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About the Author:
Scott Beatty earned his Master of Arts degree in fiction writing at Iowa State University. A former English teacher, radio personality and magazine editor, Beatty is also the author of DK's Catwoman: The Visual Guide to the Feline Fatale.
Posted February 16, 2009
Posted May 17, 2006
Despite being around for over 65 years, Batman's popularity never seems to wane. The blockbuster Batman film in 2005 once again generated enormous interest in the character. 'Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight' has been updated right up through 2005 to ride this crest of popularity. The book is really geared towards the more casual or new Batman fans, as old-timers will already be familiar with much of the material inside the 144 page, hardcover book. Still, the book moves the reader on a rapid fire history of the character beginning with his origin and creation by Bob Kane way back in 1939. Techie fans will love the intense coverage of all of the 'wonderful toys' that Batman uses. His utility belt includes such items as tear gas pellets, an acetylene torch, a palm top communicator, grappling hook, and more. The book also presents a look at each of the Batmobiles and how the style has changed over the years from a rather modest sedan to today's sleek, armored road-killer packed with the latest cutting-edge technology. There's also a look at the various other 'bat vehicles' including the Bat-plane, Bat-sub, Bat-Copter, etc...There is also a nicely diagrammed, cut-away view of the Bat-cave. Most of the major characters in Batman lore are featured including allies such as Commissioner Gordon, the various Robins, Batgirl, Oracle, loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, and Azrael. Then there are the Batman romantic interests: Vicky Vale, Silver St. Cloud, Talia Al Ghul, and Julie Madison. But what would any Batman book that calls itself 'Ultimate' be without a rundown of the caped crusaders rogues gallery of villains. Batman's villains are almost as famous as he is and have played a huge role in the character's long-lasting popularity. They are all here: The Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman, Bane, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Mad-Hatter, Two-Face, and many more. All with brief sections noting their real name and first comic book appearance. The book covers some of the more well-known storylines in Batman history such as the Death in the Family storyline where the Jason Todd Robin was killed by the Joker. Unfortunately the book fails to mention that this gimmick storyline hinged on a fan vote via phone call to determine if Robin lived or died. Another notable storyline mentioned is Frank Miller's landmark mini-series The Dark Knight Returns. Finally, there is a fantastic look at the Golden Age Batman as well as a timeline noting important events and stories in Bat-history along with the issue number where it took place. If I do have one nit about the book it's that issue numbers are not provided for some of these noted storylines although you can find most of them in the timeline section. The book features incredible artwork from the host of artists who have worked on the various Batman titles over the years including: Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Brian Bolland, Paul Gulacy, P. Craig Russell, Dick Giordano, and many, many more. All in all, 'Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight' definitely lives up to its grand title! Reviewed by Tim JansonWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2003
Posted February 9, 2009
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