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Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight Hardcover – September 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st American ed edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078947865X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789478658
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.6 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you're already well versed in Bat-trivia, you probably won't find The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight anywhere near ultimate enough. But as a broad history of Batman's friends, foes, and high-tech hardware and hideouts, this oversized, illustration-filled DK guide just can't be beat.

Just as DK did with the people and paraphernalia of Star Wars in Star Wars: Episode I: Incredible Cross-Sections and Star Wars: Episode I: Visual Dictionary, this guide pulls apart and pokes at the many gadgets and backdrops found in the Dark Knight's world. Exploded diagrams reveal the innards of the new and old Batcaves, and stat-packed tags and captions spell out everything from how the Bat-Signal works to where Catwoman stashes her bullwhip. Batman scholar Scott Beatty has compiled hundreds of excellent panels and covers from the original comic, and he displays commanding knowledge cataloging Gotham's most colorful characters in big, splashy spreads. (And no doubt future historians will appreciate his capsulized, 1939-on Batman timeline as an uncanny window into American pop consciousness.)

Die-hard fans will find much lacking here, though, like the near-omission of Frank Miller's genius Dark Knight Returns series and not even a passing reference to Batman's poignant love-hate relationship with the Man of Steel. But what DK's Ultimate Guide does, it does well--examining neat Bat-minutiae and providing a primer on the post-no-man's-land comic continuity. --Paul Hughes

From Publishers Weekly

Readers can uncover the secrets of two superheroes in Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight by Scott Beatty and Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide by Tom DeFalco. The first, for example, opens with the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, then tracks Wayne's transformation into the evil-avenging "Guardian of Gotham" and includes reproductions of many drawings from the archives of DC Comics. The latter chronicles the adventures of Peter Parker, who gains unusual powers after being bitten by an irradiated spider, with reproductions of drawings from the Marvel Comics archives. Each contains more than 700 illustrations.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I bought this book not to long ago & I like it alot!
Timothy
The book covers some of the more well-known storylines in Batman history such as the Death in the Family storyline where the Jason Todd Robin was killed by the Joker.
Tim Janson
Also, if you're interested in analyzing Batman as a pop-culture icon, you should check out Will Brookner's "Batman Unmasked" book.
Edmund Lau Kok Ming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Edmund Lau Kok Ming on February 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is a blast to read. I wished this book had come out sooner when I was just finding my way around the modern Batman comics. Nevertheless, better late than never.
A word of caution. If you are looking for the DEFINITIVE guide to everything Batman, I wouldn't recommend this book to you. Les Daniels' book on Batman is by far the most comprehensive treatment on the whole history of the Batman from his pre-conception in the 1930s up till the recent stuff (including his incarnations outside the comicbook - TV, toys, cinema, etc.). Also, if you're interested in analyzing Batman as a pop-culture icon, you should check out Will Brookner's "Batman Unmasked" book. Finally, if you're interested in reading a one-volume collection of the definitive Batman - I'd recommend Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" and/or "Year One" along with the "The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told".
What then is this book by Scott Beatty about? It's about the modern day Batman. THIS Batman is as different from the classic Bob Kane/Bill Finger creation as the Tim Burton movies are from the Adam West TV show. For your information, THIS Batman is the one from Frank Miller's "Year One" (1986) and it includes the later revisions by Dennis O'Neil and Chuck Dixon up to today. In other words, this is the Batman of "Knightfall", "Contagion", "Cataclysm" and "No Man's Land". And in my opinion, this is the most exciting and rich version of the Batman since his conception in 1939. This book is not so much a guide but more a celebration of this modern-day Dark Knight of the comicbooks.
The book is neatly divided into sections. The first section is about Batman/Bruce Wayne and Gotham City.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Despite being around for over 65 years, Batman's popularity never seems to wane. The blockbuster Batman film in 2005 once again generated enormous interest in the character. "Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight" has been updated right up through 2005 to ride this crest of popularity. The book is really geared towards the more casual or new Batman fans, as old-timers will already be familiar with much of the material inside the 144 page, hardcover book. Still, the book moves the reader on a rapid fire history of the character beginning with his origin and creation by Bob Kane way back in 1939.

Techie fans will love the intense coverage of all of the "wonderful toys" that Batman uses. His utility belt includes such items as tear gas pellets, an acetylene torch, a palm top communicator, grappling hook, and more. The book also presents a look at each of the Batmobiles and how the style has changed over the years from a rather modest sedan to today's sleek, armored road-killer packed with the latest cutting-edge technology. There's also a look at the various other "bat vehicles" including the Bat-plane, Bat-sub, Bat-Copter, etc...There is also a nicely diagrammed, cut-away view of the Bat-cave.

Most of the major characters in Batman lore are featured including allies such as Commissioner Gordon, the various Robins, Batgirl, Oracle, loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, and Azrael. Then there are the Batman romantic interests: Vicky Vale, Silver St. Cloud, Talia Al Ghul, and Julie Madison. But what would any Batman book that calls itself "Ultimate" be without a rundown of the caped crusaders rogues gallery of villains. Batman's villains are almost as famous as he is and have played a huge role in the character's long-lasting popularity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I do have to agree that it was not quite as big as the other books (Spiderman, X-Men, etc.), and that it didn't cover enough of the "classic Batman" that I grew up with (I'm 47). But, I still liked the book nonetheless. It has some great "shots" of Batman in variouis poster-quality poses - I thought they were well done.
Batman has been around a long time and has gone through a number of revisionist histories. Despite the fact that much of "my Batman" is missing, I was still impressed by how Beatty was able to incorporate elements of the various histories and timelines that have been in place for the past two to three decades. I really loved his treatises of the bat-suit, utility belt, bat-weapons, bat-gadgets, the Batcave, the Batmobiles and bat-vehicles. (BTW, he did manage to incorporate the Batplane and Whirly-Bat that I knew and loved as a kid.)
It was also good to see how he handled the Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Riddler and Ra's Al Ghul. It brought back quite a few memories. And I thought the "Batman Timeline" was a nice touch.
I have a nice-sized Batman library, and I'm happy to include this book as the latest addition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Billie Rae Bates VINE VOICE on May 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the press materials, DK Publishing claimed "unprecedented access to DC Comics' archives" to produce this coffeetable title. The author works in the comic-book industry, and the book hits all the high notes: origin of Batman, origin of Robin, first meeting with Ra's al-Ghul, death of Jason Todd, crippling of Barbara Gordon (known, of course, as "The Killing Joke" and the most disturbing Batmoment to this fan!), Bane's crippling of Batman and Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns."

The pages are lush and full-color throughout, and there are page-spreads on Batman's suit, weapons, Batcave (nice diagram), Wayne Manor, Batmobile and other vehicles. Gotham City is profiled, as is every major character. This book is not comic reprints; it's a who's-who and what's-what in the Batlegend. I enjoyed it.
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