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Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 1: Broken Bat (Batman: Knightfall #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  18,058 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
This riveting book sets Batman on a path that will change his life forever. A mass escape from Arkham Asylum and the emergence of Batman's most threatening foe, Bane, sends Gotham City spinning into chaos and takes Batman to the limits of human endurance! These volume is required reading for every Batman fan. Graphic novel format.

Every Man Has a Breaking Point...


Paperback, 268 pages
Published September 3rd 1993 by DC Comics (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 11, 2016 Fino rated it really liked it
This was one of the inspirations of Christopher Nolan for the last Batman film with Christian Bale in the lead. It is where Bane is introduced. The main story is fantastic - it is absolutely captivating when...oh never mind, no spoilers - you'll have to read it yourself. Let's just say that the intervention of Azrael towards the end which is also the impetus for Knightfall Vol 2 did not really please me as much as the rest of the book.
Nov 19, 2014 Patrick rated it liked it
I found this more interesting than really enjoyable. The comics in this compilation are over 20 years old, and the old version of the storytelling really isn't my style.

Also, I just have to say: most emo Batman ever. He starts this hefty collection hurt, and spends the entire thing being... well... not very Batman at all. Making bad choices. Being bitchy. Constantly hurt and sucking at his job....

Kinda took some of the fun out of it for me.

On the plus side, as someone who isn't a huge Batman
..and I thought I was excited for The Dark Knight Rises before.

I seriously had no idea that Bane could be this awesome. When he was announced as the villain in the new Batman film, I was really hesitant to get my hopes up. I mean, Bane?! That loser from Batman & Robin (note to self: never base anything on that garbage movie)?? All he did was grunt, scream and smash stuff. Other than brute force - he didn't seem like that much of a threat.

So when I was given this graphic novel for Christmas,
Sam Quixote
Apr 07, 2012 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
The masked villain Bane arrives in Gotham with a plan to destroy Batman - release all of Batman's prisoners from Arkham Asylum and once he's gone through them all, he'll be at his weakest and then... then he will break him!

The first part of the Knightfall trilogy is overlong and a bit dull to be honest. It's a good storyline, Bane setting loose a ton of villains into Gotham and then sitting back, waiting for the perfect moment to strike, but all it means is that Batman has to go through each and
Rebecca McNutt
It's been a while since I've read a Batman comic, but they never get old. Batman's style changes, but it's always classic stories, and this is no exception.
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
Jun 22, 2015 Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote) rated it really liked it
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

If you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises, then know that what you see here is one of the many comics that inspired some of the great scenes that Christopher Nolan translated onto the big screen. As much as this volume is known as an absolute classic in Batman’s universe, it however struggles to survive the test of time. Published in the 90s, written by both Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench, illustrated by Jim Aparo, Jim Balent, Norm Breyfogle and Graham
Feb 23, 2017 Garrett rated it it was ok
Bane is barely in this book and doesn't really do much until the end. He causes an outbreak and released the villains at Arkham Asylum and Batman has to take each of them down before getting to Bane. This book feels more like random stories featuring random villains than it does an actual linear book. Not to mention that Jim Aparo illustrates most of these issues, and I don't care what the fanboys say, I hate his art. It's so dated and typical of the 80s and early 90s. I'm also not a big fan of ...more
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
Extreme shock value, but it's just trying to copy "The Death of Superman".
Feb 06, 2012 Krzysztof rated it liked it
Not as good as I remember it from my childhood, but still pretty good.
The main gripe I have is that I remembered more Azrael in the background, and that apparently happened before this story arc? Also, Bane wasn't introduced here, there was some kind of side-story with the Riddler, Killer Croc and Bane before the action of this collection, so there are some blanks which this book doesn't cover. The complaint I'm making is that this is not the "comprehensive" Azrael/Batman/Bane story arc I though
Feb 20, 2012 Jill rated it really liked it
I really did like this one.

Some drawbacks: Some of the characters and situations this one starts off with are kind of confusing if you don't know the back story on them. I really didn't understand some of what was going on until I looked up the prelude stuff on Wikipedia's Knightfall page. But it IS a comic book series, so that's probably to be somewhat expected. Also, some of the dialogue is a little too cheesy, to the point that I occasionally couldn't suspend my disbelief or felt that a line
Dec 14, 2012 Miki rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, all-fiction
I can't believe that the average rating for this book is 4 stars. The overall plot is reasonable, but the execution is bad. The book feels like Batman facing a series of mini-bosses before meeting the megaboss. The encounters feel contrived and the author does a poor job of conveying any complexity - the dialogue is terrible. All this said, I'm still going to try to read part 2 of Knightfall because I love Batman.
Jul 29, 2015 Jeice rated it liked it
This is one of THE classic Batman stories, if only because it is a story people like to re-tell in various forms of media. I've seen versions of Bane go up against versions of Batman in cartoons, books, videogames, movies, etc. With the menacing, hulking form of Bane and a story about a Batman who might not have an easy, assured victory, how could people resist? As far as classic "must-read" Batman stories go, however, this would rank pretty low on my list. The art is good, except for the hyper- ...more
Laura Wattie
Feb 23, 2013 Laura Wattie rated it liked it
Batman: Knightfall vol. 1: Broken Batman by Doug Moench.

This Batman story is not everyone, actually it brings everything you love and hate by the Caped Crusader in to one volume for a two volume story.

First of all, you need to read to the lead up comics to understand it which I admit that I didn't do because most of the Batman stories I read is that you don't need to read surrounding stories to get it. However its a good read, a bit trashy and less thought provoking than other Batman stories (
Adam Pereira
Apr 07, 2014 Adam Pereira rated it it was amazing
Batman: Knightfall Part 1 is the first Part of a three arc storyline of a classic tale, and one of the most popular of the Dark Knight's tales. Knightfall is about the classic tale of the fall of Bruce Wayne. The story sets off as a review to Bane, and his origin in the prison in Santa Prisca. We see Bane as a child, going throughout the prison, damned to serve the sentence of his father. As he lives throughout the prison as a child, his mother is executed at a certain age and Bane is left as a ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Charles rated it it was ok
It might be blasphemy to say this, but I found this volume to be just “okay”.

Yes, I know it’s regarded as a monumental event for Batman, but maybe it hasn’t aged well over the years or it’s truly a product of its time. Although at the time it was in the shadow of the Death of Superman arc, this one feels like it was trying to follow a similar model; Hero runs a gauntlet of brutal and unending violence to face a big baddy and ultimately fail.

Unfortunately for modern eyes, this story doesn’t fee
Robert Jones
Jun 07, 2012 Robert Jones rated it it was amazing
I like the idea of having a copy of the graphic novels the recent Nolan movies are based off (Year 1 for Batman Begins, The Killing Joke for The Dark Knight), so, Knightfall seemed like a good investment to make. I only got Volume 1 because I'm frankly not interested in the subsequent Azrael storyline, though I might end up picking up Volume 2, since Broken Bat ends rather abruptly. Spoiler: the bat gets broken.

Aside from being a little dated (the robot that appears on the first fucking page jus
Jeremiah Demster
Here's the thing about Knightfall, because of his huge stature both physically and mentally, and the way he subverts expectations as a villain, most people see the entirety of the story arch as being about Batman vs Bain. But it's not. Knightfall part 1 is a good story in it's own right, sure, and as shocking in comic history as the death of Superman was, but the story here is only the set up for the actual story being told. This whole arch is about Bruce Wayne vs Batman. How bad does he still w ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Matt rated it it was ok
I'm a person who came into Batman from the TV shows and movies, rather than from the comic books - which makes a pretty huge difference. In the movies and shows, the conservative subtext of Batman is simmering just beneath the surface, whereas in the comic books, it's right up there at the surface for all to see. Whether it's in portraying psychologists as criminal apologists, criminality as "incurable," trade unionists as on the same level as gangsters, or in portraying the billionaire as the c ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it
It's really a shame the prelude that provides the backstory for Batman's condition at the beginning of this story arc wasn't in any way included in this trade paperback. This begins with Bruce Wayne as a bit of a mess, and since it can be pretty difficult to track these things down in order (especially relying on the spotty selection at the library), I had to jump in with only some information online to know what was going on. There's some random characters in here that I had no clue who they we ...more
Seth Madej
Jan 15, 2013 Seth Madej rated it it was ok
I missed Knightfall the first time around, because the series began right after I left for college and temporarily gave up my comics habit that was born from and raised on Batman. Nowadays a craving for superhero books boils up in me about twice a year, and the last one hit its peak just as I rewatched The Dark Knight Rises, giving me the irresistible urge to examine its primary source material. Turns out it's the first comic collection in years that made me embarrassed to be reading it. The lig ...more
Michelle Cristiani
Jul 23, 2012 Michelle Cristiani rated it really liked it
Classic DC arc from the 90's, where superheroes are shown to be fallible. It's not fun to watch Batman like this, run-down and ill and throwing batarangs all wrong. But it does make for a great story, of course. This first volume is 'broken bat' and yeah, he pretty much gets broken. It doesn't really compute - because he's BATMAN - which is why it works so well. You kind-of can't believe what you're reading.

Typical of the character, Bruce Wayne keeps going when he should be resting. Something a
Sep 25, 2013 Priya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comix
This was a awesome read! Bane at his best trying to break the soul of Batman. This book became more popular after Nolan decided to complete his trilogy with Bane and a lot of inspiration for the movie is derived from this book.

The book starts with Bane setting Arkham asylum loose. All madness sets into Gotham City and Batman and Robin start taking them down. Robin notices that a Batman is visibly tired but Batman doesn't acknowledge his weakness and continues fighting.

Eventually Bane watches as
C. Derick
Aug 18, 2015 C. Derick rated it really liked it
Good, but not as good as I remember from the 1990s. Chuck Dixon really was trying to return Batman to form, but this run still can't decide if it is hardboiled or campy. Coming off some of the 1970s and 1980s, more adult Batman stories by Alan Moore and Frank Miller, the Dark Knight did seem a bit lost. This introduces Bane and also gives us the more gritty Azazel-turned-Batman, but much of the rogues gallery seems cheesy and under-developed. Dixon's Bane, however, is a great addition to the sto ...more
Andrewc Ehs
Sep 09, 2013 Andrewc Ehs rated it liked it
Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1...An instant classic & a fine introduction to of the Dark Knight's more deadlier foes. More than a match for the Caped Crusader, Bane was originally an inmate at a Santa Priscan prison (The name of which currently escapes me). After hearing tales of the Batman, Bane realizes that the other inmates are talking about his worst nightmare: A giant, bat-man creature. He escapes & travels to Gotham, releasing all of Batman's worst enemies from Arkham. It takes the ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Sean rated it really liked it
I finally got a chance to read who Bane breaks the Bat and I have to say for when it was made its pretty good. Batman has to run an amazingly tough gauntlet as Bane terrorizes Gotham. He is pushed beyond his limits and isn’t relying on any kind of support system. Here you see how crazy Bruce Wayne actually is but its clearly a different kind of crazy than Bane, Joker, or Mr. Zsasz. There were some dated parts, like Bane’s goofy henchmen, the G.C.P.D.’s ineffectiveness, and the TV spots but this ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Jimmy rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I like Batman.
I grew up with the bang keeps Batman on TV on a Saturday morning. Yes I'm too old for comics, bite me.

But this story arc just left me flat. There are a few moments in there that are doing a lot of lifting. I suppose I'm after getting used to story arc that aren't as scattered and billions with actual motivations. Ok the joker always gets a pass on motivation but hey, why so serious?

So worth reading to know about an important part of Batman mythology/backstory , just don't expect to
Feb 19, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
I was pretty much gnawing my fingernails off out of fear for Bruce. He’s perpetually the man of strength and indestructible resilience and stamina, so it’s frightening to see him crushed by another man. A shitty villain like Bane. Oh sure, he deduced Batman’s true identity under a year or so, but that doesn’t make him a worthy villain to me. At least Ra’s al Ghul and perhaps even Hush (the villains who know that Bruce is Batman) has more charisma and showmanship than the steroid-glutting brute. ...more
Justyn Rampa
Sep 03, 2010 Justyn Rampa rated it liked it
I finished the first of three volumes of the Knightfall Saga. Overall, it was well done and ambitious, but I felt like it was lacking that special quality. The concept is solid, but I don't necessarily believe in the origin of Bane or why the hell he has out for Batman or wants to control Gotham City. It was hard to suspend disbelief a bit for me. Also, I found the multiple shots of Batman pushed to his limit became somewhat laughable and ridiculous at some point. The reader is just hit over the ...more
Sep 06, 2013 Todd rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-9-13
Chuck Dixon kind of sucks. His dialogue and narration are so stilted i have no idea what to do with them at times. There are plenty of good things going on here but it really drags. I can't imagine reading this month by month. Perhaps if I had I'd rate this higher.

That being said, I'll definitely be checking out the following volumes.

It's nice to finally read early Bane as all I know him from is his secret six days. He was written by Gail Simone then, so he's a much cooler character.

The art is
Wesley Leblanc
Feb 16, 2014 Wesley Leblanc rated it really liked it
This story is a great one. This story is a classic and I believe it will always be a classic. Without giving away too much, Batman's world is turned upside down. This story was great because with closer inspection, Nolan's 2012 blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rises" is seen as partially inspired by this story, pulling direct quotes and scenes from this comics. Not much left to review without giving something away so I'll leave it at that. Overall: a classic Batman story that introduces a now-popula ...more
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Doug Moench, is an American comic book writer notable for his Batman work and as the creator of Black Mask, Moon Knight and Deathlok. Moench has worked for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics and many other smaller companies; he has written hundreds of issues of many different comics, and created dozens of characters, such as Moon Knight. In 1973, Moench became the de facto lead writer for ...more
More about Doug Moench...

Other Books in the Series

Batman: Knightfall (3 books)
  • Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Who Rules the Night
  • Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 3: Knightsend

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