or should I say "the g**damned Batman." At certain points, he's clearly possessed, more so than I've ever seen him. His sanity seems more at question here than it does in the psychological rollercoaster of Batman: Arkham Asylum. He's just not himself.

Bottom line: This story is okay, just OKAY. You could read it and be entertained at some points, or you could leave it and not miss out on a whole lot.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I hated this book. As an adult, I enjoy "edgy" and mature-oriented material, but this story goes too far. In it, Batman is a psychotic sadist who engages in over-the-top behavior the likes of which we have never seen before from DC Comics. For example, Allstar's Batman is a homocidal maniac who murders several police officers. He kidnaps, terrorizes, and beats Robin, a 12-year old boy in this story. His sadistic crime-fighting methods include excessive force and so much brutality that he often leaves commons thugs dead. He is clearly insane.

Frank Miller abused the artistic license often granted to edgy reboots, and made something that is completely out of character for what we expect from this popular superhero. I'm not even happy with the content of this book if you approached it from a parallel reality or Multiverse approach to this content- this is not Bruce Wayne. Other characters from the DC universe make brief appearances, and their dark & gritty portrayal quickly becomes so extreme that it is almost a sendup of popular folklore legends.

To me, Miller cashed in the "currency" he earned with his previously supersuccesful work and shouldn't be given free rein to embarass popular franchises in this manner again. The only reason I give this book any stars at all is because of Lee's wonderfully crisp and colorful artwork. He is truly a talent. As half of the creative team, I gave him 2 out of 2 1/2 stars, with Miller getting none. I took a half star off of Lee's work because he should have questioned the garbage Miller asked him to draw. Lee showed poor judgement by working on this book. Batman killing police officers for fun, and drugging & slapping young children? Totally innappropriate.

As mentioned, I enjoy both darker material AND I love Batman. So for me not to like this book it had to be really bad- and it is.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By brainiac723 on January 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When i first heard that Jim Lee and Frank Miller were collaborating to retell a Batman origins tale, needless to say i was quite excited. Despite the negative reception to it, i couldn't resist and read it. After reading it I was quite horrified by the finished product. The writing is horrible and cheesy and the plot is undeveloped. Im not the type to be offended by things in media (prolly cuz im a desentizized male in my early twenties and not a parent) but i was disgusted by the sadism and child abuse rampant in the novel. Batman smacks robin around and makes him eat rats. WTF is wrong with Frank Miller? What satisfaction would a reader get from reading that their favorite superhero is a child abuser? I was hoping that Superman would lay a smackdown on Batman's ass as it was insinuated in the early part of the novel, but Superman does nothing as does the other justice leaguers who make a guest appearance. Batman also talks about how he enjoys breaking people's arms and such. Not cool. Its just dark for the sake of being dark. Put this trash down and go read batman/ superman the search for kryptonite. The review gets a star because Jim Lee is the best comic book artist out there. The drawings are awesome. It's a shame its wasted on this trash.
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