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Batman Chronicles, Vol. 1 Paperback – April 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition/ First Printing edition (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401204457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401204457
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a great book for Batman fans.
Josh Ralls
I have to say I am really glad I did it is so different from what is coming out now but I just really enjoy seeing how it all began.
I loved this book and plan on reading it a couple times can't wait to get Vol 2 hope it's just as good.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Pops Gustav on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Finally, DC is presenting an alternative to the overpriced, overblown and overproduced Archives Series. While there's still a flood of those books coming, it does appear as if DC is starting to rethink how it's handling its vast library.

The Batman Chronicles Volume One represents a big step in the right direction. This 192 page paperback begins the mammoth undertaking of chronologically reprinting every Batman tale from every comic in which he starred, beginning with "the Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics #27 (dated May, 1939).

The Good: The paper is cheap (a traditionalist, I prefer my comics on matte paper and with gutters!), the price is low and the quality is good. The design of the book is nice and the reproduction is pretty crisp.

The Bad: The physical size of the book is (like the Archives) disproportionate to the original comics, leaving huge margins at the top and bottom of the page while forcing the art too close to the spine. The art is still being recolored and worst of all, there's a distinct absence of historical perspective; The Batman Chronicles lacks even a cursory introduction. The book opens with a table of contents (that thankfully gives writer and artist credits), and does reprint the covers along with the stories, but some more context would be appreciated.

No doubt, DC is trying to squeeze as many stories as possible into each volume to make the books economically feasible to the fanboys (especially the obsessive ones who already own the Archives... yes, there are some who will buy both). But I'd still love some additional material such as editorial comment on the tales, reprints of advertising (and the "full page autographed picture, suitable for framing" from the back cover of Batman no.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on June 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Batman Chronicles Volume 1 begins an ambitious task: the complete color reprinting of every Batman story in chronological order. I say bring it on, and please don't spare other long-standing Golden Age characters, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, Hawkman, etc. True, DC also gives us the Archives series, but they are far too expensive for me, and they really are too "clean" - seeing Detective Comics #27 reproduced on bright white archival paper just doesn't have the same appeal as the newsprint used for BC Volume 1. I can only hope that the publishing schedule is fairly quick; otherwise, I'll still be reading this series in the retirement home (or maybe having the nurse read it to me).

Prior to this, I had never read any Golden Age Batman beyond the brief, frequently reprinted origin story. Finishing this book, which collects DETECTIVE COMICS #27-37 and BATMAN #1, I realized a few things: first, the Batman of the Golden Age is a very different character from what we know today. Second, while many fans bemoan the campy Silver Age stories and TV show that turned the caped crusader into a joke, the first few Golden Age stories were just as crazy. Consider that, in the first half of this book, Batman:

- kills several criminals (even snapping one's neck with a kick)
- fights a giant gorilla
- travels to eastern Europe in the Bat-Gyro (Wow, that's > 10 hours, even in a jet! How does he relieve himself? Pitch it over the side?)
- fends off werewolves
- is strapped to a giant millstone that spins at crushing speeds
- is immobilized by the "irresistible power" of hypnosis
- encounters talking flowers (with human faces = disturbing!) that assist him in escaping a trap

Completely random. Totally ridiculous.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John W. Leys on April 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
While I am a huge fan of the Golden Age Batman comics I have put off buying the HC "Archive" series because each volume is way too expensive for my budget. The Chronicles series is not only more affordable, but improves on the Archive format by focusing on the character rather than the title. That is, instead of only collecting the complete run of Batman stories in Detective Comics or Batman it collects all of Batman's appearances in both titles and presents them in chronological order. Some sort of introductory material might have been nice, but I much prefer saving all the pages for the reprints.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Corum Seth Smith on June 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Batman's first adventures were chronicled when the "film noir" style of movies was big. Dark, urban corners and psychological suspense powered forward the new film genre. The earliest Batman stories were much like this type of film. The mood and environment were dark, the villains more ruthless and sinister, and the unexpected became expected.

This may be the only time in his career when Batman actually killed people. In one scene he is fighting jewel thieves and throws one over a ledge to his death. The earliest Batman was a dark and menacing figure more so than ever before or since.

The stories are very varied. Everything from killing giant monsters to fighting an army of killer blimps with death rays finds its ways into these pages. What these early writers lacked in materials and resources they had in ingenuity.

If you dislike the thought of Batman killing someone, or are a stickler for art, this may not be for you. It is the writing and storytelling that make this volume exceptional.
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