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Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman Paperback – July 17, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'A fascinating and incredibly detailed analysis of comic fiction's most powerful and successful hero.' - Pat Mills, author of Batman: The Book of Shadows 'Through the prism of poststructuralism, Will Brooker casts dazzling new light on Batman as myth, brand, and canon. Hunting the Dark Knight is, quite simply, a brilliant study of the Batman and contemporary processes of rebooting, franchising and shaping a cultural icon.' - Matt Hills, author of Triumph of a Time Lord

About the Author

Will Brooker is Reader and Director of Research in Film and Television at Kingston University, London.He isa leading expert on the Dark Knight, author of the cultural history of Batman, Batman Unmasked. His other books include Using the Force and Alice’s Adventures. He edited the Audience Studies Reader and The Blade Runner Experience, and wrote the BFI Film Classics volume on Star Wars.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848852800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848852808
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Beise on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many books on the market that use pop culture figures as spring boards to delve into sociological, philosophical, and ethical topics. Usually those books have little to say about the pop culture figures, so the whole thing ends up feeling like a bait and switch, when you wander into a book expecting to read about the Simpsons, but instead you find yourself reading long quotes from Kierkegaard.

Will Brooker's "Hunting the Dark Knight" is not that kind of book. As he discusses Nolan's films, the genesis of "Batman Begins," and, best of all, the nature of Batman as being more than any one iteration suggests, Brooker draws from postmodernism, deconstructionism, and anthropology about middle-age carnivals, but he does it all in a way that illuminates Batman. If you read with attention and patience, you will learn about some of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, but you'll also learn more about one of the greatest pop icons we have, and one of the only mythical heroes that belong to us, not generations past.

Any reader who wants to argue that Batman represents more than childhood nostalgia and vicarious thrills must read this book. It is the best expression I've ever seen of Batman's value, and of his constantly expanding, ever hardening mythical core.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nick Jamilla on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So how does one who is not trained in deconstructionism write a review of Will Brooker's book "Hunting the Dark Knight"?

Right off, it's important to state that this book is not for the casual reader. To best understand it, a university education in literary analysis and a thorough knowledge of the Batman comics all the way from the 1930's would help.

I don't have either of those, but that didn't stop me from reading Brooker's fascinating book. It gets into ideas such as authorship, fidelity, paratexts, and intertextuality, among other literary tools to examine who Batman is, and who he isn't.

Two things struck me as I was reading the book. First, Brooker uses modern tools in examining Batman because he is a modern, pop culture subject. Instead of a scholastic approach wherein one might sight other authoritative writers to prove a personal argument, Brooker looks at information in the modern world. He cites message board discussions, reviews on Amazon.com (like this one), and movie review in magazines, newspapers, and websites. It's a world where Brooker looks at ordinary people who participate in the Batman phenomenon by contributing their personally varying degrees of interest, knowledge, and expertise to the critique of Batman.

Second, I was struck by how loose the concept of Batman is in spite of corporations or directors trying to define Batman in their own way. Especially in the sections on adaptation of the Batman character, I thought that things like continuity, canon, reboots, and branding worked to keep a tight reign on who the Batman character is. Not true! And here's an example.

You know Bat-girl?
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tony Riney on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was amazing. It was very informative, I can see why Will Brooker is called Doctor Batman. I am going to recommend this book to all of my friends who are in love with the comic book world.
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