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Batman: No Man's Land Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 2001

107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Fans of Batman are lucky to get Greg Rucka--the talented, gritty young author of Keeper and Finder, among others--sharing time with their favorite licensed character in this novelization of DC's complete No Man's Land comic series. (And fans of Rucka--assuming they get around to reading this at all--will still likely hold the opinion that Atticus Kodiak could take Batman in a standup fight any day.)

DC shook up Gotham--literally--in its 1999 Batman plot arc: a 7.6 earthquake rocked Gotham City, wreaking enough destruction to bring the broken, crime-ridden, runt kid-brother of Metropolis and New York to its knees. In the story line's most indulgent liberty, those fat cats in Washington decide to write off Gotham, à la Escape from New York, blowing up the connecting bridges, mining the surrounding waterways, and signing into law the Federal Declaration of No Man's Land, which makes it a crime to even set foot in the city. The usual suspects from Arkham Asylum, Two-Face and the Penguin, the Riddler and Dr. Freeze, Poison Ivy and Mr. Zsasz, file out to begin running the show, strong-arming and manipulating the block-by-block turf battles that envelop the now-ultraviolent city. A conflicted Batman shows up fashionably late, only to find that these lunatics are the least of his worries: Lex Luthor, Superman's archfoe, has nefarious designs on Gotham too. Could this possibly get any better? Sure, No Man's Land is derivative fiction, but the appeal of Rucka--and, of course, Batman--can make this one worth the read. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

WHAP! POW! Pocket Books joins DC Comics to bring Gotham's Dark Knight to the trade shelves for the New Year, in a savage millennial tale of urban implosion, divided loyalties and vigilante justice. Rucka (Shooting at Midnight) valiantly transcribes an essentially visual chronicle to print, no mean feat, given Batman's 60 years of history in comics, TV and film. In the new millennium, following a cataclysmic earthquake, the federal government has cut off Gotham City from the rest of the country, leaving the No Man's Land, with its masses of casualties and survivors, in the hands of the "lunatics" released from Arkham Asylum. They are the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and the ubiquitous Joker. Newly married Commissioner Gordon makes a suicidal stand to maintain control with a handful of determined officers, and the former Batgirl (now the cyber-savvy paraplegic known as Oracle, thanks to a bullet from the Joker) tries to keep tabs on the chaos while hoping for Batman's superhero help. Batman is on the scene with a new Robin as well as the former Boy Wonder, now grown up and known as Nightwing. The inevitable showdown between the forces of good and evil is played out against a backdrop of violent urban decay, but the subject of sex (and death), which the series has often flirted with but largely skirted, is now candidly explored. The conception of the battle between costumed, urban criminals and crusaders as a gang war (with the Bat signal replaced by graffiti tags) is logical, and other familiar bat-tropes are ably transposed into contemporary milieus. The expected wordplay and punning retain the classic comic-book characterizations, infusing the tale with lively dialogue right up to the dramatic surprise ending. Agent, David Hale.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Batman: No Man's Land (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671774557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671774554
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

The author of four novels about professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak -- Keeper (nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America), Finder, Smoker, and Shooting at Midnight, Greg Rucka has been writing since he was eight years old, and hopefully is improving with age. A longtime comics fan, his first graphic novel series was the suspense thriller Whiteout, published by Oni Press and nominated for three Eisner Awards in 1999. Since that time he has been a contributing writer for DC Comics and an active participant in the Batman series of titles.
Born and raised in California, he earned his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFA at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Rucka has two tattoos, and rides a motorcycle.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The earthquake devastated Gotham City in a way that villains such as The Joker and Two-Face could never dream of accomplishing. Thousands died and seemingly millions wounded. The city desperately needs federal aid, but instead, the shocking decision is made to simply cut the city off from the rest of the country. All the saddened police commissioner could do is watch the explosives blow away the bridges over the Gotham River that connected the city to other parts of America.

The earthquake plunged Gotham into chaos. The national decision to isolate the city sends it into a deadly abyss. The cells of Arkham Asylum have been opened, releasing dangerous and psychotic criminals like Bane, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and the Joker. These criminally insane villains have taken over NO MAN'S LAND. Only a handful of former Gotham City cops, a few superheroes, and Batman remain to protect the survivors, but infighting leaves them divided. No path gives any hope to these brave men and women or for those they vow to protect.

This adaptation of one of 1999's best running comic book story lines works as readers feel the devastation, loss, and helplessness confronting the citizens including the superheroes. The tale is filled with non-stop action. Though readers may wonder about a federal decision to cut off Gotham City, politics caused that response. Wizard magazine has Lex Luther as the 2-1 favorite to have forced the government into making that decision. Fans of Batman and anyone who enjoys a post holocaust story line will fully relish this novel and the comic books that Greg Rucka derived the story from. New "Dark Knight" fans should also try 1998's fabulous detective story, THE LONG HALLOWEEN.

Harriet Klausner
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sharkey on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
When I made my list of the best books of 1999, I had no idea a comic series would be at the top. Without a doubt the No Man's Land saga was the most compelling read of the year. A tour de force story that encompassed human emotion, strength, and the will to survive. The reader is taken on a journey into the depths of human hell where only the strong will survive. The basic storyline is this: An earthquake of epic porportions destroys Gotham City (home of Batman) beyond repair. The federal government declares the city No Man's Land after refusing to provide federal aid. If you want to be surprised and shocked, pick up this book. Plus, if you like Batgirl, you will love this book. (Note: This is how the real Batgirl should be and not the character we see in those awful movies). The best read of the year!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. KAPLAN on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taking place over the course of a whole year, with a huge cast of characters and multiple subplots, No Man's Land is the perfect Batman story to be turned into a novel. Greg Rucka manages to take over fifty separate comics, by many different writers and artists, and not only effectively translate them into prose, but also into one consistent, cohesive narrative. He seems to do a good job introducing the various characters for readers who aren't familiar with all the members of the Batman Family, but I'm probably not the best judge, since I read the comics regularly.
Make no mistake: this is a Batman novel for folks who enjoy the character. The whole No Man's Land premise is pretty extreme, but no more so than the idea of a guy dressed as a flying rodent fighting a clown. But who goes looking to stories about costumed superheroes for naturalistic documents of society?
In a lot of ways, this is the ultimate Batman story: How does a man who decides to work outside the law function when the system of law breaks down? As a fictional examination of how society would behave if all the traditional infrastructures disappeared, featuring familiar characters from popular culture, this book works just fine. Call it science fiction, call it a metaphor, call it a fantasy or a comic book without pictures. It's still a lot of fun.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Edmund Lau Kok Ming on May 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The premise of this novel and the original comics are really quite simple (albeit quite a stretch, I have to admit). Gotham City is ravaged by an earthquake, the U.S. Government refuse to repair the damage and the citizens are ordered to move out. All bridges and entry-points are detonated - only the insane and hopeless stay back. Batman decides to stay on as the protector of his city - whatever is left of it!
Now once you've suspended your disbelief over the unlikely premise, you'll find that this story actually works on many levels. Especially in our times - we are seeing daily how people in Afghanistan and Iraq are working hard to bring order and a semblance of sanity back into their lives. And it works especially well for Batman. Batman, after all, is a Bruce Wayne's method of "forcing" his existence to make sense after witnessing his parents' brutal murder as a kid all those years back. Now, Batman is "forcing" a hopeless city back to order and meaning.
The original comics (now collected neatly into five tradepaperback) were great. Greg Rucka's novel is better. Somehow, seeing this story in prose makes it that much more "serious". Rucka, in this novel, decides to write more from the point of view of Gordon, Montoya, Essen and the GCPD rather than emphasizing the role of the costumed-vigilantes the way the comics do. Each section of the novel is prefaced by the journal entries of the crippled Barbara Gordon (the former Batgirl and now Oracle). The 'personal' touch of Barb's diaries makes the story just that much more potent and emotional. Even the exploits of Batman, the new Batgirl, Nightwing, etc.
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