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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Batman Annuals
Volume 1 (Hardback)


Authors: Ed Hamilton, David Vern, Bill Finger, Ed Herron
Artists: Curt Swan, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Dick Sprang and Sheldon Moldoff
Titan Books
RRP: £19.99, US $39.99, Cdn $45.99
ISBN: 978 1 84856 215 8
Available 26 June 2009

From the streets of Gotham City to the bottom of the sea to outer space - there's no place that Batman and Robin won't go to bring evildoers to justice. With never-ending inventiveness, the Dynamic Duo has battled villainy across the globe - and now dozens of their most unforgettable Golden Age tales are available in this handsome new collection, featuring stories by Bill Finger, Edmond Hamilton, France Herron and David Vern Reed and art by Dick Sprang, Sheldon Moldoff, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Charles Paris and Stan Kate...

Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman.

The first three Batman annuals (originally published between 1961 and 1962) are collected in this unique hardcover collectors' edition, including tales such as "The Jungle Batman", "The Batman of Planet X" and "The Joker of Gotham City", as well as background on the "Dark Knight's Batcave", costumes and inventions.

As I've previously mentioned in numerous reviews of reprints of classic comic book tales, you have to take into consideration when this was originally printed and who the target market was at the time. It will come as no surprise to discover that the majority of these tales, which were originally designed for children, are a little simplistic when compared to today's Batman comics. However, as a look back on simpler times, this collection is an essential purchase for hardcore Batman fans who wish to pick up some of the earlier tales.

While there's nothing here to get overly excited about, it's still an impressive collection of stories that is worth adding to your Batman collection.


Nick Smithson

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