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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 (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #534,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 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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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By N. Kunka on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I completely and utterly disapprove of the way Millar portrays Batman. He comes off as a raving lunatic and has spouts cheesy Spiderman-like lines as he beats up bad guys. I sometimes got confused and thought that it was Wolverine in a Batman suit, with all the "bub," "kiddo," and "snot-nosed punk" dialogue. I'm pretty sure that he or somebody else says "Shut up!" like 900 times in the 200 or so pages that the story takes to unfold. And nothing really does unfold at that. This is mainly the reinventing of the story of the Boy Wonder's recruitment into the Bat family and it starts with Batman kidnapping and psychologically torturing Grayson after the hit on his parents. Miller's Batman is a disgusting, unlikable brute with none of the detective skills or sense of morality that separates the Dark Knight from a street thug. Maybe that's what he was going for, but I found it dispiriting and utterly unheroic. By the end, I found myself in complete agreement with Clark that Batman had to be stopped and that he was more dangerous than some of the criminals on the street. He laughs like a lunatic as he springs into action, takes joy in how many bones he's broken over the course of the evening and says things like, "I love being the goddamn Batman." Maybe that works for the Punisher, but I like my Bruce Wayne to stick a little closer to the light side of the gray line.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Adam Hasser on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Basically if you want great art and an overly angry Batman with little story then this is for you. If not you should wait and see if Vol. 2 ever gets completed and see if the story picks up.

This collects the first 9 issues of this series. I bought the first 9 single issues, even though they were often delayed. My problem wasn't the over the top take on Batman and the rest of the Justice League (which at times is annoying and a bit much), my problem is that nothing seems to happen in these 9 issues. Sure Jim Lee's art is great and Batman being a d&%$ is kind of fun but outside of Robin's tragedy and some random thugs and cops getting beaten up it's all set up. Set up for a second run that will take God knows how long for them to complete, if it ever happens.

If you want Frank Miller and Batman buy: Batman Year One or Dark Knight Returns.

If you want Jim Lee and Batman buy: Hush.
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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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