Kathleen's Reviews > The Batman Files

The Batman Files by Matthew K. Manning
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's review
Feb 26, 2012

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bookshelves: fiction, comics
Read in February, 2012

This book is every inch the lovingly detailed history of Batman and his associates that I wanted it to be. More could have been done with the textures and photographs that were not excerpts from old comic books, but I say that only as someone who studies fictional blueprints with painstaking care. All told, it was beautiful. And yet one cannot read these detailed histories of DC continuity without a sharp melancholy these days. With all of this history gone by the wayside, declared unimportant by the New 52, what does any of it matter.

Of course it does matter. We can still laugh at Dick Grayson's "kind of funky disco suit" and coo at little Jason Todd stealing the tires off the batmobile. We can still fall in love with Tim Drake's obsessive stalking of the batfamily and ache to hug Stephanie Brown when she takes down her father. But arranging the facts this way, a scrapbook of the past over and done, makes it clear that all of these feelings are history. We have no choice but to move on--to the bizarre doppelgangers of the new universe or to part ways with the comic detectives completely. Still, we are left with the memories.
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