Item description for Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City (Smart Pop series) by Dennis O'Neil & Leah Wilson...
Overview Presents a collection of essays that explore the character of Batman in comic books, film, and television.
Compiled by a veteran writer of the comic series, this collection of essays explores Batman's motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive, and a really well-made suit. One of the most recognized superheroes ever created, Batman has survived through campy TV shows and films, through actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, and Christian Bale. It covers both the silly and the solemn, asking questions like Why is the Joker so good at pushing Batman's buttons?What does Batman's technology say about the times? Why are Batman's villains crazier than average? and Why is Batman the perfect, iconic American hero?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.82 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2008
Publisher Benbella Books
ISBN 1933771305 ISBN13 9781933771304
Reviews - What do customers think about Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City (Smart Pop series)?
Great book! Mar 29, 2008
This book is very good and the authors who write the essays on Batman have some interesting opinions on topics concerning him. Although, some of the essays are saying how Batman is just a novelty and he shouldn't be taken seriously. If you are a momentous Batman fan, like myself, you will not take kindly to these opinions. It shouldn't have honestly been in this book. But whatever. It's really interesting, because I don't really think there has been a book released that has had many opinions of Batman elements.
Of course, the great Dennis O'Neil edited the book and writes the foreword. He always has great things to say. And he was obviously the person who turned Batman around and had him become what he is today.
The book is a very quick read and I enjoyed it throughly. It's a great book to take "on the go" with you, as some of the essays are very short. The book has interesting takes on the new Batman movie - "The Dark Knight" - which was my favorite part of the book.
Bottom line: the people who know what they're talking about when it comes to Batman, they're worth it. The one's who seem like they've never had a connection to Batman, it shows - and it can be kind of frustrating.
But, highly recommended!
A fun exploration of the different components of the Dark Knight Mar 3, 2008
While Batman Unauthorized might not be the be all end all of serious literary criticism on Batman the way that, say, Geoff Klock's How To Read Superhero Comics and Why is for the superhero genre as a whole, it is still really fun, interesting read. The essays examine a variety of intepretations of the character on film, comics and television through the years. They manage to do a good job of picking apart Batman's multi-faceted existence without ever taking themselves to seriously which, I think, is always important when examining pop culture icons.
Highlights include: "The Cost of Being Batman", not the heavy handed 'emotional costs', mind you, but the actual monetary cost to pay for the equipment (the cost of the Batcomputer will make you soil yourself), "Holy Signifier, Batman!" which valiantly and convincingly explains why the old 60's show might actually be the most enduring version of the character and, my personal favorite, "To The Batpole" which imagines how the, uhm, Bat-talk might have gone down between Alfred and pre-pubescent (sp?) Bruce Wayne in the styles of the 60's camp Batman, Tim Burton's Batman, and the Michael Caine version from Batman Begins (not only is this hysterical but it manages to point out one of the inherent flaws with Batman Begins that I think a few of us have touched on in the blogs here).
There are some weak points like Mike Barr's defense of Batman's Sci-fi adventures from the 50's and early 60's ("Batman In Outer Space!" I'm sorry but this is just one aspect of the character that's best left forgotten) and an uneven essay comparing Batman to Superman that unilaterally decides to ignore The Dark Knight Returns which, for my money, is essential when comparing the two.
Overall, a nice quick read well worth the price of admission (17.95!)