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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Batman: No Man's Land

Batman: No Man's Land by Greg Rucka

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

April 13, 2001

I'm not a fan of the Batman comics, or comics in general. But I have always liked the Batman character, from the campy old TV show to the movies. There's something about a guy who runs around at night beating up bad guys and saving the world, all without farfetched super powers, that is so appealing in a world where justice seems so tainted.

Anyway, a few years ago I read the "Knightfall" novelization by Dennis O'Neal and I generally enjoyed it. So I figured I would give "No Man's Land" a try. While not what I would consider to be true "literature" (the concept that the US government would simply write off Gotham as opposed to rebuilding it after the earthquake is hard to believe), it exceeded my expectations. No Man's Land is an exciting read and what Rucka does that the TV show and movies fail in, is to humanize everyone from Batman to Two-Face to Commissioner Gordon (who is an actual cop instead of the oaf he is portrayed as in the movies). So along with a lot of action, we get to see Batman wrestling with his conscience about how to save what's left of Gotham (especially after his first attempt fails miserably), Two-Face is torn between his lust for vengeance and his lust for Detective Renee Montoya, and Commissioner Gordon struggles to maintain order without taking innocent lives.

Best of all, if you've never even lifted a Batman comic you can still understand this. Unfamiliar characters from TV or movies like Nightwing, Oracle, and the Huntress are all quickly explained so that the reader gets brought up to speed on the universe of the comics vs. what they've seen in the movies or on TV. So it's easy to sit back and enjoy the ride without a lot of confusion.

If there are any knocks on this book, it's A) that it's soooo long and B) it gets very episodic at parts. The story flow gets a little choppy as various little episodes unfold, but this book has enough action that it will keep you turning the pages until the end.

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