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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 11, 2012
After all of the build up and attention it received, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES finally hit the movie theaters this past summer, which I'm sure just about everyone has gone and seen for themselves by now. And how fitting that the wait finally came to an end, that the last new volume of Knighfall--or more appropriately Knightsend--has finally come out after this long. We waited and read the exquisite first volume Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 1, and then the hate-it-or-love-it affair with Jean Paul Valley in the follow up Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest as advertisements for the film. While Knightfall got the entire story arc and vengeance of Bane collected, Knightsquest was the first time ever was collected (though not complete). Knightsend is a big deal, not because it has been collected in other trades before, but the big payoff in this new 2012 edition is the inclusion of the rare and pricey "Prodigal" trade. Is this new 2012 trade perfect? Close. Real close.


BATMAN 509-510 and 512-514
BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT 29-30 and 32-34
DETECTIVE COMICS 676-677 and 679-681
ROBIN 8-9 and 11-13
SHOWCASE 94 #10 (thanks to reviewer P.Soliman for the correction)

[All of the collected issues can be reviewed and found on Batman: Knightfall, Part Three: KnightsEnd and Batman: Prodigal. Please click and review each link for further detail. I won't go into as much information, since the links do it far better.]

Batman Knightsend picks up where vol.2 left off where Bruce has returned to Gotham and seen at his replacement, Jean Paul-Valley has gone overboard with the Batman persona and taking over Gotham with his form of justice. Bruce can't stand for Valley's rule, but is no match for him since he has forgotten much of his training, so he's in no position to fight Valley for title of Batman again. So Bruce decides to retrain under one of the most deadliest assassins in the DC Universe, Lady Shiva. After extensive training, Bruce returns to Gotham to take back the mantle of Batman. After Valley's defeat, Bruce suffers from his back problems again and reluctantly ask Dick Grayson to take up being Batman while Bruce heals.

After so much time out of the spot light, Bruce finally coming back is a breath of fresh air. If you read Knightsquest, you get so tired of Valley after awhile that you really want Bruce back, and it makes the build-up finally seeing it happen flawlessly. Seeing Bruce retrain himself and to the point of perfection again, as well as it clashing with his ideology of not killing is fascinating. It's all a huge buildup for the main event, with Bruce and Valley fighting in the Batcave. Unlike Knightsquest where so much focus was on Valley, it didn't have the same impact or enthusiasm like Knightfall had, and that's where Knightsend succeeds. It's all about the buildup and Knightsend is a fitting bookend.

Then there is the crème de la crème of this collection: Prodigal. If your one who read, enjoyed, and thought Batman: The Black Mirror was the first and ultimate Dick Grayson tale about taking on the mantle of Batman, you'll want to check this out. This is not only the first time Dick Grayson becomes Batman, but it does a couple of things to make it worth it's while. The first one is the connection of Bruce and Dick being father and son. The other is that this arc clears up many of the loose plots left over throughout the entire Knightfall saga. And thirdly, are the differences between Valley as Batman and Dick Grayson as Batman. For example; whereas Valley was arrogant and serious, Dick is more sincere and light-hearted. And yet, both characters openly admit just how difficult being Batman really is. Great read overall.

As for complaints, the first one is this: THIS IS NOT COMPLETE. Just like volume 2, this isn't complete, which is what every person wanted out of these new editions. What issues are missing are Batman #515, Shadow of the Bat #35, Detective Comics #682, and Robin #14. All four of these missing issues make up the "Troika" arc, where Bruce becomes Batman again with a new suit, new bat-mobile and overall better working relationship Dick Grayson and Tim Drake. Missing these last four issues not only are important and good, but without them, "Prodigal" ends on a cliffhanger because of it. Like volume 2, we all hoped these new editions would be complete, but the lack of a mere four issues to properly end the entire saga is let down. It overall keeps this collection from perfect.

Art is out of 1994 and 1995, so be prepared for this type of older art, as well as the same type of paper used from the other volumes. I grew up with this type of art and paper, so I don't mind it all. But if you've got volumes 1 & 2, then you'll know what to expect.

BATMAN VOL 3, KNIGHTSEND is not complete, so it doesn't quite get it perfect. But overall the massive amount of content for the money, added with great material, and the inclusion of the pricy and rare Prodigal makes this collection a saving grace. I'll give it an 4 ½ score review, just close to perfect. Overall, I'm very happy with all three new 2012 Knightfall editions, even if there is missing some of the content from volumes 2 & 3. I only ask that DC please reprint the remaining missing issues (and maybe lead-up issues to Knightfall) in another trade collection in the future. Once all the issues are collected, then the readers may have your permission to die. Happy reading, Bat-fans.
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on March 13, 2002
The Knightsend compliation marked the end of a two-year story arc in the Batman comics, which began in Knightfall when Bane broke the Batman's back. After numerous adventures, the new Batman, Jean Paul Valley (Azbats) went over the edge and started killing, forcing Bruce Wayne to return and reclaim the mantle of the Bat. Knightsend chronicles Bruce's training under a ninja master and his final confrontation with the new Batman.
While Knightsend is good reading, this one is really for devoted Batman fans only. Like all compilations, a lot of the history is lost in various back issues and collections, so first-time readers won't feel the epic effect that Knightsend and its fellow story arcs had on the Batman saga. Also, while the story is based around the redemption of Jean Paul Valley, don't expect any in-depth literary themes or character studies, as have been in such Bat-titles like "The Killing Joke". The story is action from start to finish, with very little else in between; in other words, it's a typical comic-book story, not the book you're going to use to convince your girlfriend why Batman comics are worth reading. Finally, and this is another fault of being a compilation, the story drags in places. Suspense is built when you read the story piece by piece, as they were originally published every two weeks or so, but when you read them in one go, you realize how some subplots were dragged out to fill up space in an issue.
Criticism aside though, Batman: Knightsend is still worth picking up, mainly because it does feature a pivotal point in the mythos. The art ranges from good to excellent; there is a minor continuity issue among the ninjas sent to attack Bruce, probably because some of the artists took creative license and altered their appearances, but this is a minor complaint. The individual dialogue boxes are excellently written, as is the norm for the folks who write the Batman comics.
If you're missing some parts to the story, or want to explore one of the most controversial story arcs in Bat-history, this is a must-have. Otherwise, I recommend picking up something more 'self-contained'.
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The Batman had been broken by the nefarious Bane, and, while his physical healing process isn't covered in any detail during the events depicted in KNIGHTSEND, Bruce Wayne struggles with the psychological aftermath of returning to the task of serving as Gotham's savior in this incredibly-paced retaking of the Mantle of the Bat from the now rogue Jean Paul Valley.
In a story nearly too complex to summarize for an Amazon review, Bruce/Bats goes from being Batman to being disabled to being whole again ... but it isn't without consequence, namely having to face Jean Paul Valley, the man he passed the job of Batman to after being broken down by a series of catastrophic events all orchestrated to end his career. The road back to mental and physical prowess is long and not without ethical consequences as Bruce submits to training by Lady Shiva, a long-time mortal foe who believes that killing is the only true measure of physical fitness. However, the world's greatest detective finds a means to even outwit her in the process.
Building to a hair-raising climax worthy of being filmed for the big screen, Knightsend features not one daring showdown with the Batman/Azrael Jean Paul Valley but several bare-knuckle brawls involved a fully-healed Bruce Wayne as well as his long-time protege, Dick Grayson ... aka the original Robin and aka Nightwing, a vigilante hero in his own might who's now back in Gotham to help Bruce take by the night. Catwoman, always a favorite from the Rogues Gallery, is along for the wild ride, and she joins forces with the side of justice in order to see the rightful Batman restored to his throne.
This isn't to say that Knightsend isn't without a few missteps ... a perhaps overly-obsessive Jean Paul suffering visions from the System (a kind of brainwashing to give his mind and body the abilities to serve its own brand of justice) almost becomes comical at one point when the visions try to enter into their own subplot ... an all-to-convenient escape from the clutches of death for Bruce Wayne not drawn or plotted very well given the pace of the frenetic conclusion ... and a few other repeated scenes due to the fact that this tale was originally serialized over the course of many issues of comics within the Batman continuity. Still, they are small missteps, as the grand story is almost operatic at times.
The greatest strength of Knightsend is the fact that, at its core, it doesn't deal so much with Batman as it does with identity: in the final confrontation, Bruce Wayne thinks himself out of a corner with Jean Paul bent on fisticuffs-to-the-death, and the one true Batman realizes that brain -- regardless of whose body it resides in -- will always triumph over brawn.
Welcome back, Batman!
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on June 28, 2006
Other reviewers are correct: you do need to purchase some of the original comics of Knightquest to find out what happens in between the end of Knightfall and this story. Alternatively, there are novelizations by Dennis O'Neill and Alan Grant you could read. In short, Bruce's back heals and intends to retire to his civilian life, but Robin informs him of Azrael's violence as Batman. Bruce then vows to reclaim the mantle of the Bat, apparently scaring Alfred (his longtime butler) away because he fears Bruce will be seriously injured again. In our real-time, Alfred doesn't return for over a year. Azrael 'shoves' Bruce away when he returns to the Batcave, and Bruce realizes that he must go into training if he is to have any chance of defeating Azrael.

The story itself picks up at the beginning of Bruce's training to restore his physical strength and instincts. The writing is psychologically intense, and the fight scenes are mostly fun entertainment that would not be out of place on the 1960s TV series.

In the end, we see all that makes the Batman great and everlasting. A fitting close to arguably the biggest Bat-story ever done to that point.
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on November 12, 2005
First off, I agree with the guy who wanted Knightquest printed to fill in the gaps of the three graphic novels that make up the DC "Knightfall" collection. There are some gaps in the plot from book 2 to book 3.

As for the book itself, I was surprised to see who Batman decides to train under: Lady Shiva. Of course, Batman has kept some strange bedfellows in his obsessive quest to rid Gotham of crime: Azrael, he was trained by Cain the assassin, and he goes through more Robins than Paris Hilton goes through DUI charges.

The Batman has never been put to this type of endurance test before. He must overcome psychological and physical difficulties because he is recovering from a broken back. However, Bruce Wayne must prove in the end that he alone is worthy of the title, "Batman."

The path back to glory is laden with traps as Bruce battles a horde of martial arts masters. His battles with challenging warriors is actually my favorite part of the book. However, Bruces' ultimate goal is to recapture the Batman identity.

To do so, he must defeat the man who currently claims the title and is slowly suffering from a mental breakdown: Jean-Paul Valley. Azrael has methods that bring shame to the mantle of the Batman; and Bruce Wayne can't have that.

This challenge is a very interesting one; we get a glimpse into how different a Batman that kills would be. However, can Batman find a way to win this challenge and retain Azrael as an ally? I recommend the "Knightfall" series.
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on December 9, 2001
Okay, this was the end of the Knightfall storyline. The third novel in the series. You must read the first two if you want to understand what is happening. Unfortunately this third book comes well after where the second one left off. Bruce Wayne is healthy again, and ready to reclaim the mantle of the bat. If you don't follow the series, you might wonder what happened after the second book. Wayne was in a wheelchair in Africa for cripes sake, and now he is fine. Still the art is great, and the writing top notch. A good conclusion to a serious run in the lore of Batman. A must read for any batfan.
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on May 26, 2015
This was a good book. Better than the second one. Valley as Batman has really lost it. Really is crazy. He has spirits talking to him and Nightwing and Robin see him talking to himself. He knows Bruce wants his job back and will not give it up without a fight., Bruce has to go to a killer named Lady Shiva to get back into fighting shape and learn new stuff. She killed someone and they send assasins to kill her. She was wearing a mask and she gives it to Bruce to wear. So they come one by one to kill him. He beats them Valley is still fighting crime and beating up criminals. Batman, Nightwing, and Robin confront Valley and Catwoman is there as well. She needs something from a gunrunner. The 2 Batmans face off and have a good battle. The real Batman gets blown up and everyone think he is dead. Nightwing faces off with Valley and is almost beaten. Batman and Valley face off and Bruce beats and outsmarts him. Does not arrest him but lets him go. Batman then leaves town and Nightwing becomes Batman. He fights a few villians and beats them. Two-face gets out of jail by mistake kills a few people and has crazy plan. Batman and Robin beat him. Gordon has a lot of mistrust in Batman. Figures out there were 3 of them. Bruce comes back and him and Nighttwing and him have a confrontation. A verbal one before Bruce takes over Batman as well. It is a good read.
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on September 7, 2008
At the end of the two volume Knightfall story, Batman is left in a wheel chair and Jean Paul Valley is left in the role of Batman. At the beginning of KnightsEnd, the final chapter of this long saga, Bruce Wayne is fully recovered from his severe spinal injuries and now has to re-train himself to reclaim the mantle of Batman from the now mentally unhinged Jean Paul. If you are confused, that's because DC never bothered to reprint the second story arc, Knightsquest, which put Bruce Wayne on the road to recovery (in a very convaluted and unconvincing way) and sent Jean paul Valley into a mental breakdown after he murders one of Abbatoir, one of Batman's minor rogues.
This book reprints the 10 part storyline which ran in the monthly Batman, Detective Comics, Shadow of the Bat, Legends of the Dark knight and Catwoman comics. The writing on this one is fairly consistant and simple; Batman runs a gaunlet set up by Lady Shiva to ensure his retraining is complete so he can tackle his imposter, and after proving his abilities, Batman, along with Nightwing, Robin and Catwoman face down the rampaging faux Batman all over Gotham City. Not very profound, but this is the comic book equivelent of a summer action movie.
The artwork may be where readers will feel let down. Although Graham Nolan (On Detective Comics) and Barry Kitson (on the final Legends chapter) do their usual great job, Ron Wagner (Legends) and Brett Blevins (Shadow of the Bat) are irritatingly bad. Mike Manley's (Batman comics) work is competent, but that's it. Overall, there are more well drawn chapters than badly drawn, but the book still suffers from "Crossover Syndrome", where each chapter doesn't quite fit with the one before due to the severe change in style between artists.
The climax, or anticlimax, is outstanding. Dennis O'Neil proves he is one of the best Batman writers in the character's history with Batman using his brains rather than fist to defeat his far stronger foe, but as then Group Editor of the Batman books at DC Comics, he really should have paid more attention to the artwork.
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on October 22, 1998
It amazes me how two men, so highly trained and so directly matched in physical ability could be so different in method to accomplish the same goals. Bruce Wayne takes on the challenge of reclaming the "Mantle of the Bat" from his chosen successor, Jean-Paul Valley, Azrael. Bruce, trained as a fighter, Azrael, a brainwashed assasin. Bruce, broken by Bane, Jean-Paul, destroyed Bane and holding Gotham in terror. Bruce, vowing never to take a life. Jean-Paul, with blood on his hands and murder in his mouth. Who is the stronger Dark Knight? Who truly protects Gotham from the worst that evil has to offer? One, whose life gave purpose to the Bat, or the other, who the Bat gave purpose to his life.
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Beautiful.. Masterful... Epic... The Batman 510 number included here could be easy one of the best Batman comic ever done... In the half of the comic you get the Batman (Bruce Wayne) fighting against Azrael for the mantle of the Bat... After defeating Jean Paul Valley In the second part you get Dick Grayson doing its job as Batman... The characters Nightwing, Robin, Bulluck, Montoya, Catwoman are well managed in this storyline... I enjoy so much... I think the 3 volumes are great... Ive just finished it... A tour de force... I would recommend to all people... I hope DC COMICS releases soon a number including the missing numbers on this incredible storyline!.........

I would only complain for the quality paper used in the dc comic publications these days... they lack of quality..... covers will bend soon... I
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