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Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat Paperback – September 3, 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Broken Bat is the first of two volumes collecting Knightfall, the much-talked about Batman storyline--much talked about because it was the story in which Batman gets defeated. The huge, muscle-bound villain Bane has but one goal in mind, to break Batman. The end of this volume is somewhat shocking compared to standard, mainstream comic book continuity.
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Product Details

  • Series: Batman Knightfall (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (September 3, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563891425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563891427
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the classic 90's story of Batman's defeat at the hands of Bane. What I didn't realize was how many other villains also appear in this collection, and all as part of Bane's plan to destroy Batman without killing him. It shows its age a little, but it's a very fun read.

The Highlights: Bane breaks all of the prisoners out of Arkham Asylum in order to wear down an already sick Batman. It leads to the legendary moment of Bane breaking Batman's back. It features lots of villains, and Batman's determination to save Gotham City at all costs.

Things to Consider: It's a great story, but compared to the newer Batman stories, it does seem a little cheesy at times. The art is done in the classic 90's style, which I enjoy, but may not be for everyone.

This story does end on a downer: the defeat of Batman. That did leave me wanting to read the next book, though! This may not be essential Batman reading, but it's a classic and worth the read.
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