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Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman Paperback – July 17, 2012
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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 ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The carnival of Batman comes to town. This is by far the most insightful of Mr Brooker's books on BatmanPublished 1 month ago by Igor Harb, Midori