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Batman : Knightfall (Batman)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  3,693 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
A savage fight with the supervillain Bane has left Batman virtually crippled and Gotham City defenseless. As Bruce Wayne begins the long process of recovery, he realizes he must choose a successor in his role as the Dark Knight. But is his apprentice ready? Is Gotham City ready? And what will happen when Wayne returns to reclaim Gotham City and his role as the true Batman?
Paperback, 351 pages
Published March 3rd 2004 by Barnes & Noble Books (first published 1994)
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Matt Peters More or less. Denny O'Neil adapted his comic story into this prose novel.
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Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy great prose novelization, Batman!


I was real lucky to get this book when it was getting out to the market (back then in 1994) and so, getting the hardcover edition that I totally love it.

When the storyline of Knightfall was in comics, I wasn't able to buy them but I was quite eager to read the story.

Even on TPBs would require to buy several volumes, so when I met this gorgeous hardcover edition where in just one book you get the full Knightfall story (of course in prose
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this and the "The Life & Death of Superman" novelisation around the same time. And I remember really enjoying both despite their original versions being graphic novels. This is a cheaper way to experience both storylines - despite the lack of art both were top-notch reads in my book.
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of pretty much all comic-book superheroes, but Batman has a trait that no other DC or Marvel hero (that I know of, anyway) has: he doesn't have any actual superpowers. Instead of being a member of a powerful otherworldly race like Superman, or becoming endowed with superhuman abilities by accident as Spider-Man did, Bruce Wayne relies on nothing more than technology, intelligence, natural strength, and friends such as Robin and Alfred to fight crime. Many people think of Batman sto ...more
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comic book fans, art fans, cartoon fans
do you remember the gorilla-like bane from the really really really really bad batman and robin movie (he was poison ivy's steroid pumped bodyguard) or the wrestler gone nuts character from the animated series? forget them.
this bane is cunning, strategic and utterly brilliant. quietly taking over gotham's underground he lures batman in and destroys him, in body, mind and reputation.
will there be a happy ending?
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is not a brilliant book. But it is entertaining--enough that I set aside the three other books I'm currently juggling to finish this one--and it's in line with my current Batman obsession (for which I blame Batman: Arkham Asylum). Compared to the other Batman novel I attempted to read (The Batman Murders), it's a downright masterpiece.

The action is good--but I have the same complaint I've noted in other reviews: it's very clear the author is accustomed to writing comib book scripts, and no
Jonathan Maas
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never thought any book could beat Greg Rucka's novelization of Batman: No Man's Land, and though this might not, they're tied for first.

While Batman: No Man's Land took on a great premise, and pushed plot, plot, plot - Batman: Knightfall is a bit more interested in introducing the new characters from this series. You think you know Bane? Well if you've just seen the Tom Hardy version, you don't know him until you've read the chapter of his life in this book.

Just a great book, and a great way t
Aly Gaafar
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate graphic novel. It is essentially the best graphic novel period. What I liked is that Batman is stripped of all his abilities. It is proven that there can only be one Batman. When Paul Valley takes over He start to develop his own updated more violent version of batman. He chases criminals using force and attempting to murder them. Which destroys what Batman stands for. On the other hand the Idea of bane breaking all the inmates at Gothom out is enough to lead Batman on a wild ride;d ...more
Avery (ThePagemaster)
My favorite superhero as a kid has always been Batman. The Dark Knight reawakened my child-like admiration for the character. How much of a fan am I? Enough to read a novelization of a well-known, iconic even, story line that I've only read some pages of.

From what I got from this adaptation is that there are three separate stories going on:
1.) What Knightfall is most known for is the established introduction of the Batman villain, Bane, the son of a mercenary who abandoned him and his mother at
Alexander Draganov
Knightfall is an adaptation of a series of comic books of the same name. As a novel, it is structured in three parts - Knightfall, Kinghtquest and Knightsend. The first part of the novel, Knightfall is one of the most epic pieces of literature I have ever read. It chronicles the first battle between Batman and Bane, which forces the Dark Knight into temporary retirement and elevates Bane as one of his greatest enemies. The story of Bane is extremely powerful and the way in which he manages to ou ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pues seguimos con toda la saga de Bane, que va para largo. En serio, no sé qué le ve la gente a este enemigo de Batman. De los supuestamente "grandes", este es el peor de todos, aunque sea el más fuerte y sea inteligente, pero es que tiene cero de carisma.
Además de eso, lo único que hace esta saga es ser un número tras otro de enemigo tras enemigo, sin más. Eso sí, da paso a otras cosas que tienen que llegar (que dicho sea de paso, tampoco me gustan nada, son unos giros de tuerca demasiado forza
Jan 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The narrative was just utterly lacking. It read like the novelization of a movie, when writers try to capture every action or scene rather than paying attention to characterization or the meat of the story. Everything was 2-D and not interesting at all.
Oct 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how this book started. About three quarters of the way through it seemed O'Neil ran out of steam...that is to say the writing is not as great. A moral imperative read for any Batman fan.
Sean Carlin
Note: I read this novelization in conjunction with the newly released Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 1, the review of which you can read here.

I hadn't revisited this novel -- or the comics storyline upon which it is based -- since they were first released in the mid-nineties, so as I was approaching the end of Batman: Knightfall Omnibus Vol. 1, rather than wait for the next two volumes to refresh myself on how the story developed (and ultimately resolved), I pulled Dennis O'Neil's novelization
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhero
Batman Knightfall is not a graphic novel. It is a novel (sans graphics) based on three story arcs which ran in monthly comic books from 1993-94. One shouldn’t make any assumptions based on the source material, however. Even though Dennis O’Neil wrote the book, The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, and many of the great comic arcs themselves (as well as putting in a great tenure as editor of the entire line), he notes in the afterword that comics and novels are two distinctly different (pardon t ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Batman is greatest superhero in my book (yes, even over Superman) because a) he wasn't endowed with some mystical superpowers by the cosmic Gods, his alien genetics or any magical means; he acquired his skills simply (if you can call it simple) through hard work and perseverance and b)he's not a perfect boy-scout with perfect values and morals. He has a light and a darkside. He's point of view maybe a little skewed by Supe's standard but that's okay since he too has personal demons he consistent ...more
The textual recounting of the comic arc where Bane breaks Batman's back and Jean Paul Valley has to take over for Bruce Wayne could have evinced better writing. I was at various points confused as to whether Bruce was riding in a wheelchair or walking with a cane because he seemed to be doing both simultaneously. This is obviously because O'Neil is used to writing Batman for comics and doesn't mean I think he's a bad writer. I really liked his Batman, crazy Jean Paul, and prodigy Tim Drake. Even ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Taken strictly as a novel, this book is nothing special. It suffers from the complaint that John Wheelwright has of his students in "A Prayer for Owen Meany," that they care only about the plot, and miss the nuances.

But then, this isn't a traditional novel. It's a novelization of a lengthy serialized comic book story. In my experience, comic books communicate plot and striking visual images well, but aren't well suited to communicating subtle literary nuances. As O'Neil says in the afterword '..
Scott Vout
This book was better then just ok but it is nothing great.
I am a big Batman fan, he is probably my only liked superhero from the DC world. I knew nothing of this book when i picked it up, justs that it was a Batman novel i had not read.

This book is broken into three parts, the first part being about Bane, and almost copies the Batman movie, Rise of the Dark Knight. It gives a bit more detail into how Bane came about then the movie did, so that was a good thing.

The second part is about what happ
Eric Zulueta
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This adaptation of the Batman Knightfall storyline that first came out in the Batman comic books is a shortened version of the whole story. I would have wanted to read more about Batman's herculean task of bringing in the Arkham villains - after their escape (again?!).. The drama that was in the comics was not present here.

What was present was the bigger picture! How Bane came to be.. why he desperately wanted to break the Bat Man.. Who Azrael was.. And for that matter, who St. Dumas was..

If I w
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really only rereading this now because I read it once when I was, like, 14. It shaped most of my understanding of Batman and his world and still forms the foundation for my perspective of the comic.

As a book, it's really not very deep. And you need to have an understanding of the characters before picking it up. It does very little to develop any of them because it is a direct novelization of a comic story arc and assumes you already know who they are. And the fact that it pulled some of th
Jeremy Preacher
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: superheroes
I read and loved this probably when it first came out, in the mid-90s, and with The Dark Knight Rises coming out this summer (looking suspiciously similar in theme and plot) I decided to snag it when I saw a copy for cheap.

To be clear, I have never read a superhero comic that I recall - what I know about Batman, I know from the movies and the old 60s TV show. And, I guess, from this book. It's grim, rather than campy, and focuses on the dangers of going too far and believing your own marketing
Seth Jacquay
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Canonical Batman, but lacks any emotional gravitas. Jean Paul isn't explained very well and neither is Bane, so you are left wondering what really motivates these characters. Robin stands around questioning all of his actions so much that he becomes useless filler. Nightwing, Robin, and Bruce doubt themselves continuously, yet don't show any learned wisdom and end up sounding like boneheads most of the time. Which I guess I should expect because this is a comic written for 14 year-old boys.

The c
I borrowed this from the local public library. It was one of those I picked up on a whim while looking for something else. The book is a quick read; it was ok. While interesting to read Batman in prose, the story is pretty much what happens when a hero becomes overconfident and obsessed to the point he starts making mistakes. Once he does that, he is broken. Having said that, it is what the hero does after he is broken that defines him. And Batman perseveres to overcome his grave injuries and de ...more
Paul Wetzig
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the book to be very well written. The original Batman:knightfall comic had some major plot holes, this book covered those and then some. I find O'Neil's writing style to be clear, easy to follow, and imagination provoking. Though I am an avid batman reader, I have always felt that he(batman that is) was really portrayed as "human," this was the first time that I have really gotten a feel for batman's "humanity" and that made this a very touching story. Also the humanity in this story was ...more
Ben Flay
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for: comic book fans, art fans, cartoon fans but as a Novel it doesn't work Oneal one of the better writers is a comic writer not a author and it leaves to much out personally loved Dick Grayson as Batman it worked so well , where is it in the book ? the pacing the settings the image left in the mind is not there
BUT it does set one record strait BANE the big gorilla south American wrestler dude that is a intellectual powerhouse as much as a muscled one and also scheming to bring dow
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed a number of Batman novels and generally enjoy the various Batman comics. This novelization of a comic story arc did not really do anything for me. Though I have not read the related comics, I was familiar with the story and think it may simply have worked better in the visual medium of comics. It seemed to jump around a lot with little rhyme or reason for when the story jumps took place. I understand that things were happening at concurrent times in different places, but didn't fe ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this as a younger person and thinking it was the cat's meow.
With age it doesn't go as far.
The author does a pretty good job with the source material, three different volumes of the Batman Comic series. The problem is no matter how cool something looks on screen or on a comic page when it is written down, Batman just doesn't seem to carry over.

Short Synopsis. Batman fights a steroid enhanced villian named Bane, yes the guy in the latest movie. He loses and must decide on whet
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, pdf
I remember reading this as a younger person and thinking it was the cat's meow.
With age it doesn't go as far.
The author does a pretty good job with the source material, three different volumes of the Batman Comic series. The problem is no matter how cool something looks on screen or on a comic page when it is written down, Batman just doesn't seem to carry over.

Short Synopsis. Batman fights a steroid enhanced villian named Bane, yes the guy in the latest movie. He loses and must decide on whethe
May 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tiara by: Wendy B.
Thanks for the rec, Wendy B. You can tell that O'Neil is more of a comics writer than a novelist. Interesting story that seemed to read in the more straightforward manner of a comic than a novel. There was too much telling and not enough showing. Batman came off way more condescending than I typically think of him as, and I don't know how everyone in Gotham didn't know his identity. He should've just been handing out cards and introducin himself as Bruce Wayne. Early tensing problems made it a l ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think you have to be a long time Batman fan to truly get through this book in its entirety. The story is better in its comic form because the novel's writing style is pretty cut dry - the descriptions almost seem to be in point-by-point format. You can certainly get into it, but it's difficult to be drawn into the settings seamlessly, which is what books should aim to do.

Overall, it's still a likable plot, especially to fans that are entering the Batman fandom from Nolan's movies. To better un
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Goodreads Librari...: Better picture of cover 2 15 May 04, 2017 05:21PM  
  • Batman: No Man's Land
  • Batman: The Stone King
  • The Death and Life of Superman
  • The Further Adventures of Batman
  • Batman: Fear Itself
  • Batman: Inferno
  • Batman: The Ultimate Evil
  • Batman: Knightfall, Part Three: Knightsend
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  • Batman Animated
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  • The Batman Murders
  • BATMAN: Gotham Knight
  • Batman: Knightfall, Vol. 2: Knightquest
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Dennis O'Neil is a comic book writer and editor best known for his work on Batman, Green Arrow/Green Lantern, and The Question.

He also wrote a novel with Jim Berry under the pen name "Jim Dennis".
More about Dennis O'Neil...

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