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Batman: The Ultimate Evil Paperback – July, 1996

3.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Crime novelist Vachss presents a Batman novel in which Bruce Wayne must come to grips with a shocking revelation about his own past.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Vachss has curled toes and raised eyebrows for years with his New York City avenger Burke. Don't think for a minute that just because he's penned a novel based on a comic-book hero that he's abandoned his passionate stand against child abuse. Weary of fighting exotic criminals, Batman has reached a crossroads. As wealthy philanthropist Bruce Wayne, traveling with a beautiful young social worker and child advocate, he begins to realize a change must occur in his life. But what? Alfred, his faithful servant, provides the answer. He reveals to Batman the secret of his parents' death. They weren't the victims of random crime, they were murdered with intent. Wayne's mother was also a crime fighter. She discovered a worldwide network of child pornographers, pedophiles, and pimps and left behind her findings with instructions to Alfred to turn them over to her son when the time was right. Batman targets child sex tourism promoted by a Southeast Asian country and, posing as a pedophile, makes the right contacts and soon finds himself battling the government. To document the real-life horror of this situation, a nonfiction article is included, and the publisher promises tons of publicity as well as a comic-book adaptation of the novel by Neal Barrett, Jr. (Pink Vodka Blues). Public libraries should prepare for heavy demand. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Batman
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446603368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446603362
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 17, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
I picked this book up as a Bat-fan and thought it would be an ok read for a boring afternoon. I was so wrong. It was a wonderful book and I couldn't put it down. Thank you Andrew Vachss for giving Batman back the compassion and fire that Hollywood has killed in the past decade. No, this is not an all out action, beat dozens of bad guys into bloody plup kind of book that most people associate Batman with; this is Batman the Detective, who is going after people who are lower than the slime on sewer walls. And he does it with style and boundless determination, knowing that if even one child can be saved from this Hell, then he will have made a difference. That is what matters.
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Format: Paperback
I would say I enjoyed this book, but the subect is to serious for that description. I found it thought provoking, hard to put down, and extremely well written. The writing is gritty, but for Batman, and this story line, that works.

There is an interesting addition to the history of Batman, by way of Martha Wayne's history, and the motivation for the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne. I won't say more and ruin it. . .

The descriptions of Batman/Bruce Wayne and the other characters are dead on and you feel like you know the character. The descriptions of the settings are just as good. The dialouge is also realistic and well done.

I'd recommend this story to any ADULT Batman fan, but only if you're in the mood for some serious reading. This is not a light, fast, escapist read. But it is WELL worth taking the time to read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a middle aged American so I have childhood memories of Adam West's Batman on tv, I have DC comics memories, and I have Batman-movie memories and now my son has Batman graphic-novels to add more to it. So I appreciate the "caped crusader" but I am not a Bat-fan. I will however confess to being a Burke-fan; and I admire Vachss for his advocacy.

To me it doesn't matter if this is true Batman stuff or not, in the way some people loathe pastiche of RE Howard or Lovecraft. Batman is a more flexible contemporary fictional icon from the start. So for all the niggling one star reviews here, that's what those are about and they're inconsequential.

What matters are the style and content and message. The message is undebateable. Child abuse and exploitation are unjust and wicked and must be fought by society and persons of goodwill by any means necessary. Vachss in this book has done his good work again extending that message.

The content engages the reader. The hero is developed, the conflict is establish, the action is developed and story is told, there is a well executed climax. There are certain familiar Batman features, such as prowess in unarmed and non-lethal combat, wizardlike gadgetry, psychological darkness and grim personae of the crime fighter, channelling the Archangel Michael, angel of death.

Vachss' style sets him apart from other prolific writers of fiction. For each pound of trashy fiction that sells to the American book market, there is not a tenth of an ounce of quality. It's weak product stepped on ten times over and cut with crap. But Vachss' Burke series stood out as an abundant well of serious lean muscular and essentially American English writing style.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a departure in feel from the Batman series as we've always known it but this is a book that I feel, though written before the movie, would certainly fit with the Batman we are given portrayed by Christian Bale. This book also does something that the DCVerse fails miserably at, true depth to the character of Martha Wayne. Through the subject of this novel, the author gives us a Martha who is more than the woman at Thomas Wayne's side. This woman is both the mother of Bruce Wayne but in her fight, we find the mother of Batman and that is a HUGE thing. It's been years since I read this book and I can still remember it clearly, it will stick with you and in a good and powerful way. Kudos to the author for writing it.
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A Kid's Review on February 22, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
It is a good book for any Batman fan. The book is awesome. I liked how batman went out of the normal rescue, like saving people, stopping a crime. It is way different from any other book I have read. It is about abuse, Child Abuse. It is my favorite BATMAN book of all time.
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Format: Paperback
This is probably the best Batman book out there, and I'll tell you why.
Most Batman novels jump all over the place with many focal points. This one concentrates totally on Batman. While I don't mind following other characters, I would prefer sticking with the main character.
How does this compare to the other Batman novels? The novelizations are good but since you've probably seen the movie they will hold no surprise for you. Batman captured by the engines by Lansdale, a fine writer, does just what I don't like--it focuses on other people and leaves little time for Batman. The Batman murders and Batman to stalk a specter are good reads, definately worth your time but nothing to savor forever. Batman no man's land was very good but again the point of view changed dozens of times.
Back to Vachss. A single point of view Batman is the best yet. And his gritty dark style doesn't hurt. It's also nice to see Vachss writing in third person for a change, though I wish he would've touched on another, possibly lighter subject matter. Had a different subject been chosen, this would've been the perfect vehicle for a blockbuster movie hit.
Enjoy...
Sean
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