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The Batman Files Hardcover – October 25, 2011

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Exclusive look at pages from The Batman Files
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Batman’s status as a shadowy urban legend is explored through tabloid imagery, as well as rare security-camera stills.

Never-before-seen blueprints highlight the various gadgets and innovations employed by the Caped Crusader.

Rare artifacts offer insight into the minds of Gotham City’s most infamous criminals and disturbed residents.

Newspaper clippings shed new light onto some of the most important moments in the life of the Dark Knight.

Behind-the-scenes photos and notes chronicle Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Batman.

From Booklist

On what day of the week were Bruce Wayne’s parents murdered? What color are Commissioner Gordon’s eyes? What are the salient characteristics of the Gotham architectural style? What are five aliases used by the Joker? If your readers care about the answers to these questions, this oversize resource belongs in your collection. Unlike The Batman Vault (2009) and The Essential Batman Encyclopedia (2008), which collect facts about a fictional character’s history, this handsomely designed and maniacally meticulous book is written as though it were the scrapbook and journal of the character himself. Featuring diary entries, police reports, newspaper clippings, and workout schedules, highlighted with sketches, blueprints, and illustrations from decades of comic-book history, Manning’s work covers every moment of this icon’s life from birth up to the moment of his recent reinvention in DC’s 52 event. While this is mainly the province of a rarefied crowd, even the uninitiated may enjoy dipping into the obsessively crafted fictional world, and placing The Batman Files in a display could help many browsers wile away a few diverting hours. Grades 8-12. --Jesse Karp

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449408222
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449408220
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1.6 x 13.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew K. Manning is a comic book writer, historian, and fan. Over the course of his career, he's written for many comic book titles including Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures, Beware the Batman, The Batman Strikes!, Batman: 80-Page Giant 2010, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, Justice League Adventures, Looney Tunes, Spider-Man Unlimited, Marvel Romance Redux, and Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

When not writing comics themselves, Matthew often writes books about the comic book medium and its rich history. For Andrews McMeel, he has written The Batman Files and The Superman Files, two comprehensive "scrapbook" style histories of the famous icons. For DK Publishing, he has written Batman: A Visual History, Spider-Man: Inside the World of Your Friendly Neighborhood Hero, Iron Man: The Ultimate Guide to the Armored Super Hero, Wolverine: Inside the World of the Living Weapon, and the children's reader Marvel Heroes: Greatest Battles. In addition, he's also co-written DK's Marvel: Year by Year and DC Comics: Year by Year, as well as the Spider-Man Chronicle, three massive month-by-month retrospectives. For Insight Editions, he has recently penned The World According to the Joker and The World According to Wolverine. Some of his other book credits include The Batman Vault for Running Press, The Art of Captain America and The Art of Thor for Marvel, as well as a series of children's books starring Superman, Flash and Batman for Stone Arch Books.

Manning currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Dorothy and their daughters Lillian and Gwendolyn. Visit him online at

(photo courtesy of Chris Montgomery)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Chongo on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe some of the reviews here are a bit inaccurate. This is called "The Batman Files" for a reason & if you read the product description closely; "Unearthed from the depths of the Batcave by Mathew K. Manning; includes in-depth computer files, news articles, crime scene photos, blueprints, schematics, & actual maps of Gotham City that were collected, & in many cases even drawn by the Caped Crusader himself." So therefore it's theme is supposed to be centered on a file(s) & something that came directly or taken from the Batcave (as if thats even conceivable). So in case someone says the pages or paragraphs aren't complete or some of the information seems scattered its because it's supposed to be. This massive tome isn't a book in the traditional sense but a "file", so in that end, Manning & DC have done a super great job on this product. This a must have for any true Batman fan.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Earl on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is essentially Bruce Wayne's scrapbook of his life. The quality of the book and the details within are fantastic. I picked it up for almost half off, which was a great bargain. Highly recommended.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steven King on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd
Purchasing gifts always has an aura of mystery attached to it. In anticipation of my most recent
anniversary, my wife and I visited our local mall. We toured a number of shops with the idea
that I would get a new watch for my anniversary. Each store had an ample collection and I knew
the decision was going to be tough. After departing the fourth such store, as we were walking by
a tattoo parlor I quipped, "I know--how about I get a Batman tattoo for my anniversary?"

My wife's shocking response was, "Go for it." An hour later, I had the Bat symbol popularized
in the movie "Batman Begins" emblazoned on my right shoulder.

Without apology, I admit that I am the consummate collector of Batman paraphernalia.
Recently, the amazing work, "The Batman Files", found its way into my life. Anyone who
appreciates the mystique of The Dark Knight will love this book. And while I admit that readers
often say of good books, "I couldn't put it down," that was truly my experience. I poured over
the design and relished the high quality illustrations for a few hours after opening it.

I enjoy the fact that Matthew Manning is not attempting a novel history of Bruce Wayne's
becoming Batman. Instead the author attempts to synthesize the volumes of what has been
written about Batman into a plausible amalgamation. The result is a book that looks like the
personal journal of Bruce Wayne which captures the development of the Batman. [The cover is
amazing and gives the journal an almost secretive feel.] Its back story is believable, as well--
one day, the author receives a package in plain brown wrapping.
Read more ›
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By CREepy on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I found it for half-price, and I'm still a bit disappointed. The presentation is lavish, with the black, leather-like cover and magnetized clasp under a silver metal bat-logo. The interior contents, though, are mostly re-used art, some of it quite well-travelled. The description and page excerpts imply that there are lots of schematics and blueprints, and there are some, but it's not the ultimate, definitive, exhaustive document the price-tag would imply. Bottom line, if you're a Bat-fan, or you're shopping for one,this is an impressive-looking catalog of familiar bat-images. If you can get for $50 or so, don't hesitate, but dropping a C-note on it is begging for buyer's remorse.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Viverito on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'll try and keep this short and sweet, this book is amazing.

What this book isn't,

-A collection of diagrams and blueprints.
-An encyclopedia of Batman.
-A fluffy piece of cash in merchandise.

What this book is,

-An amazing timeline of the Batman.
-It is essentially Bruce Wayne's journal.
-A lovingly crafted collectors piece.
-A tribute to both a comic icon and the millions of people that are fans.

This is no doubt the most impressive Batman book outside of the comics, it is a journal and scrapbook of Bruce Wayne's thoughts, method, enemies, friends and gadgets. It is a super dense book that will eat up hours of time for Batman fans. It absolutely deserves a place next to such collections as my leather edition of The Complete Frank Miller batman, any of my Absolute Batman collections, The Killing Joke...basically any Batman book, regardless. I can't say how someone who is either not a fan or people who just like to occasionally dabble in the comics will enjoy this, at a price tag somewhere between 50 to 100 dollars, it's in the realm of fans and collectors.

As for the the physical book, it's beautiful. A magnetic clasp keeps the faux leather book closed and secure, the only marking on the book is a silver bat symbol, nothing else, even the binding is blank, very nice!! The pages are beautifully drawn pictures, news clipping and intel files, sketches and diagrams as well as some blueprints. The content range is amazing, from obscure enemies to Bruce Wayne's workout schedule (20 mile runs at a 4:50 mile pace that he wants to get down to a 4:20!!!!).

In closing this is the world of Batman seen through his own eyes, a truly incredible piece of comic history that should not be passed up among fans.
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