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The Boy Who Loved Batman – Preparing for The Dark Knight Rises

I’m a Batman fan, but I’m not well-versed in Batman lore.  I read a few comics as a kid.  I can tell you his origin story. I know who the bad guys are.

I’m more gung-ho about the Christopher Nolan movies. I liked Batman Begins but I absolutely loved The Dark Knight.  Heath Ledger’s performance was the best I had ever seen.  I remember my brother saying “The Joker made me so nervous that when he wasn’t on screen, I kept wondering where he was.  I couldn’t get comfortable.”

I think that movie was something of a miracle: despite it being about a man in a bat suit fighting a clown, it felt deadly serious, at least to this nerd.  And, as the box office totals suggested, I wasn’t alone.

I can’t wait for The Dark Knight Rises.  It’s fourteen days away.  I think it will be even better than I think it will, and I think it will be one of the best movies I’ll ever watch.

If you’re a kindred spirit and you’re interested in brushing up on Batman, I’ve read a few fun books lately that I want to share.  Several of these are in the “Batman canon,” meaning they’re found on just about every list of must-read Batman stories in existence.  I didn’t know any of them.

I’m not going to recap them all, but I’ll give you the title, author, and invite you to add to the list.

The Boy Who Loved Batman: A Memoir by Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan was the ultimate comic book kid.  His mission was to bring a serious, dark version of Batman to the big screen. And he did it.  His journey from comics-obsessed kid to executive producer of the Batman films is one I won’t spoil for you.  This book is a wonderful history of the comic book industry, and the best kind of memoir: one where the author could not be more passionate about the subject.

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore

Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

The Batman Files by Matthew K. Manning

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

I know I’m way behind the curve.  If you have any titles you consider must-reads, please let us all know.

14 days!




Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ryan Glass July 6, 2012, 10:49 am

    I’d add Hush by Jeph Loeb to the list. Simply great story-telling and the arc allows Loeb to relish his natural desire to go over-the-top and include too many characters/plots.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 6, 2012, 11:48 am

      Hi Ryan. I’ve actually read that one. Totally forgot. What is Loeb best known for?

  • Blaine Moore July 6, 2012, 3:00 pm

    I’m the opposite, I totally loved Batman Begins and thought it was a good take on the batman origin story, and The Dark Knight was okay and Heath Ledger did a great job as Joker but the story itself didn’t hold me nearly as well (having recently watched it for a second time, I was actually kinda bored.)

    • Josh Hanagarne July 7, 2012, 8:03 am

      I liked it too. The opposite of me liking it is not you loving it.

  • Stuart Atkins July 7, 2012, 4:19 pm

    “Let’s put a smile on that face.”


  • Steve July 11, 2012, 11:53 am

    For the purpose of prepping for The Dark Knight Rises, I’d pick up a trade paperback of the KnightFall series so you can find out who Bane really is and what he did to Batman in the comics. If the trade paperback doesn’t include the story from The Vengeance of Bane graphic novel, pick that up and read it first. The subsequent storylines KnightQuest and KnightsEnd are not must-reads, but chronologically follow the events of KnightFall.