Batman Character Encyclopedia - CoverOut of curiosity, are you a Batman fan? I am. Quite a big one in fact. Although, to be fair, this wasn’t always the case. You see, once upon a time, when I was a small boy with big ideas, I just couldn’t comprehend why a scary looking superhero would want to fight the good fight. After all, Batman has generally been depicted as a stern and stoic vigilante who doesn’t smile, doesn’t crack jokes, and doesn’t seem to enjoy himself, not even when he joins forces with a cast of colorful characters in order to beat up a bunch of bad guys who seem as harmful as a rubber duck.

Batman Character Encyclopedia (Hardcover)

Well, let’s face it! Most of his Rogues Gallery look like they belong in a circus, most of his comrades are as outrageous as a parade of drag queens, and most of his personality seems as lifeless as a morgue full of corpses. Besides, at the time I was first introduced to the Gotham Guardian, the early 1980s, I didn’t see the point in collecting comics because I didn’t have much money and I didn’t think they had much style. Silly, silly, me.

Batman Character Encyclopedia - BatmanHowever, all of that changed when one day, years later, I walked into my local newsagents and noticed a very vivid looking comic book from the corner of my eye. Or to be more specific about it, issue 630 of Detective Comics (Volume One), cover dated June, 1991, which featured a story written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Jim Aparo

Now, if truth be told, the story in itself wasn’t anything spectacular in terms of dramatic exposition or expertly composed action scenes. But rather, it had heart, real heart, just in the way that it told a fairly straightforward narrative with real emotions and real personality. Similar, in fact, to a detective show from the 1970s, like Columbo, for instance, where our hero has to track down a villain so they can stop them from committing their next crime. Although, in this case, the hero wore a black-rubber-suit while the villain wore stiletto heels

Batman Character Encyclopedia  - Allies
Yet, that aside, there was something fairly magical about this comic which made me think, think hard, because it was basically a morality tale about good versus evil, right versus wrong, and heaven versus hell, filtered through a fallen angel who lost his parents and is now trying to preserve heaven to the best of his ability. 

So, if you think of it, there's nothing bad about that! Nothing at all. If anything, this brand of story is something that should be admired, praised even, as it has taught me, you, and anyone else who has ever picked one up to read, that one man, woman, or animal, could make a difference if they really, really wanted to. What's more, it has also helped me reignite my passion for the comic book medium, the fabled Dark Knight, along with his friends, foes, highs, and lows. Want to know more? Then please check this out...

Batman Character Encyclopedia

Author: The DK Team.
Format: Hardback.
Publisher: DK Children.
Price: £9.99.
Size: 191x236mm.
Page Count: 208 pages.
Age Range: 8 years and over.

Batman Character Encyclopedia - Enemies
Synopsis: The 'Batman Character Encyclopedia' is an up-to-date reference guide that chronicles everything you need to know about the Batman-Universe. This includes all the latest stories, art, facts, and statistics associated with the fabled Dark Knight, without forgetting to mention his vast array of allies (such as Robin and Alfred Pennyworth) and adversaries (such as The Joker and The Penguin). Each character in the book is illustrated by one of the artists who usually illustrate the Bat-books, like Mikel Janin, Greg Capullo, and Patrick Gleason, among others, and includes over 200 characters from the DCU.

For more information, please check out DK Books on their website, facebook, and twitter pages.


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