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Batman: V. 1: Chronicles

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In May 1939, Detective Comics #27 introduced a new kind of hero to the world - not a brightly costumed Superman or even a trenchcoated investigator like the Spirit; this hero stalked the night, using his frightening appearance, supreme physical training and incomparable detective skills to bring criminals to justice - and he called himself the Bat-Man! This handsome new tr In May 1939, Detective Comics #27 introduced a new kind of hero to the world - not a brightly costumed Superman or even a trenchcoated investigator like the Spirit; this hero stalked the night, using his frightening appearance, supreme physical training and incomparable detective skills to bring criminals to justice - and he called himself the Bat-Man! This handsome new trade paperback collects the very first adventures of one of the world's greatest superheroes, reprinting his stories sequentially beginning with Detective Comics #27. Incredibly rare and near-impossible to find in their original format, these stories are sure to thrill a whole new generation of readers, much as they caused a sensation originally. Get ready to see Batman begin!


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In May 1939, Detective Comics #27 introduced a new kind of hero to the world - not a brightly costumed Superman or even a trenchcoated investigator like the Spirit; this hero stalked the night, using his frightening appearance, supreme physical training and incomparable detective skills to bring criminals to justice - and he called himself the Bat-Man! This handsome new tr In May 1939, Detective Comics #27 introduced a new kind of hero to the world - not a brightly costumed Superman or even a trenchcoated investigator like the Spirit; this hero stalked the night, using his frightening appearance, supreme physical training and incomparable detective skills to bring criminals to justice - and he called himself the Bat-Man! This handsome new trade paperback collects the very first adventures of one of the world's greatest superheroes, reprinting his stories sequentially beginning with Detective Comics #27. Incredibly rare and near-impossible to find in their original format, these stories are sure to thrill a whole new generation of readers, much as they caused a sensation originally. Get ready to see Batman begin!

30 review for Batman: V. 1: Chronicles

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    These early Batman stories (most of which were originally published in Detective Comics in 1939 and 1940) are cloddishly written and primitively illustrated, but nearly everything that makes Batman a powerful and intriguing character is present. There is no Alfred the butler, and we don't see a lot of Bruce Wayne's life as a feckless playboy, but we see enough. The villains and situations are pure pulp, and the dark, sinister atmosphere is thick. Each issue of Detective Comics in which Batman or These early Batman stories (most of which were originally published in Detective Comics in 1939 and 1940) are cloddishly written and primitively illustrated, but nearly everything that makes Batman a powerful and intriguing character is present. There is no Alfred the butler, and we don't see a lot of Bruce Wayne's life as a feckless playboy, but we see enough. The villains and situations are pure pulp, and the dark, sinister atmosphere is thick. Each issue of Detective Comics in which Batman originally appeared was 64 pages long, but the Batman stories themselves usually are shorter than 20 pages. (Detective Comics also featured the adventures of Slam Bradley and other mostly forgotten characters, but they're not reprinted here.) The final reprint in this volume is the first issue of Batman (which, like Detective Comics, is still churning out approximately 12 issues a year). It's a fat, 64-page comic, and introduced the Joker and Catwoman (then simply known as "the Cat"). A lot of people complain about Robin's presence in Batman's world, but he's been a part of it from the very beginning, and is the throughline for a lot of young readers. I enjoyed every story in this volume. Like the best pulp, they're ridiculous but fast-moving and shot through with a sense of impending doom. Yes ... even the ones featuring Robin.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Number of murders committed by Batman in this book: At least eight (not including two mutants.) It was always my belief that the Comics Code was beneficial to the Batman mythos. As annoying of a cop-out as the Comics Code was to creativity in general, it shaped the Dark Knight into a more well-rounded character, specifically when it came to his Golden Rule that the Bat does not kill. This one principle keeps Bruce Wayne from sinking to the level of his enemies while giving his associate crimefigh Number of murders committed by Batman in this book: At least eight (not including two mutants.) It was always my belief that the Comics Code was beneficial to the Batman mythos. As annoying of a cop-out as the Comics Code was to creativity in general, it shaped the Dark Knight into a more well-rounded character, specifically when it came to his Golden Rule that the Bat does not kill. This one principle keeps Bruce Wayne from sinking to the level of his enemies while giving his associate crimefighters a greater purpose of helping Batman stay sane, thus keeping blood off his hands. In these early 1940s Batman stories, the Bat does kill. “A fitting end for his kind,” Batman utters after knocking a goon into an acid vat. Necks are snapped and lynched. Bad guys are thrown off rooftops to their deaths. Others are impaled on their own blades. Commissioner Gordon, nursing a pipe while evoking the speech pattern and appearance of a 19th century British inspector, wants Batman stopped—not because of the constant murders, but because Batman's one-man war on crime “makes the police look bad.” This is what gives The Batman Chronicles: Volume One its strange appeal. The vigilante killing spree, played out alongside elfin-eared villains, vampires, werewolves, ethnic stereotypes, endless one-liners and a giant gorilla, makes these reprintings stand out as the most balls-out crazy and fun stories ever written this side of anything under the Vertigo label, recalling a time when creativity had no leash or boundaries. I can just picture Bob Kane and Bill Finger running circles and flailing their arms around the writing room, perhaps under the influence of some foreign substance or otherwise being driven mad by their imaginations. If one finds the silliness, stupidity and death starting to wear thin, then they might be intrigued by the The Dark Knight's steady evolution over the ensuing months and issues. By the time the initial Detective Comics run transitions into Batman #1 (Spring 1940) there have been noticeable changes in many aspects, from Batman's costume design (watch for the lengthening cowl ears) to the storytelling framework. Much of the latter can be credited to the introduction of the Joker, the first villain within the chronology with any real impact. Up to this point, Batman has fought (and killed) the likes of mobsters, jewel thieves, and psychopaths with names like Doctor Death. The Joker is exactly what the series needs to establish itself and stay afloat: a true son of a bitch with wit and a creepy modus operandi to match. His appearance on the scene has no subtlety. His demeanor and crimes are chilling and uncomfortable. Joker is the Satan to Batman’s Michael, an embodiment of chaos that gives Bill Finger a need to establish Batman as the polar opposite. Thus we get a climactic scene where Batman has a chance to allow Joker, another would-be notch in the blood-soaked utility belt, to fall to his death; except this time, Batman does not. It marks the genesis of the Bat’s golden rule and sets the foundation for what will only get better. Also included in this volume is Robin (“The Boy Wonder, that young Robin Hood of today, the sensational character find of 1940!”) whom Bruce Wayne adopts and trains in the span of two pages, as well as a brief run-in with Catwoman, simply known as “The Cat.” Overall, Batman’s origins are not humble in the least. Silly and poignant, The Batman Chronicles: Volume One is essential for any Batman graphic novel collector.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    The very first issue was called “The Batman The Case of The Chemical Syndicate” with this beneath it: “The ‘BAT-MAN,’ a mysterious and adventurous figure fighting for righteousness and apprehending the wrong doer, in his lone battle against the evil forces of society...his identity remains unknown.’” I really enjoyed these very first issues of The Batman written in 1939. I didn’t know how strange Batman looked at first before the creators polished up his appearance a bit. His body outfit didn’t The very first issue was called “The Batman The Case of The Chemical Syndicate” with this beneath it: “The ‘BAT-MAN,’ a mysterious and adventurous figure fighting for righteousness and apprehending the wrong doer, in his lone battle against the evil forces of society...his identity remains unknown.’” I really enjoyed these very first issues of The Batman written in 1939. I didn’t know how strange Batman looked at first before the creators polished up his appearance a bit. His body outfit didn’t really change but his mask was very funny looking with huge bat ears instead of the thin ears we’re used to seeing. These issues were different from Superman because these issues of Batman usually had a murder and Batman had to find the bad guy who did it. It was also fun to read the first issue that had Robin the Boy Wonder and how he becomes Batman’s sidekick. I also got to see the first issue with the Joker. This volume was very fun to read in the morning while eating a bowel of cereal.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anzu The Great Destroyer

    I started watching the Batman animated series and I’m in love with it! That made me want to know more about our dark avenger, so it made sense that I get the original comics and give them a try. This did not turn out as I have planned. First of all the illustrations suck. Bigtime. But keep in mind that this is vintage stuff, so you have to respect it. I respect it. But fun-wise? Nah. No. Just no. Calling the story cheesy is an understatement. I will give the next books a try since I want to read t I started watching the Batman animated series and I’m in love with it! That made me want to know more about our dark avenger, so it made sense that I get the original comics and give them a try. This did not turn out as I have planned. First of all the illustrations suck. Bigtime. But keep in mind that this is vintage stuff, so you have to respect it. I respect it. But fun-wise? Nah. No. Just no. Calling the story cheesy is an understatement. I will give the next books a try since I want to read the Batman comics from the beginning till the end. It will take a shitload of time but I’m cool with it. Review also posted on

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brent

    Lots to enjoy here: early Batman uses a gun! Earliest Batman stories are sort of magical. Gardner Fox writes a surprising amount of the first year's stories in Detective Comics. Bob Kane very early gives way to the embellishing inks of Sheldon Moldoff and the young Jerry Robinson. And Bill Finger keeps adding new twists and new characters, including, here, Robin the Boy Wonder, Hugo Strange, the Joker, the Catwoman. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    These old stories just go to prove that Batman will always be Batman. You can do just about anything to him and, so long as it's Bruce Wayne beneath the mask, he's still Batman. Basically, in my opinion, the character has aged well. I am always surprised by the dark, grittiness of this era. I originally encountered it in the first volume of stories featuring Superman, which were quite jarring because of it. The writing fits Batman much better. There were still a few things that felt off, like ha These old stories just go to prove that Batman will always be Batman. You can do just about anything to him and, so long as it's Bruce Wayne beneath the mask, he's still Batman. Basically, in my opinion, the character has aged well. I am always surprised by the dark, grittiness of this era. I originally encountered it in the first volume of stories featuring Superman, which were quite jarring because of it. The writing fits Batman much better. There were still a few things that felt off, like half the stories being sci-fi or horror. The well written crime stories more then made up them. Beyond Batman, these stories feature quite a number of familiar characters. Commissioner Gordon, Hugo Strange, Robin, Catwoman and Joker. Each of these characters, with the exception of Catwoman is immediately recognizable, and the sexual tension in the Catwoman stories is foreshadowed here. Joker is amazing. Although he is sticking to the same crime scheme and murder MO in both of the stories he is featured in there is definitely some unpredictable crazy there. By the end of the book I was drawing parallels between his portrayal here and Jack Nicholson' s performance. I am now officially a Bob Kane and Bill Finger fan.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Richard Pearson

    'The Batman Chronicles' serves to provide fans of the Dark Knight, and of popular culture in general, with a cost-friendly alternative to its counterpart 'Archives' series (which utilises more shiny and colourful print with hard-cover binding) by attempting to distribute every Batman story in chronological order from the character's debut appearance in Detective Comics #27 onwards, using more inexpensive newsprint-style paper withinin soft-cover binding for the trade paperback market. Volume One 'The Batman Chronicles' serves to provide fans of the Dark Knight, and of popular culture in general, with a cost-friendly alternative to its counterpart 'Archives' series (which utilises more shiny and colourful print with hard-cover binding) by attempting to distribute every Batman story in chronological order from the character's debut appearance in Detective Comics #27 onwards, using more inexpensive newsprint-style paper withinin soft-cover binding for the trade paperback market. Volume One was published on 30th March 2005, and collects previously released golden-age Batman stories from Detective Comics #27-38 (May 1939 - April 1940) and the entirety of Batman #1, published in the Spring of 1940. What is presented within this volume is a Batman that was conceived as a gun-toting vigilante out to punish the scum of the criminal underworld. Gotham City was yet to be used as the strip's main setting, in stead having the Dark knight travel to Paris, Hungary and New York City in order to embark upon his superheroic missions. The introduction of Robin, the Boy Wonder, in Detective Comics #38 gave the young readership a character to relate to, and the 'Sensational Character Find of 1940' has endured throughout to the modern age, in many changing guises, costumes, and identities. However, regarding Batman himself, the man behind the mantle has always been the suave, millionaire playboy Master Bruce Wayne; and in this 1940's incarnation, he is rarely seen without his pipe and tweed jacket. The famous origin story remaining pretty much the same (or thereabouts) over the years is shown in simple fashion, recalling how an un-named gunman (in later issues revealed as Joe Chill) murdered his businessman father and loving mother in cold blood, whilst attempting a routine mugging. The constant supporting character throughout seems to be Police Commissioner James Gordon, a personal friend of Bruce's and a suspicious observer of the Batman and how he is attempting to take the law into his own hands, thereby making the police look redundant at times. Regarding villains however, the Dark Knight seems to have gained quite a few note-worthy nemeses during his first initial outings. These include his first ever arch-nemesis Doctor Death, who uses deathly chemicals as his main arsenal advantage over others, and the enigmatic Mad Monk, who has the power to hypnotise his victims (including Bruce Wayne's then-fiancé Julie Madison) with supernatural abilities, belonging to a family race of vampires and werewolves. It is noteworthy to mention here that these first initial adventures for Batman were later re-worked for the modern audience, following DC Comic's re-vamp of the mid-1980's, which garnered quite positive reviews by its readership at the time. Additional villainous first appearances include that of Hugo Strange, the intellectual mad genius who attempts to turn mental asylum patients into huge 'monsters' in order to rob major city banks, and also the Cat (later known as Catwoman), who uses her feminine wiles and mastery of disguise in an attempt to steal a precious gem from a wealthy old woman. The joker also makes his debut in Batman #1 in two adventures as a delirious mad-man covered head-to-toe in clown attire, attempting to steal precious gems by killing certain wealthy socialites via his famous joker-gas and toxin; thereby setting the stage to become the Batman's most ruthless opponent in almost all of his incarnations throughout history across the DC Multiverse. Later revisions in DC Comics lore would place this golden-age version of the Batman within the setting of Earth-Two, a parallel world where all (or most) of DC's golden age characters reside, later forming the Justice Society of America and going on to fight in World War Two against Hitler and his Nazi henchmen. This version, who initially wore home-made costumes and blue gloves whilst carrying a gun during the late 30s and early 40s, would continue to fight crime as the Batman in his red-sedan car until his retirement and subsequent wedding to the original Catwoman, bearing a daughter named Helena who would later take on the mantle of the Huntress after her mother's death. This golden age Batman, resident of Earth-Two, eventually died following one last battle after coming out of retirement, with the world believing he had contracted lung cancer from his many years of pipe-smoking. Fortunately, his earliest adventures and experimental bat-suits, along with the first bat-gyro, bat-plane and first appearances of the famous batarang and gas-pellet filled utility belt with silken cord, can be seen via this first volume of 'The Batman Chronicles'; charting the mythology of the Batman from the very beginning. With eleven volumes currently in circulation as of November 2013, 'The Batman Chronicles: Volume One' promises to herald an important and vital exploration of the Batman mythos.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    No reason to really go in-depth with something like this--you either like this kind of stuff or you don't. This is a trade paperback of the first 13 Batman comics, running from 1939 to 1940. It's part of DC Comics' "Batman Chronicles" series, a paperback and relatively inexpensive alternative to the hardcover "Batman Archives" and "Dark Knight" archives, which sometimes cost $40 or more. I read these because I like to get a sense of how the early comics looked and sounded, plus I like to occasion No reason to really go in-depth with something like this--you either like this kind of stuff or you don't. This is a trade paperback of the first 13 Batman comics, running from 1939 to 1940. It's part of DC Comics' "Batman Chronicles" series, a paperback and relatively inexpensive alternative to the hardcover "Batman Archives" and "Dark Knight" archives, which sometimes cost $40 or more. I read these because I like to get a sense of how the early comics looked and sounded, plus I like to occasionally post the goofy Batman panel on Facebook and Twitter. If you're a casual superhero fan, it's probably not worth it. But if you're a serious Batfan, you should probably get this at some point--there's some good stuff here. This is back when the comics was aimed towards children, (not 30-year-olds like me, as they are today), and were filled with hoodlums, giants, vampires, and crime bosses who chew cigars and say "See!" as an exclamation point. The art is colorful and vivid--I've been told the colors are actually better and clearer than what a 30's comic book reader would have seen. It's also got some big Caped Crusader landmarks. Not only the introduction of Batman in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," in "Detective Comics #27" -- (you can fund your kids' and grandkids' college educations if you can find yourself an original copy of that!)--but also the sidekick Robin and his backstory in "Introducing Robin, the Boy Wonder," in "Detective Comics #38." It also introduces some of the great Batman Rogue's Gallery villains, including Prof. Hugo Strange, Dr. Death, the Monk, and (drumroll).... the Joker and Catwoman. Catwoman's a little different than we remember her...she doesn't have her famous catsuit or whip, and in fact is called "The Cat." ("The Dark Knight Rises" resurrected that name when Anne Hathaway played the character.) The character was supposedly based on the glamorous, seductive beauty of Hedy Lamarr, and here her shtick is disguises, not costumes. The comic where she appears, "The Cat" in Batman #1, has a neat surprise ending which foreshadows the 50 years of playful back-and-forth between Batman and Catwoman that was to come -- surely one of the best flirtations in pop fiction. On the other hand, the Joker that also appears in Batman #1 is surprisingly close to the character we all know and love. And the comic itself is surprisingly captivating, even today. In two Joker stories which appear in that comic, the purple-clad, clown-faced master of anarchy boldly announces his heists and targeted murders in advance -- but his plans are so well-crafted, the police are powerless to stop them. It's more tense than you'd expect. One panel also gives a hint of the Joker's suicidal side, something that Chris Nolan also used for "The Dark Knight." There's also casual racism and sexism, of course, something I'm so used to in old pop culture I tend to tune it out without realizing it. "Quiet or papa spank!" is, believe it or not, a line of dialogue between Batman and Catwoman. Basically, if you haven't figured out by now whether you'd like this or not, I'm really not sure what else I can say.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Arvidson

    Behold—a true piece of history! The earliest adventures of the Dark Knight are glimpsed in the pages of this collection, The Batman Chronicles, Volume One. Presented in chronological order, in vibrant color, and featuring original covers, these these classic Golden Age reprints give readers a look back at what is now a household name. While Alfred Pennyworth had yet to make an appearance in these original adventures, readers are first introduced to such supporting characters as Robin and Commissi Behold—a true piece of history! The earliest adventures of the Dark Knight are glimpsed in the pages of this collection, The Batman Chronicles, Volume One. Presented in chronological order, in vibrant color, and featuring original covers, these these classic Golden Age reprints give readers a look back at what is now a household name. While Alfred Pennyworth had yet to make an appearance in these original adventures, readers are first introduced to such supporting characters as Robin and Commissioner Gordon, the latter being a personal friend of Bruce Wayne’s and a wary observer of the Batman and his efforts to take the law into his own hands, thus making local law enforcement look redundant. Moreover, it didn’t take long for Batman to garner a rogue’s gallery of notable arch-nemeses in his initial outings—Doctor Death, the enigmatic Monk, and Professor Hugo Strange. Batman #1 features Batman’s first run-ins with the delirious Clown Prince of Crime and the Catwoman (though at the time she was simply the Cat), who uses her feminine wiles and mastery of disguise to steal a priceless necklace from a wealthy woman while aboard a luxury yacht. Even more fascinating was witnessing the development of Batman’s arsenal from the very beginning: his experimental bat-suits, along with first appearances of the Batgyro, the Batplane, the Batarang, and his all-important utility belt packed with gas pellets and silken cord. While varied, the stories themselves were simplistic and clearly a product of their time. Realism takes a backseat when the Caped Crusader goes toe-to-toe with giant gorillas, vampires, and death-ray-toting dirigibles. On the other hand, the Batman of this Golden Age is quite different from the character we lovingly know today; for instance, the Batman of this era kills the bad guys with little sense of remorse, unlike the contemporary Batman whose moral code prohibits him from crossing that line in his heroic vigilantism. The Batman Chronicles, Volume 1 is a must-read for true Batman fans—cheesy narration, brimming sexism, and mild racism notwithstanding.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mladen

    I know this is the begining of a legend, but boy is it stupid this early on. I full on laughed my ass off at some parts. It was quite fun to see some meme worthy panels, like Batman doing drugs, Robin picking his nose, ... But wow does he kill a lot of people. I mean really kill, he shoots them, or hangs them, ... or whatever. DEAD! permanently. A LOT of people die. Did not know he was this brutal in his early years. I also notice the overuse of the word sudden(ly). All in all it was fun, and I sti I know this is the begining of a legend, but boy is it stupid this early on. I full on laughed my ass off at some parts. It was quite fun to see some meme worthy panels, like Batman doing drugs, Robin picking his nose, ... But wow does he kill a lot of people. I mean really kill, he shoots them, or hangs them, ... or whatever. DEAD! permanently. A LOT of people die. Did not know he was this brutal in his early years. I also notice the overuse of the word sudden(ly). All in all it was fun, and I still liked it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    For any fan of Batman, this volume is a real treat. From the origins of the Caped Crusader & the Boy Wonder to the plots of the villians such as the Joker and Professor Strange, these stories have a delightful vintage tone and mood. Definitely recommended - if only to see Bruce's fiancée and the red "Batmobile!"

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    I had a 3rd grader recommend this book to me. It is a graphic novel and is a collection of some of the first Batman comics.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Adam Graham

    The Batman Chronicles Volume 1 marks the Batman's first appearances in Detective Comics in Issues 27-38 and the first big 64-page Batman Issue 1. The character in the first eleven stories is barely recognizable as Batman with those huge ears on the costume. The original Batman is a character right out of the same pulp fiction tradition as characters like The Shadow and Doc Savage. He's a vigilante who often carries a gun. In these early issues, Bruce Wayne lives in Manhattan and has a fiancée. T The Batman Chronicles Volume 1 marks the Batman's first appearances in Detective Comics in Issues 27-38 and the first big 64-page Batman Issue 1. The character in the first eleven stories is barely recognizable as Batman with those huge ears on the costume. The original Batman is a character right out of the same pulp fiction tradition as characters like The Shadow and Doc Savage. He's a vigilante who often carries a gun. In these early issues, Bruce Wayne lives in Manhattan and has a fiancée. The first two stories have very little of that Superhero feel to them However when Gardener Fox takes over in Detective Comics #29, the villains get more interesting. Batman battles Dr. Hugo Strange, Dr. Death, saboteurs, and even vampires. On the vampire plot, they got a little confused as Batman killed the vampires by shooting them with a silver bullet. The amount of killings and the darkness of the early stories has been exaggerated somewhat by people who defend the dark turn of later issues of the comic book. The killings that happened were all in self-defense and bloodless portrayals. Anyone claiming they're taking Batman back to his root s by including a lot of bloody violence is full of it. Of course, this comic also marks the first appearance of the Joker as Batman's prime villain in Batman #1. This Joke is pretty much the homicidal maniac we've all come to know. The Joker dies at the end of the issue, but of course there was no way he was going to stay dead. The biggest change in this book as far as I'm concerned was the appearance of Robin in Detective Comics #38. Really, this changed the tone of the comic book and maybe . The original Robin, Dick Grayson, was trained by Batman after his parents were murdered at the order of a local mob boss named Boss Zucco. Robin was a real swashbuckling, wise-cracking hero that really brought fun to the comics and it did seem to make a positive change for Batman. Robin was intended as a bit of model for youth living in tenements were crime dominated. In Batman #1, In one scene, Batman takes the guns from four criminals and Batman allows the four of them to take Robin on. Once Robin cleans the four with them, Batman speaks directly to readers, and delivers a special message. Kids were encouraged to be one of Robin's regulars by practicing Readiness, Obedience, Brotherhood, Industriousness, and Nationalism. It may have sounded cheesy today, but modern kids could do worse. It's really hard to imagine that Batman would have endured as long as he had if Robin hadn't come along. While some of the stories are problematic and too short. The introduction of Robin, the Joker, and Catwoman make this a great read for Batfans everywhere.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I resisted reading classic comics for many, many years. My sole reason is my absolute need to start things from the very beginning. This gave me that exact opportunity, while also giving me a glimpse into the roots of comics as a whole. As far as Batman’s history, there was a lot of good stuff in here. Readers see the death of Batman’s parents, Professor Hugo Strange, Robin’s origins, the Joker, and even a certain Cat. The only character I wanted to see more of was Bruce Wayne’s fiancé. I can’t e I resisted reading classic comics for many, many years. My sole reason is my absolute need to start things from the very beginning. This gave me that exact opportunity, while also giving me a glimpse into the roots of comics as a whole. As far as Batman’s history, there was a lot of good stuff in here. Readers see the death of Batman’s parents, Professor Hugo Strange, Robin’s origins, the Joker, and even a certain Cat. The only character I wanted to see more of was Bruce Wayne’s fiancé. I can’t even remember her name, because she literally appeared in one issue. However, much of Wayne’s personal life remained in the dark. The focus of these comics is clearly Batman and his fight against crime. The best part of reading this was comparing it to current comics. Absolutely everything has evolved, from the artwork to the way writers and illustrators convey info. One thing that drove me mad was how they did not properly mesh text with images. The narrator often told me exactly what was happening, which I could clearly see in the picture. If not, then one of the characters said it. Other than that, I found the backgrounds to be very simplistic. While I understand this was the style of the time, I felt it took away from my immersion in the story. I think comic fans will appreciate seeing the changes I saw. However, I think newcomers might find this very boring. Of course, Batman fans will enjoy seeing his beginnings.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrewc Ehs

    Detective Comics #27 brought Batman to the world for the first time. He's been around ever since, Batman is one of the greatest comic icons known to humanity. He has appeared in comics, movies, video games & many more popular forms of media. This collection brings together his first appearance (Which is RIDICULOUSLY expensive on its own). The Dark Knight is introduced to us as a young boy whose parents were murdered right in front of him. As if this wasn't tragic enough, we learn that he cho Detective Comics #27 brought Batman to the world for the first time. He's been around ever since, Batman is one of the greatest comic icons known to humanity. He has appeared in comics, movies, video games & many more popular forms of media. This collection brings together his first appearance (Which is RIDICULOUSLY expensive on its own). The Dark Knight is introduced to us as a young boy whose parents were murdered right in front of him. As if this wasn't tragic enough, we learn that he chooses to spend his nights defending the defenseless. In Batman #1, we see Dick Grayson's Robin for the first time. The Boy Wonder & The Caped Crusader battle the Joker & Catwoman for the first time, also. Speaking of those two, no one has really written Joker's character like Kane & Finger. It's hard!! He's introduced as insane, homicidal & dangeroulsly intelligent. When he tries to stab Batman, only to have him avoid the clumsy swipe, he stabs himself. He laughs & screams "The Joker's going to die!!!" over & over again. He falls down a Subway stairway. Batman notifies the police & when he gets back to retrieve the body...Joker's gone, the knife remaining.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Demi

    Batman na na na na na na na na batman

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mark Short

    A very entertaining piece of nostalgia

  18. 5 out of 5

    Inanna

    Awesome. The earliest ones rock. Loves the '30s.

  19. 4 out of 5

    April A. Taylor

    Modern Batman comics are a favorite of mine, so I finally took the opportunity to read several from the very beginning. These comics are good as a time capsule, and the first appearance of the Joker showed the true promise of both characters. However, many other aspects were almost laughably bad. For example, during Batman's first meeting with Catwoman, he actually says, "quiet or papa spank," to her. There's also the super cheesy "inspirational" public service announcement: "well kids, there's Modern Batman comics are a favorite of mine, so I finally took the opportunity to read several from the very beginning. These comics are good as a time capsule, and the first appearance of the Joker showed the true promise of both characters. However, many other aspects were almost laughably bad. For example, during Batman's first meeting with Catwoman, he actually says, "quiet or papa spank," to her. There's also the super cheesy "inspirational" public service announcement: "well kids, there's your proof! Crooks are yellow without their guns! Don't go around admiring them." My favorite was Batman saying, "much as I hate to take a human life, I'm afraid this time it's necessary," after he had killed people mercilessly in almost every preceding issue. These are worth reading for big Batman fans because they show the character's roots. If you're a casual fan, though, you might want to skip ahead a few years.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Realini

    Batman The Movie, based on the comics books 7.7 out of 10 It could be more fun to watch this adventure comedy from 1966, than the more recent super productions. Granted, this cinephile is not keen on any of the comics based productions, old or new. But there is a charm, a naïveté to this old crime story. When Batman and Robin run on the streets of the city, you can exult - or just find it ridiculous- at the special effects of the age. There was a time when they could not film protagonists in their car Batman The Movie, based on the comics books 7.7 out of 10 It could be more fun to watch this adventure comedy from 1966, than the more recent super productions. Granted, this cinephile is not keen on any of the comics based productions, old or new. But there is a charm, a naïveté to this old crime story. When Batman and Robin run on the streets of the city, you can exult - or just find it ridiculous- at the special effects of the age. There was a time when they could not film protagonists in their cars, as they drove. Orson Welles was one of the best directors ever and the one who introduced some new techniques, from his Magnus opus, Citizen Kane, to A Touch of Evil. Batman The Movie does not bring much though, apart from the sense that this was The Age of Innocence... In terms of special effects anyway.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Thompson

    I've read the Superman Chronicles and found both early Superman, and in this book, early Batman, to be very different characters than the modern versions. However, I was stunned to read the first joker appearance and see and hear how he was the same character as always. Very powerful to see that clarity over decades of time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I have been a fan of Batman all my life but until now I haven't had a chance to read the ear!y writings of Bob Kane. These are great stories. Bob' s art progressively gets better throughout the series. I am surprised that Hugo Strange was his first major villain and Robin is introduced without an origin story. Also no Alfred makes me wonder about Batman's story too.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John Dalton

    Clunky as it may be at times, this text collects together the origins of Batman, Robin, The Joker and others. That he has survived and thrived eight decades later is a testament to the strength of the ideas behind it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Lloyd

    I sometimes think that I am more interested in the history surrounding comic books and the influence that history has on their content and reception than I am in the actual stories that they tell. When The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1 were published back in the '00s I was really excited to read them, but of course I found the actual content to be fairly rubbish, the kind of cheap, improbable storytelling which gives science fiction a bad reputation. I found it much more interesting to read Men I sometimes think that I am more interested in the history surrounding comic books and the influence that history has on their content and reception than I am in the actual stories that they tell. When The Superman Chronicles, Vol. 1 were published back in the '00s I was really excited to read them, but of course I found the actual content to be fairly rubbish, the kind of cheap, improbable storytelling which gives science fiction a bad reputation. I found it much more interesting to read Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book a few years later, and I'm currently reading The Secret History of Wonder Woman with the same intent. So when I picked up The Batman Chronicles from the library, I wasn't expecting much. For the most part, my expectations were met. The first handful of stories are fairly terrible pulpy stories in which Bruce Wayne watches some crimes happen, then punches the criminals until they stop committing crimes - usually because they're dead. Even the introduction of the Joker is a pretty rubbish story, although the Cat's first appearance is quite good, comparatively. Throughout many of these stories I found myself enjoying their terrible dialogue, replete with tautologies, the ridiculous plot twists - Bruce Wayne discovers an attempt to bring the US into the second World War because he got lost while driving around in his Batman outfit; Robin uncovers a crime because a gust of wind blows a note back onto the boat on which he's travelling. It's quite fun, but not really worth reading. But then... in September 1939, the first part of the fifth Batman story, titled "Batman versus the Vampire", was published. It is a work of undisputable genius. We begin with the Batman chasing down a villain "with the powers of a Satan" known as The Monk, then stumbling across a woman attempting to murder a random man (his identity is never revealed; he may well still be on the telegraph pole on which Batman leaves him). The woman turns out to be Bruce Wayne's fiancée, Julie Madison (who has not been mentioned in any of the previous four stories), hypnotised by the Monk. When he takes her to the doctor, the doctor recommends that they take a boat to Paris (in September 1939) and then perhaps on to Hungary - "The land of history and werewolves." (emphasis original). Despite his misgivings Bruce sends Julie on her way, following her in his Batplane. At one point during the cruise, he disembarks onto the boat, encounters Julie, throws a baterang at the Monk, then flees the boat and continues to follow it despite the fact that he knows exactly where the Monk is and has left Julie there with him. When they arrive in Paris, Batman spends several nights searching for Julie; when he finds her he is attacked by a giant ape working with the Monk. He is captured, then lowered slowly into a pit of snakes, from which he escapes using a baterang. The Monk captures him in a different cage and leaves him to fight the ape, but reveals his plan: "Die here, you fool, while I send the girl, Julie, on to my castle in Hungary, to feed my werewolves!" Apparently, there's no-one in Hungary - or even Europe - worth eating? Or perhaps Julie Madison is just what the werewolves requested as a special treat? Alas, we never find out. The Monk sends Julie off in a separate car to himself so that when Batman escapes and chases it down he can rescue her (after making the car crash into a tree), but then he brings her with him to Hungary anyway as he goes to chase down the Monk and his werewolves. And this is only part one. It's almost impossible to capture the majesty of this story without the dialogue, but it is perhaps the greatest Batman story ever written. One of the more interesting features of this period of Batman is the careless abandon with which he throws criminals off roofs, scaffolding, into rivers, and so on - he kills a lot of people and is open about doing so. Having read Men of Tomorrow, I know that it wasn't until somewhat later that DC decided that their superheroes would never kill anyone again. It's interesting in part because, having recently watched Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix, I note that superheroes didn't stop beating people up and throwing them off roofs in exactly the same way, it's just that those people stopped dying when they hit the ground. I don't think that there's a lot in these early stories to really entertain beyond the so-bad-it's-good aspects of certain stories and the historical interest of the blending of noir, gangster, and emerging superhero motifs. It's certainly not clear that the Batman would go on to be the phenomenon he is today. But there is scope for fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    You can tell this was made in a different time period. It is a little refreshing that the problems Batman faces are easily solved and the bad guys get it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    A little campy and corny, but it's still Batman

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Gentry

    lots of batman killing people in these. 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Had to stop at the 50% mark. Started off really great–fresh writing and original concept. But the halt starts at about the 30% mark and never quite picks up again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josiah Chick

    This is a great mini-collective to introduce fans to the first appearance of "The Bat-Man". Also included is the first appearing of The Joker as well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Printable Tire

    The origins of one of the most famous comic book characters are steeped in an an almost Lovecraftian "weirdness" -here, we see no interior/pipe-smoking thrill-seeking playboy Bruce Wayne transform into a dark spectral who takes on Orientalism, mad scientists, the occult, giant apes, serial killers and werewolves. I like the pulp and internationalism of these stories, even the novel use of real monsterous characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_(...). The art, though primitive, has a mood The origins of one of the most famous comic book characters are steeped in an an almost Lovecraftian "weirdness" -here, we see no interior/pipe-smoking thrill-seeking playboy Bruce Wayne transform into a dark spectral who takes on Orientalism, mad scientists, the occult, giant apes, serial killers and werewolves. I like the pulp and internationalism of these stories, even the novel use of real monsterous characters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_(...). The art, though primitive, has a moody atmosphere, especially when that "weird figure" of Batman is seen atop some foggy, moon-lit building. I especially liked "the Monk" two-part story, which seems to show "Batman" more closely related to the horror, rather than superhero, genre. The creepy character of the Monk, as well as the Napoleonic leader of the zeppelin-riding Scarlet Horde, are the sort of strange adversaries I'd like to see more of. The surrealness of these early stories reaches its apogee when, in Paris, Batman talks to flowers with human faces. Then along comes Batman #1, and Robin, and suddenly the whole tone of the comic book shifts. True, the first Joker story therein is one of the best in this collection, and Joker's grim prediction of his rictus-grin murders remains creepy 70+ years later; and Batman's battle against Victor Strange's Monster Men, in which he sort of nonchalantly murders them, is a great relic of his pre-partner adventures. But then we have the first story featuring Catwoman, and all of a sudden Batman is breaking the fourth wall and showing the "kids of America" how "yellow" "rats" are without their guns by having Robin beat them up. Then, (quite hypocritically for a guy so against crime), he lets Catwoman go at the end of the story because she had "lovely eyes." At the end of the first Joker story, Batman inexplicably saves the Joker's life because he's "too valuable a prize to lose!," viz a viz, he's too worthy an opponent/receptacle of one liners/punching bag for Batman to let die like those brainless Monster Men. Similarly, at the end of the final Joker story of Batman #1 (which content-wise was definitely worth the 10 cents back in the day), in one half-assed panel the Joker is saved by the real-life executive decision of a comic book editor who saw the potential repeat profits in such a character. And so, within the span of his first titular comic book, Batman rises above and then embraces all the cliches the superhero genre will soon be known for; its regressive, sitcom logic, it's repetitive, circular stories, its sometimes stupidity. But I guess Batman's gotta hate/love somebody and it's only a comic for kids. I am disappointed Scrappy Doo Robin came so quickly on the scene, and Batman turned so quickly from a cool pulpy atmospheric "Weird Tale" into the prototype for the formulaic, for-children comic book. I would've liked Batman to have more solo adventures in this period, but as it is, this collection offers only a frustratingly incomplete sampler of what could have been.

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