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Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 2 Paperback – April 17, 2012
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About the Author
Greg Rucka is a comic book writer and novelist, best known for his extensive work at DC Comics, as well as his creator-owned series. His best known projects include 52 (co-written with Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Mark Waid), BATMAN: NO MAN'S LAND, GOTHAM CENTRAL, BATWOMAN: ELEGRY and WONDER WOMAN.
Top customer reviews
At first I was a little skeptical. I've read superhero novels before with varying results. I have to say, this one blew me away. I was actually up most of the night reading this book. And the thing is, it fits Batman SO WELL. I mean, it's astounding how everything flows so easily together. I don't even want to read the comic books that inspired this novel because the book is so amazing.
It has action. A little bit of love. Hope. Coming to terms with who someone is and what to do in this type of situation. Batman himself even has doubts in the beginning, and things are explained rather easily. The only thing that bothered me was the ending. It just....after such an amazing book I didn't truly agree with the ending. Other than that, slap this on your summer reading list. Even if you're not a huge fan of Batman the book is well worth it's weight in gold.
Still...narrative and artistic inconsistencies aside, Batman: No Man's Land Vol. 2 represents an important piece of one of the most groundbreaking Batman stories I've ever read. It's well worth your time.
FYI: This review is based upon the April 2012 repackaging of Batman: No Man's Land, Vol. 2.
*Thanks to my fellow customer and commenter below for pointing this out to me!
The premise of No Man's Land is very brilliant, putting the Dark Knight in a position that seems hopeless even for him. After a devastating earthquake annihilates Gotham City, the U.S. government deems the criminal haven a No Man's Land and seals the remaining inhabitants off from the rest of the world. Immediately after the government pulls out, human nature kicks in. Without a sense of order and law, anarchy rules all. Soon gangs and notorious supervillains begin roaming the streets and claiming territory, and it's up to Batman and the remnants of the Gotham police to establish order in a world that has none. It's essentially Batman's worst nightmare come to fruition, his home overrun by the criminal vermin he's spent a lifetime cleansing. What follows is the longest year of Batman's life.
With the book being deceptively long, author Greg Rucka successfully keeps the pace and interest level at an all time high by adding new characters and situations at a very well thought out pace, I never felt like the story dragged at any point. Greg Rucka or the original author of the comics utilized the DC licence to great effect by adding an insane amount of characters that have affiliation with Batman. I'm talking about Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, Black Mask, Poison Ivy (barely), Commissioner Gordon, Bane, Nightwing, Robin, David Cain, Oracle, Batgirl and unexpectedly Huntress. I unfortunatly had to look up information on a few characters due to my lack of knowledge on the source material. But any large or casual Batman fan will be pleasantly satisfied with the overall package.
Greg Rucka handles the characterization of many of the major characters extremely well. Writing and technique that I don't believe is possible to convey in comic book form. It's interesting to see very well known and established characters that we've come to know and love and then completely shatter their world, leaving them to develop in a completely alien yet familiar environment. We're given intriguing insight at Batman's burning passion of preventing crimes and making sure no one feels the pain he bares ever again, truely fleshing out his character and reminding us that there is a man behind that mask. We also get to witness Two-Face's split personality, blurring the line that separates the man of honor he once was and the monster he had become. Finally we see the Joker's absolute insanity unfold before us like never before in a truly frightening manner, making No Man's Land one of Joker's darkest and most violent moments. There's so much more involved that it would take all day to cover: Huntress's personal code of vigiliantism, the degrading ethics of the GCPD, and the violent yet honorable rivalry between Batman and his most lethal adversary Bane.
Being a story based on desolation and destruction, the atmosphere of No Man's Land is very immersible due to a sense of loss and survival that permeats the majority of the story. The denizens of Gotham are just trying to survive and rebuild their destroyed lives, gangs are marking their territory like warlords and the remaining police officers and Batman are among the few remaining sources of hope in the remnants of the cataclysm. It has a very Mad Max meets Batman vibe, it's unique and very captivating.
No Man's Land is a must read for any fan of the Dark Knight. It's not just a good Batman story, it's a very well realized survival story of mankind and a terrifying look at the insanity of the criminal mind when all the rules are removed.