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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Batman Files Review

The Batman Files 
 by Matthew Manning 
  I am vengeance. I am the night. I am a total Batman fanboy. Batman history is very well known to me and this book captures it like Batman captures the stupid and suspicious cowardly lot. Simply opening up The Batman Files with it's magnetically shut cover is already sheer joy for any Batman fan.  I've just been playing Arkham City and this should have come in the Ultimate Collector's Edition. Opening it up to a prologue written by Batman about his recent "death" shows instant comic fan insight.

This entire book by Matthew Manning is overwhelming with so much Batman knowledge you'd think you were under some sore of psychic attack, where the knowledge is being pumped into your brain trying to kill you. It follows Bruce Wayne/ Batman from his start throughout his entire life and even his, or is it easier to write, one of his deaths. You get fed this info through Batman's own writings, news clippings, case files, police reports, pictures, crime scene photos, Arkham psych files, Bat-Computer print-outs, and diagrams of Bat-equipment.

This isn't a simple collection, the book has weight to it and you can smash a bad guy over the head with it. Pages and pages of bat-lore to get you excited about reading some of Batman's older exploits or for a true fan, remembering those tales. This book takes it's material from the comics , so don't expect any outside continuity from movies and cartoons.

One of my favorite parts is Batman writings, explaining what happened, or how he felt at the time of an incident or crisis. It's kind of like reading his journal and as it goes in reading it he thought Robin might some day attain this book to replace him as Batman. One of my favorite entries is from the Black Casebook, for fans it's where Batman keeps his knowledge of strange events even he can't fully explain. The excerpt is from meeting Bat-Mite and knowing something's wrong in his head, but he just pushes on, because he's Batman.

Yes, of course pages are devoted to his rogues gallery. Joker through Zsasz, Penguin through Catman, they're all inside. Some have writings about them, some are just files, but you can see what weirdos Batman has to deal with. I even forgot some like Batman's first enemy Dr. Death. On the other side of the coin, Two-Face reference intended, you have pages devoted to his allies. Batman's excerpt on how he felt about the Justice League conception is a good showing of his inner thoughts or bats in his belfry. How could he rise to be among insanely super-powered beings and how could he not? He stays broody, while thinking it over with Superman.

Manning did an excellent job pasting together Batman's very intricate past into a tomb that both captures the character and history accurately for a comic book fan. As I wrote before the level of detail in the book, is extremely high and would fit well underneath any false bust of Shakespeare that opens a secret opening, behind a bookshelf, revealing two bat poles, that leads to a Bat-Cave. Add The Batman Files to your collection. It 's also good for anyone who wants more in depth knowledge of  Batman, who I might add has a movie coming out this Summer.

This book was provided by the publisher for review