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Batman: Ego and Other Tails Paperback – November 18, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Before embarking on the epochal New Frontier, Cooke wrote and drew several Batman stories, notably Ego, Cooke's first published comics story other than one apprentice effort. It remains a stunning debut, a psychologically loaded tale in which Bruce Wayne confronts his innermost fears in the form of a grotesque embodiment of his costumed alter ego. Even this early in his career, Cooke's striking style, made up of dynamically simple drawings, cinematic compositions, and noirish lighting effects, is fully formed. Besides Ego and a handful of shorter stories featuring the Caped Crusader, this collection includes the Catwoman graphic novel Selina's Big Score (2003), in which that villainess attempts a final heist before her reinvention as a vigilante defending the downtrodden. Its presence here might be questioned, for nowhere is Batman to be found in it, yet it's so impressive—the high-water mark of Cooke's pre–New Frontier career—that it's petty to quibble. The many fans Cooke has acquired since these stories first appeared will seize the chance to read these early efforts. Flagg, Gordon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401213596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401213596
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Parker on August 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This hardcover collect two excellent graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke, Batman: Ego and Catwoman: Selina's Big Score, as well as some short stories also by Mr. Cooke.
Batman:Ego was published in 2000 as a 64 page graphic novel, but finally gets the hardcover treatment it deserves, while the Catwoman tale, which was an original hardcover, crops up again in the same format. Both tales feature fast paced writing coupled with a fantastic art style which harkens back to Batman the Animated series (for which Darwin was one of the designers) but with more of a noirish edge, so don't let the streamlined style fool you into thinking these stories are for all ages or too soft. If you liked Mr. Cooke's recent work on the Spirit, this is better. Much better.
Some other reviewers on this page commented that this book was a little dissapointing due to the inclusion of a story which does not feature Batman, but don't be dissuaded from picking this one up. Selina's Big Score features one of Batman's oldest villians in one of her greatest appearances, so don't miss out. Give it a chance, then read the collections of Catwoman comics by Ed Brubaker, Cooke and Cameron Stewart, which are some of the best crime comics around.
Fans of Richard Stark's Parker will recognize a Parker like Character, named Stark, a heister who helps Catwoman pull of the titular big score which is just as hard nosed (and fun) as any written by Richard Stark during the 60s and 70s. This will serve as a primer to Darwyn's upcoming adaptations of the first four Parker novels, beginning next year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Bradshaw on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
This collection is a great primer on the work of Darwyn Cooke. Cooke's work as both writer and artist of the Richard Stark/Donald Westlake "Parker" series is some of the best work being done in comics today. His Batman stories are right up there.

This volume allows you a look at Cooke wearing the various hats in comic books. In one of the black-n-white stories, Here Be Monsters, Cooke is the artist. A well written story by Paul Grist, Cooke's artwork makes it that much better.
In the second the black-n-white story, The Monument, Cooke is the writer. His story is excellent, but is made less powerful by illustrator Bill Wray's exaggerated, cartoony style.
Tim Sale's artwork is a better fit when Cooke writes another short, Date Knight.

But the best is when Cooke is both writer and artist. Ego, which gives this collection its name, is very good, but a bit over-the-top in its man-talking-to-his-inner-self vein. It's pacing is very good; at 63 pages, it rushes by in a breeze.

Deja Vu, while only 13 pages long, packs an incredible punch, both visually and emotionally.

The best is the often reprinted Catwoman: Selina's Big Score. At 86 pages, this story could
easily stand on its own as a hardcover book. It's crime-noir feel is very much in the Parker vein, even featuring a character named Stark. Dark, but fun, it is both stylized in its artwork, and no nonsense in its writing. Multi-layered, but simple and direct in its delivery. A great, great story!
If anyone attempts to make another Catwoman movie, this would be a great story to base it on.

All in all, Ego and Other Tails, is an excellent showcase of the multiple talents of Darwyn Cooke.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. Giardina on September 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big batman fan, but I'm not really a fan of the other characters. I don't read the catwoman or nightwing or huntress spinoffs. I'm a fan of the detective. But in this graphic novel (which is a compilation of several short, stand alone works), catwoman's story is actually the best part. It's not even really a catwoman story, it's a heist story. But its exciting and violent and cool. And there's no batman. So oh well, maybe there's something to all these side characters. I'm still not going to read the catwoman comics, but I guess I'm glad I got tricked into reading this one...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like i said, EGO is an awesome comic and taps into the psychological insanity that is batman which is chilling. As far as the other tails go, its good but a bit campy specifically the catwoman story. Its almost as if I was reading an Ocean's 11 comic book when you get into that part. This book is good all around but it gets a bit boring later on (your money is being spent toward EGO)
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DJK on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This Hardcover volume reprints some of the Batman and Catwoman tales by the supremely talented Darwyn Cooke, one of the greatest graphic storytellers working today.
Cooke started on Batman in the critically acclaimed cartoon "Batman the Animated Series" and eventually progressed to comics, where he showcased the wonders of weaving a chiaroscuro approach based on heavy use of darks that somehow never detracts from the detail but rather suggests more detail than is actually on the page.

The stories in his volume are his earlier comics work but they are a Tour De Force, starting with EGO, a graphic novelette with an interesting take on Batman's psychology and the conflict of his two sides - the human and the "Bat" which runs his life. A few B&W tales follow which are nice to have as they were originally published as backups in Batman: Gotham Knights and not seen by many. The other two short stories were published in other relatively unseen anthology books and are also definitely worth having.

The volume is rounded out by the best of the lot, the Catwoman story Selina's Big Score (which takes up half the book). Batman appears only in one panel, the rest of the story being a Noir-inspired caper tale (tail?) of Selina Kyle (hardly referred to as Catwoman) making a comeback. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out (even the ones who are noir stereotypes inspired by Richard Starck's crime novels). Selina comes across especially real and you can see why she became so popular after this story. The artwork in this story is spectacular, kinetic and at the same time extremely atmospheric evoking a 60's crime film feel.

So overall, this is is a fantastic volume, reprinting some of the best comics has to offer.
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