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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight - Broken
The reason why Batman is one of the most fascinating characters in comics is because his has always been the most human of environments. No super powers of any kind. Only a man guided by his values, intellect, strength and will power. And it is this last trait that becomes the critical element in "Venom," a work that shows us why Michael Keaton never would have donned the...
Published on January 19, 2000 by Ramon Varela

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Venomous
In the hands of Denny O'Neil, Batman is rendered totally out of character and becomes barely readable. He isn't the worst Batman writer I've read but he's definitely down there as one of the worst and "Batman: Venom" is a disaster.

Batman tries to save a little girl from drowning except a giant rock stands in between them. The rock is too heavy, he's...
Published 16 months ago by Noel


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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Knight - Broken, January 19, 2000
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
The reason why Batman is one of the most fascinating characters in comics is because his has always been the most human of environments. No super powers of any kind. Only a man guided by his values, intellect, strength and will power. And it is this last trait that becomes the critical element in "Venom," a work that shows us why Michael Keaton never would have donned the cape and cowl if Denny O'Neil had never existed.
"Venom" shows us that the Batman is only as strong as the Bruce Wayne beneath the cowl. When the latter weakens, the former disappears. Bruce becomes addicted to venom, a sort of super-steroid, and must go through hell and back to once again become the man he was. This is made even more difficult due to the fact that Bruce's self-righteousness and stubbornness only give rise to an enormous feeling of self-loathing.
This is one of the Batman books that best illustrates what it takes to be a hero. All human beings are flawed, and everyone falls at one time. But it takes a true hero to summon up the best in his/her humanity to rise again. Beyond leaping tall buildings in a single bound or clinging to walls, "Venom" shows that the true nature of a super-hero lies closer to home than we'd expect, and that no character in comics exemplifies it like Batman.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even a Batman has faults..., May 27, 1998
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
Truly the best of the Legends of the Dark Knight series, Venom is the frightening story of Batman's lapse into performance-enhancing drugs, and how he must literally climb his way back into rehabilitation. Batman's human side is displayed with such realism that you actually hate what he becomes and then feel the pain he goes through. An interesting sidenote is that the drug, Venom, used in this story is also the substance that Bane, the villain who breaks the Batman in Knightfall, uses as a steroid and strength-builder.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman Gets Ripped! 2012 New Edition, April 25, 2012
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This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
After being out-of-print for sometime now, DC has decided to re-release this great book (and the Batman Versus Bane) for the purpose of leading up to the Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 1 and The Dark Knight Rises film coming out later this year, due to the the villain character Bane. You can call this a marketing decision, but for the rest of the Batman fans out there: this is a godsend.

Now because there are much better and far more detailed reviews, I won't bog you down with another long description of the same information. I just want to list the few new features here.

BATMAN: VENOM includes:
New cover.
High-glossy paper that enhances the colors.
Original covers of each issue, complete with original pricing, DC logo, and release date.
And a special epilogue page informing readers that venom continues on in Knightfall.

This is a great read on The Dark Knight, that you can read as a continuation into Knightfall or stand-alone tale. In fact, it was added in IGN's top 25 Batman stories. So that tells you something. So do yourself a favor and pick this up.

OH. And don't do drugs.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost a five; a great story, August 15, 2005
By 
Corum Seth Smith (Hendersonville, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
"Batman: Venom" is a story that compels the Batman reader in a very different manner. Much like "Knightfall," one must endure a period of helplessness with Bruce. As someone whose confidence is so important, because he lacks powers, Batman has lost his central strength.

The story begins as Batman has trailed kidnappers to an abandoned mine. In a heavy rain, the mine is flooding, with a little girl trapped inside. Frantically searching, Batman finds the girl behind a rock. He moves each rock and finally approaches the largest, nearly a boulder. The space behind the rock is filling and in desperation, Batman cannot move it. Before his very eyes, the spark of innocence is extinguished as the girl succumbs to death.

Though Batman has had his back broken, been injected with the world's deadliest poisons, and endured psychological torture, watching the girl die struck him still more deeply. Assuming the guilt that belongs to the kidnappers, Batman tries to gain strength. The father of the girl is a pharmacist who has perfected the ultimate "performance enhancer."

Batman accepts the package of pills and finally decides to take them. What Batman doesn't know, however, is that the drugs harbor addictive properties. The rest of the story is primarily a struggle within Batman to beat a foreign substance that threatens to take over his own body and mind.

The struggle within is masterfully told, and Batman has never seen so desperate an hour. The reason I don't give a five is twofold: First, Batman putting it in his system without analyzing it at the Batcave? The writers explain that some, but still it is unbelievable. Second: He has his utility belt, and I am surprised nothing in there would have been useful to save the girl.

However, the death of the girl is the first necessary tragedy in a string of brutal losses and sorrowful events. This is one of the saddest Batman stories I have ever read, with the possible exception of "Night Cries." Can Batman conquer demons when they are his own?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman at his lowest point., December 7, 2008
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
Title: Batman: Venom
Publisher: DC
Writer: Dennis O'Neil
Artists: Trevor Von Eeden, Russel Braun
Inker: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
Collects: Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20
Price: $9.95

Originally this story came out back in 1992 - back in my college days when I still bought many, many comics on a monthly basis. Although this is an older story, however, it's still a good one - definitely worth the paltry cover price of $10.00. Most of you reading this review are probably familiar with the Batman: Knightfall storyline, in which Batman has his back broken by Bane. Well, this storyline was a prelude (of sorts) to the events that led to that momentous story.

In this story, Batman finds a kidnapped girl trapped in a sewer, but can do nothing to prevent her from drowning as he is unable to move the large, heavy rocks blocking the tunnel. Grieving from his failure, Batman is offered a "designer drug" by the dead girl's father - a drug that he claims would have enabled Batman the strength necessary to have saved his daughter. At first, Batman declines the offer. Later, however, tired and beaten, he accepts the drugs to help him overcome his weakness. Thus begins his eventual addiction to the drug.

Once again, Batman is portrayed here as a very human hero. He has far more physical limitations than many of his spandex-clad brethren, and faced with the possibility that he just may not be good enough to save children from dying, he does what he can to raise the level of his abilities. Unfortunately, this drug comes at a steep price, as do most any drugs. The side effects of the drug hamper Batman's reasoning skills, his emotional stability, and his aspirations to continually push his mental knowledge of everything he can. Alfred notices the changes right away, and tries to steer his friend back on track, but, as so often occurs with addicts, Bruce fails to see his own problem. Like many real-world addicts, Bruce must sink to an emotional and physical low before he has the strength to divorce himself from the drug's addictive power. It's a great tale in the telling, and one with many real-life parallels.

Dennis O'Niel, in the foreword, states that this story was years in the making, and I'm certainly glad he finally had the outlet and the opportunity to share it with us. It's a tale that any Batman fan will love, and a tale that I would recommend to any comic fan in general. I'm glad I finally got around to trying this one out. Maybe now I'll try to find a copy of Knightfall to read through, too.

The artwork in this book is typical DC. What is that, you ask? It's good but not great. For decades, DC has taken a backseat to Marvel in terms of landing good artists. I think that DC really closed the gap in these last ten years, but this tale was from back in the day when DC just couldn't keep good artists in their stable for one reason or another. In fact, the artwork in this book - at the time it was originally published in comic form - was some of the best DC has to offer. By today's higher standards and newer technology that is implemented, this book looks dated. That's OK, though, and I'll take that into consideration when I hand out the art score. Don't assume this is bad art, because it's not. It's just not stellar and not up to the higher standards that contemporary comic readers are used to. Besides, the story is good enough that you won't mind if the artwork isn't as good, and the colorist did a pretty nice job, too.

Writing: 9/10
Artwork: 7/10
Cool Factor: 8/10
Overall: 8/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, fascinating, perfect, June 7, 2005
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
These are all words that describe Batman: Venom. After Batman fails to save a little girl from drowning before his very eyes, he begins to question his abilities. The little girl's father has the perfect solution, a new designer steroid called Venom that will build Batman's muscles as he sits doing detective work. He begins taking it with strictly good intentions, but soon finds himself turning his back on everything and everyone he holds dear, turning into the type of monster he fights. Soon he's lost in a world of designer super soldiers and designer drugs that tests his faith in himself. Though not mentioned in this story it is interesting that venom is later the drug that would help create Bane.

O'Neil and Von Eeden are at the top of their game with his brutal, cold story, that ranks among the great works by Miller such as Batman: Year One, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It also is every bit as gritty as The Killing Joke. I can not recommend this strongly enough.

Batman Venom reprints Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent background book for true Batman fans., August 10, 2012
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This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
This book shows where Venom (what Bane uses in Knightfall) comes from. It almost serves as a prequel to the Knightfall story arc which is excellent as well. One thing I loved about this book is that it truly shows Batman's willpower to overcome anything, even when he is a hopeless junkie that just needs his fix! Awesome book, but I think I would only recommend to true Batman fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifico, April 30, 2012
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
There are many reasons why "Batman: Venom" is a phenomenal, landmark book. Mainly because both Batman's ethics and willpower are challenged, these reasons are amplified in the "Knightfall" series succeeding it. It portrays Batman in a light not many people have seen him in- vulnerable. It shows our Caped Crusader succumb to temptation, grief and self-doubt but also shows him overcome those obstacles, and more, to rise to be a better Dark Knight than he was before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just say "No!", August 22, 2005
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
This graphic novel reprints Legends of the Dark Knight #16 to 20. In a nutshell, Batman becomes addicted to a strength enhancing drug after he fails to save the life of a little girl. The story is well told, although there are some plot holes. Like, what is happening in Gotham while Batman is detoxing for a month? And of course, some may say that it is out of character for Batman to use drugs in the first place. But, for what it is, it is an entertaining comic book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I wasn't strong enough.", June 2, 2012
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
This trade collects issues 16-20 of Legends of the Dark Knight.

This 2012 edition is a reprint of a long unavailable collection of a five part story from an anthology series that often focused on the early days of Batman's career. The story opens in unfamiliar territory - Batman suffering a haunting failure. He sees it as the result of a "lack" of physical strength, and slowly becomes tempted by a doctor's offer to try his experimental drug...

Venom is a strong tale of addiction and evil. The villains are chilling in their normalcy, and are a different sort of threat than our Dark Knight is used to. O'Neil layers the story well, and only a couple of small missteps (you'll know them when you see them) keep this from joining the truly elite comic stories. The titular drug is the same that would later evolve into the one that aided Bane's creation, so this is also a nice lead-in / tie-in to the Knightfall trades currently being reprinted.

The art is definitely a product of a different time period, but still very good and complimentary to the story. The paper and printing quality is of today's standards, and it's nice to have Venom reproduced in such a format.

Overall Venom is a great story featuring a vulnerability you might not expect from Batman, expertly developed and highlighting the dangerous allure of drugs to even the strongest willed of men. An easy recommendation for Batman fans.
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Batman: Venom
Batman: Venom by Dennis O'Neil (Paperback - Oct. 1993)
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