Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Batman: The Ultimate Evil” as Want to Read:
Batman: The Ultimate Evil
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Batman: The Ultimate Evil (Batman)

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,018 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
When millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne experiences a revelation about his childhood and transformation into Batman, he follows a trail of perversion to Southeast Asia to destroy the Ultimate Evil . . . or die. By the author of Down in the Zero.
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Warner Books (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Batman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Batman

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

Unquestionably the darkest of the Dark Knight’s missions as he confronts an international organization catering to child sex “tourism” (a despicable euphemism for child molestation and rape). Anyone who has read anything by Andrew Vachss knows that his mission in life is raising awareness of and fighting against child abuse (in all its forms, but particularly sexual abuse). I became a big fan of his after reading Flood, which I found excellent though very disturbing.

Thus, when I saw that Vachs
Mar 08, 2011 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like my detective fiction medium-raw, with a side of kickass. BATMAN: THE ULTIMATE EVIL by Andrew Vachss does not disappoint. But, and I am still uncertain how I feel about this, this is not your typical Dark Knight tale. Here, Batman has a vendetta to enact, and the building moments—before this vendetta is carried out—shows a Batman that might not normally act this way. I have no problem with authors revamping a heroic character to meet the needs of a book, but I do have problems if they blat ...more
Michael Fierce

The worst Batman-related book or comic book-related product of all time. This is subject matter that is too harsh, completely out-of-place for Batman, and so completely un-Batman-like.

This is subject matter best left elsewhere.

I read this when it first came out because I've always been a huge fan of Batman and back in those days, I tried reading authors that some of my favorite authors liked or recommended.

In this case it was Joe R. Lansdale who said he was a big fan of Andrew Vachss.

After re
J Higgins
Dec 23, 2008 J Higgins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dude. Mother F**king Batman vs. pederasts. Tell me that's not awesome, I goddamned dare you.

Andrew Vachss is a guilty pleasure for me, his writing is pulpy and generally based on the sort of revenge fantasy that people with PTSD tend to have, but damn if it isn't satisfying every now and again.
Sep 21, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
-Spoilers below-

First things first. I adore the ever loving excrement out of the Dark Knight. A long while back, I picked up two novelizations of previously written comic stories - No Man's Land and Batman: Knightfall (which combined several storylines into one volume, involving the breaking of Batman's back by Bane, the rise and fall of Az-Bats, etc. I loved both those.

So naturally, I found myself interested as I wandered my local bookshop a few days back. I saw this book called Batman: The Ult
Nov 20, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Batman fans who are not faint hearted
Shelves: reviewed, batman, crime
This book was pretty epic. It went way beyond any other Batman books I've read. It pushed the limits and forced past the reader's comfort zone. Batman has some of the best and most dangerous adventures. This time, he went beyond Gotham's borders and crosses into countries to places unheard of. His endless resources never cease to amaze me. The power of intimidation associated with the legend of the Batman carries over into another culture and adds even more to the vigilante's legend. Recommended ...more
Nov 22, 2008 nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought this was a graphic novel when I ordered it from the library and found out it was a novel with no pictures. Somehow it feels like a comic book when you're reading it and it seems true to the character of the Batman. I appreciate that Vachss does a good job weaving together the myth of the Batman with the very real horror of child sex-trafficking. He makes some devastating observations that need to be heard through the eyes of a hero we just might listen to.
Nadine Moger
Mar 18, 2014 Nadine Moger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, book-club
Batman: The Ultimate Evil is a book written with a purpose not only to entertain, but to educate. Child molesting is a deep and dark subject to write about, but Andrew Vachss did it with conviction and tact. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned from it.
Nov 25, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, batman
Batman: The Ultimate Evil is a novel written by Andrew Vachss and published in 1995 by the Warner Aspect imprint of Warner Books. Vachss was an attorney specializing in child abuse cases, as well as a crime novelist best known for his series of books featuring the character Burke, a private investigator who also takes on child abuse cases. A representative from DC Comics approached Vachss about the possibility of writing a novel featuring Batman. Viewing this as an opportunity to reach a complet ...more
Scott Waldyn
Nov 08, 2012 Scott Waldyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's not the story or the subject matter that brings me to rate this as I did. In fact, I often appreciate the idea of bringing about social awareness or a call to action inside fiction. I think it helps layer some meaning if done right, leaving readers with something to ponder.

While Batman's 'shock' at discovering all this criminal information may seem a bit hokey, I thought it was well-intended.

With that said, I grade this poorly because of the style - plain and simple. The author is clearly a
This is not your usual Batman story.

I've always Iiked the characterization of Batman as urban legend. Something about that resonates with me and seems in keeping with criminals being a "superstitious and cowardly lot". If Batman isn't mysterious and makes public appearances, that would take away from the fear he creates.

But this could almost read like the last Batman story. It pulls him out of the fantasy superhero world he lives in, and puts him in the real world, facing the real ugliness tha
Novelist Andrew Vachss takes the Dark Knight on his darkest mission yet: to bring to an end a worldwide child sex trafficking ring that originates in Thailand a major twist, was a huge portion of his deceased's mother's life.

The Dark Knight begins by aiding a social worker in her rounds as Bruce Wayne, ostensibly to see how his tax dollars are being spent. However, he comes across some minor villains who explain the whys and hows of selling children for profit.

There is an epilogue, non
Apr 02, 2015 Veronica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gets 4 stars not because it's a Batman book, or because it was well written. BUT, I feel that if there are people (kids especially) who could benefit from feeling like their hero cares, this is a good read. So, this is not the Batman I grew up with. I'm pretty sure someone gave me this book because I'm a social worker and have worked with similar situations. Batman isn't chasing your familiar villian in this book. He's chasing something much more real and very scary. This book would be grea ...more
Eli Poteet
Sep 08, 2014 Eli Poteet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, hero
I've never read a superhero book that tied in such a massive humanist/feminist issue. Sex tourism is often forgotten or underestimated- delegated to the back burner as a foreign problem when the reality of the situation is a daily battle on every continent. This book was a quick read, plus it's excellent storyline was simple thus anyone can read it, You don't have to be a nerd or batman fanatic to follow the visceral story. I didn't give it five stars only because I felt like the author didn't p ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Batman is beginning to feel a little burnt out. He feels like he is fighting criminals but making little headway against crime. He meets a social worker from Child Protective Services of Gotham and begins to see the horror of child abuse in all its forms (the "Ultimate Evil"). His search for the roots of the problem take him to Southeast Asia and show him ties to his parents' death, supposedly to a mugger decades ago. Very enjoyable read although disturbing with the subject matter of child explo ...more
Aug 08, 2008 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People unfamiliar with Andrew Vachss
Recommended to Jason by: Batman
Knowing that Andrew Vachss is capable of so much more is what hurts this story more than anything else. As another reviewer states, you can simply replace almost any character with the Batman and it would work just as well.

The story is eye-opening and the attachment of the Batman name is a good thing for those who have never read anything by Vachss, but the truth is he is a much, much better writer than this story shows.
Nov 05, 2007 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chris nolan's batman fans
this book reminded me very much of chris nolan's take on the dark knight. except this was written before. it deals with child prostitution so some people might be taken aback by it. Only problem i can see with some fans of Batman is that is messes with canon a little but nothing that changes anything.

it is an enjoyable quick read. recommended.
Apr 24, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book at a grocery store bin for 3 dollars. I didn't really know what it was about, it had Batman on the cover so I bought it. This is a true to real life story about someone who does something about the children in not only his city but the world. This book was surprisingly deep, motivating, and eye opening to sex trafficking around us. Worth spending your time reading.
Sep 14, 2014 Fran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite by Andrew Vachss, but he is a favorite. Love his Burke series and love the man. His books are not everyone's cup of tea....dark & gritty....but the message behind them reflect his personal crusade. Any man who has devoted his life to making the world a safer place for kids is a hero to me.
May 13, 2012 Bee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ironically, I read this as a kid (teen) and it was amazing... One of the few books I've actually read more than once. It came years before the movie Batman Begins where the comic book character was put into a real(ish) working world and it is an enthralling read, for when I was 16 and when I was 23. Even looking at the cover makes me want to read it again.
Sep 06, 2013 Kristen rated it liked it
Though I understand and appreciate what the author was trying to do, I'm disappointed by this book. The story and the writing could have been much better while still conveying the intended message. I love Batman (I'm a 22 year old girl with batman sheets, for god's sake.), but I didn't really like the way he was portrayed here.
Peter Gorman II
Oct 31, 2012 Peter Gorman II rated it liked it
Ehhh. It was ok. A little over the top, trying too hard to be a serious detective novel centered around Batman. I was bored and slightly distracted by the subject matter which seemed out of place in the Batman canon. I have read recently in reviews that the author had a vested interest in the subject matter, which may explain why it seemed important to him, but distant to me.
Aug 02, 2011 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vachss draws heavily on his knowledge of sexual crimes in pitting Batman up against an Asian pedophilia ring. While the insight from Vachss merges well with his Batman, the extra ties to Bruce Wayne's past feel overly forced. A very real-world Batman tale that continues to highlight the depravity humanity can visit upon itself.
Donald Armfield
Feb 16, 2011 Donald Armfield rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book alot, i have been scanning thru science fiction books lately and seen this.

The author is a lawyer for children. So writing a book as Batman his main character to go along and take on a city where child porn & selling children @ young ages for sex.

If you are a fan of Batman this book is for you.
Mar 20, 2013 Carrie rated it it was ok
Didn't love this one. The pacing felt completely off in this book; it felt like we were still building up to the main story well past the halfway point. The author made an attempt to really tie Batman's purpose in this story to his personal life, and it was an interesting little side story, unfortunately it just wasn't fleshed out enough to be anything really satisfying.
Aug 08, 2012 Mloy rated it it was amazing
Intense. Wow this book dealth with some really dark and heavy story, all the more disturbing because the subject matter is so real and depressing. Also depressing is because The Batman isn't real and he will not save any kids and that just makes me so sad.
Ivo Jurišić
It's quite dark. Even for a Batman story. I love the fact that Mr. Vachss used Batman as a vessel to point out major real-life issues in our society.
5 for strong message and actually promoting something worthwhile.
3 for the story itself.
It was okay...I don't like how Batman was written in this story. And I didn't like the whole "linked to my parents murder" thing going on. It could've been a more powerful and well done story, but the author seemed to me not to be too well versed in Batman's mythos.
Sep 30, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
This is not just another Batman story. This book is a well written story about child slave trade, using Batman as the guide. The story really kept me entrenched. Its one of the few books I immediately picked up and read it again.
Dec 18, 2014 Kyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easily the darkest Batman story I've ever read. Could catch some readers off guard by how dark and serious it is. A Batman book for adults only. Mature adults.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Batman Murders
  • Justice League of America: Batman (The Stone King)
  • The Further Adventures of Batman
  • Batman: No Man's Land
  • Exterminators
  • Justice League of America: Superman IThe Never-Ending Battle)
  • Batman: Knightfall
  • Wonder Woman: Mythos
  • The Batman Handbook
  • BATMAN: Gotham Knight
  • The Flash: Stop Motion
  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 4: Vengeance
  • Superman/Batman, Vol. 10: Big Noise
  • Batman: Under the Cowl
  • The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told
  • Batman, Captured by the Engines
  • The Forensic Files of Batman: The World's Greatest Detective
Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide varie ...more
More about Andrew Vachss...

Other Books in the Series

Batman (1 - 10 of 367 books)
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 1
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 2
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 3
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 4
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 5
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 6
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 7
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 8
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 9
  • The Batman Chronicles, Vol. 10

Share This Book

“Be he the first to stand or the last, a man must stand," the father had told his adoring son. "And if there is only one man, then that man must stand alone." ~Thomas to Bruce Wayne” 21 likes
More quotes…