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4.4 out of 5 stars
Batman: the World of the Dark Knight
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Obviously, this is not a graphic novel so anyone looking for a deep read, this is probably not the book for you. It's essentially a high level overview of Bats through the years since he's been in publication. A brief write-up of all the various Ages from Golden Age to the present. I've found that books like this are generally boring for all save the most serious Batman fan, but this one does do something I don't think I've seen before.

Many "historical" books like this will mention either key moments or key books published throughout the years, but this one included a full story synopsis of each book referenced. I thought this was very helpful as it gives me an idea as to why the book is worth mentioning (without having to search out that back issue to see what this is all about).

All in all, I think I would still only recommend this to only the most rabid Batman fan, but casual fans may find it entertaining as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a decent summary of Batman, who must be about the most emblematic superhero ever.

However, contemporary comics will leave the casual reader perplexed with their multiple themes, numerous titles, tie-ins, crossover, multiple worlds, multiple Batman, Lazarus effect on dead and revived characters and so on.

I was such a Joe until I came across this book. Now besides the JLA, Superman and Wonder Woman (ahh...), I finally understand how many Robins there are, who The Birds of Prey are, where stands The Outsiders, who Hush is, what the Long Halloween is all about, what 52 covers mean, Infinite Crisis, I think.

Nice colourful pictures and side boxes make this a Batman Geek book but some of the text is too small to be read clearly. I think that the Joker edited this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Amazing book, not for graphic novel readers, but for the informative person for this amazing character, But there is a section of his training and it said his mental training helped him have amazing reflexes and reaction time, I was just wondering is that possible and is so how? Sorry if grammar is bad.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My 8-year-old son chose this book for himself with an Amazon gift card he got for his birthday. He waited eagerly for its arrival, and since then he has barely put it down. He loves it and reads and re-reads it every single day. The full-color graphics are stunning, and it packs loads of in-depth Batman info per page. This Batman encyclopedia will wow fans of all ages. A must for comics lovers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Created by Bob Kane as a pulp vigilante figure in the late 1930s for what is now Detective Comics, the famous caped crusader of the night, known as the Batman, is one of those characters that has been integrated within the public consciousness throughout the years; whether through the comic books themselves or via the many incarnations of animated/live-action film and television series, video games, novels, and other such outlets. With over seventy years of publication history, Batman's comic book run provides a wealth of information for Dorling Kindersley to sift through for this two-hundred page compendium of the Dark Knight's many story arcs, his rogues' gallery, extended family and highly advanced gadgetry.
As with most of DK's publications surrounding particular major franchises, 'Batman - The World of the Dark Knight' serves as a storage facility of information for the more hardened fan and the general passer-by alike, celebrating DC's brooding character of the Batman in his entire run so far, from his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (1939) to the latest New 52 reboot of Batman (Volume 2) #1.
This compendium, first published in early 2012, explores Batman's influence and storylines, starting from his war-time Golden Age adventures, retroactively placed onto the parallel world of Earth-Two, going on to look at his science-fiction themed times during the Silver Age of the 50s and 60s, and continuing into the Bronze, Dark and Modern Ages that explore a darker character taken back to his pulp-fiction roots. Additionally, there are double-spread pages that examine the relationships between Batman/Bruce Wayne and his fellow superheroes within the various teams he has been a part of during the years, such as the Justice League and the Outsiders, for instance, as well as character bios on Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and Batwoman.
In order to examine how Batman and his supporting cast members/extended family have changed over the years in order to bring the character up to a more modern standard, there are key comic book issues that are explored in detail, taking frames from the publications themselves, with explanatory notes to accompany them. These include such famous titles and issues such as the Dark Knight's aforementioned first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, where he battled low-level street crime wearing a home-made batsuit, and Final Crisis #6, published in January 2009, where Batman supposedly died after being targeted by Darkseid's deadly Omega Beam (in actuality, being sent back in time to the dawn of man), as well as other such milestone issues.
Additionally, major storylines are outlined in double-page spread format where Batman has had some major involvement, such as the famous Knigtfall saga, where the supervillain Bane was successful in breaking the Dark Knight's back, thereby passing the mantle temporarily onto the hot-headed Azrael. Also included are major plots such as 'Death in the Family' and 'Under the Red Hood', wherein the second Robin, Jason Todd, was beaten to death by the Joker and subsequently restored to life as a raged gun-toting vigilante via cosmic causalities, and 'Infinite Crisis', the early 00s follow up to the original reality-altering event known as the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'. In addition, very minimally explored are the many alternate versions of Batman/Bruce Wayne on the vast parallel Earths that make up the DC Multiverse, such as the Batman Beyond reality and the Elseworlds' Earth of 'Batman & Dracula: Red Rain', amongst others.
Overall, 'Batman - The World of the Dark Knight' is another great example of Dorling Kindersely's attempt to put together a full-rounded history of a famous franchise's leading superhero creation. It is important to stress that this publication explicitly focuses on the Batman featured within the comic books, and not within any of the live-action/animated television and film adaptations, video games or any other tie-in media featuring America's favourite Caped Crusader. There is, of course, always room to improve and to expand on these such publications. However, on this occasion, I believe DK have provided both beloved Batman fans and the newbie comic book reader with a general history of the Dark Knight Detective that spans over nearly seventy years of storylines and adventures throughout the DC Universe.
Also included are two collectable card prints of Batman, as featured on the front cover, and of his arch-nemesis, the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What with Chris Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy drawing to a close this year, the Arkham Asylum video games breaking records, and a whole plethora of Batman books coming out it's never been a better time to be a Batman fan. But what about those who're just starting to get to know the Caped Crusader or who just want a book that encapsulates all that is Batman in one book? Well DC has teamed up with DK Publishing to provide this, a compendium of Batman.

It's not a graphic novel nor a prose book but more a large glossy paged look at Batman with lots of artwork and random paragraphs throughout giving you facts about the Dark Knight. There's an extensive look at Batman such as the variants on the suits he's worn, the Batmobiles he's driven, his Rogues Gallery, and if you've ever wondered what he eats for breakfast or what his workouts are like, this is included too (high protein/carb diet, lots of cardio and weights - duh!).

There's also a look at Batman through the various comic ages - Golden, Silver, Bronze, Dark, and Modern - so you can see how the character has evolved over time and how he was perceived in different time periods. Some of the artwork of the Golden Age is corny but kind of cool.

Also for those who're not well versed in Batman books there's a guide to all of the main Batman storylines which could serve as a reading list for those looking to get into the character. The storylines explored are: Dark Knight Returns, Year One, Killing Joke, Death in the Family, Arkham Asylum, Knightfall, No Man's Land, Under the Red Hood, Final Crisic, RIP, Batman Inc, and the New 52. Pretty extensive and a faultless guide to the great Batman books (though I'd personally not include the awful Death in the Family book).

I'm not sure who the audience is for these kinds of books - maybe kids, probably fanboys? - but for most Batman fans this is an easily missed book that sets down in print precisely what's in Batman's utility belt, precisely who he is - and I think that's missing the point of the character. We don't need to know these kinds of details, the broad strokes of the character - the nobility, the discipline, the heart and light beneath the darkness, the lack of superpowers and the humanity - is what makes Batman so cool and interesting. It's a decent overview of the character but for those looking to get into Batman, go straight to the books mentioned above - it's far more satisfying and gets you to the core of the character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to get my 28 year old nephew who loves DC & Marvel comics and books. I took a chance on this and he had never seen it before. He absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down after he opened this present. Great choice for the batman collector!!
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on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
DK Publishing puts out one of these visual guides, every few years with updated information on a character, tv show, or movie. It's been eleven years since Scott Beatty put out the first of these editions, and we, the comic books fan get to find out what's been going on with the Caped Crusader.

Batman has always been my one of my favorite super-heroes since the days of Adam West, and sometimes that's what makes this a bit difficult for me. I miss the less dark, lighter stories.

Looking at all the in-depth work on the Bat-Suits, the Utility Belt, the Bat-Mobile, the Bat-Cave, and such, one can be dumbfounded at all the the time and effort some artists spent explaining how all of the Dark Knight Detective's world works. Really, the schematics are simply beautiful. Some of the illustrations have been ported over from early DK editions, but a great deal of it is new. I wish more material from the fifties, sixties, and seventies would have been included. Displaying the original sixties Batman utility belt and Bat Cave could have shown how far the Bat-Universe has come. As a kid, I spent hours studying those Bat-diagrams.

My favorite section, "The Wit and Wisdom of Batman." These short pages, give some of the best quotes made by Bruce Wayne. My all time favorite, "Think Clean Thoughts Chum," just tickles me everytime I read it. Wish there could have been a few more pages of this.

Most tongue in cheek section, Batman's Diet and Exercise. I guess if we're going to treat a fictional character as a real one, we might as well, go all the way.

Other new bits include capsulations of important Bat-Stories. such as Batman 113, which featured the classic tale, "The Batman Superman of Planet X." This story had a great influence on readers such as Grant Morrison who referred to it in his recent drama, "Batman R.I.P."

Loved the forward and afterwords. The two prose pages did an excellent job revealing why Batman is important to both Scott Snyder and Daniel Wallace. Well-written, Gentlemen.

I loved the chapters covering Batman's origins and the Silver Age. However, it was distressing to read up on such current villains as Professor Pyg and the Dollmaker, whose antics are very, very, dark, violent and disturbing, and something not for young children.

In trying to cramp in Batman's seventy years of history, the book feels "crammed in," with the author trying to cover a bit of everything, and he does succeed in this. But if a reader wants a more "relaxed," and a more leisurely version, one might try the earlier "Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight" by Scott Beatty. Its schematic pages of the Batmobile, utility belt, and such are somewhat different, and might be helpful to the Bat-Scholar.

Batman's history in the past twenty years has become much more convulted and almost confusing at times, as various characters such as Robin, Nightgirl, and Batgirl have become expanded, multiple universe counterparts have been introduced, and various re-tellings of classic events re-interpreted over and over again. Can't once be enough.

The book is to be commended for its research, but I wish it could have spent more time on the past, rather than recent events. Recommended for Bat-fans, but I'd be hesitant to give it to young readers.

I miss the more "fun" Batman.

JThree
Williston ND
carolyn3@midco.net
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. The pictures and the layout of the pages are fantastic.

The people behind these recent encyclopedias by DK should be proud!

Covers every aspect Batman's mythology all the way to the New 52.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pretty in depth info on the history of the dark knight comics, characters, story lines,etc. I would recommend this to any batman fan who wants to know 70 years of history of this amazing character.
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