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Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon
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Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
A work of scholarship and a labor of love. "This is the definitive history of the Batman in all media: comics, film, television and the internet. The bookÆs combination of rigorous historical research and a witty, fluid writing style make it both vastly instructive and vastly entertaining."--Roberta Pearson, editor of The Many Lives of the Batman "Will appeal to avid stude ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 18th 2001 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published 2000)
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Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-comics
From my blog Reviewing Comics

Although books focused on superhero comics are not unheard of, such an in depth study of a single character like Will Brooker's investigation of Batman is still a very welcome entry.
In his own words, "This book is an investigation, a detection, a 'forensic examination' of the disparate texts which have borne the signifier 'Batman' over 60 years, in an attempt to reconstruct their context and hence recover the meanings carried by this cultural icon at key moments in h
The last thing I expected when I picked up this book was an academic treatise on Batman's impact on culture.

Brooker starts and ends his book with discussions of readings and authorship - discussing ownership and fandom, interpretation and critique. Who owns Batman? Who determines who Batman is? As much a dialogue on Batman as it is a discourse on interpretation of art and literature, they bookend an interesting cultural chronology. In between, he takes a tour through Batman, beginning with his r
Shea Mastison
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a remarkable analysis of Batman as a cultural icon. Will Brooker lays out some excellent ideas concerning the development of Batman from his origins nearly a century ago; he covers topics as diverse as gay readings of the Batman character, all the way to the signature aesthetic of the various artists and writers who've found themselves responsible for the Dark Knight.

I would be interested in reading an updated text, now that Nolan's trilogy has been completed. I'm sure that Brooker wou
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
The central theme behind this was that The Bat was created as a broken little boy became obsessed with vengence and grew into a man. Along the way though he starts to add people to his crazy life and make them into his own version of a family.

That was certainly true of the character a few years ago, and after some changes he's gradually come back to it. I happen to enjoy this interpretation of the character. (Especially when there's women in the mix and now that Dick and Tim have both become ado
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This is an impressive piece of work, but at times heavy going and a bit dense for me, which also kind of spoils some of the fun of the subject matter. Although its an academic book, and well researched, sometimes we need to remember the entertainment value of popular culture too ...!

The book is nonetheless a great example of just how under the skin you can go with cultural studies and that popular culture icons are as worthy of study as any other.

Only for the hardcore!
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is as split as Batman himself, parts are dreadful and parts are enlightening.
Ariel Cummins
Jun 17, 2012 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: nonfiction

Had to return this ILL book before I finished!
Cary O'Dell
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Stunning, insightful analysis of the pop culture touchstone.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good academic look at the pop culture history of Batman. Longer review here:
Chris Gould
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Brooker knows his stuff. Excellent deconstruction of the Mr Freeze episode.
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Dr. Will Brooker is a writer and academic, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies at Kingston University, England, and an author of several books of cultural studies dealing with elements of modern pop culture and fandom, specifically Batman, Star Wars and Alice in Wonderland
More about Will Brooker