The Greatest Stories Ever Told - Volume Two

Authors: Bill Finger, Mike W. Barr, Alan Grant and others
Artists: Bob Kane, Sheldon Moldoff and others
Titan Books
RRP: 11.99, US $19.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6427 2
ISBN-10: 1 84576 427 7
Available 23 March 2007

For over 60 years, one man has ruled the Gotham night, striking fear into the hearts of the venal, the superstitious, the cowardly: he is the Batman. Now, in this collection of classic Batman tales, written and illustrated by some of the greatest talents in comics, readers will experience the thrills and chills, triumphs and tragedies of the Dark Knight's long career protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. These are the stories that have ensured his enduring popularity...

As if one "The Greatest Stories Ever Told" collection wasn't enough, a second volume has been issued. Maybe this release should have been called The Next Greatest Stories Ever Told, or how about The Stories That Are Not Quite As Great as the Greatest Stories Ever Told? Maybe not, but I do hate these "Greatest Hits" collections.

Firstly who says that these are the greatest tales? If DC had actually undertaken some marketing research amongst fans of the Batman comics, then maybe this title would be credible (even if that would probably mean very few of the old stories were reprinted). It would have been handy if somewhere it was mentioned who chose these stories. Was an authority on Batman, or the office temp? As several of the ten stories reprinted here have never been reprinted before it's even more important, for me anyway, to know who chose them. Was it Les Daniels who chose the stories for Volume One? Who know? Or cares, for that matter. In truth it's all subjective and personally I take issue with almost all of the stories reprinted here as being examples of the best tales on offer.

What we do have, on the other hand, is a collection of stories that cover the very early tales to the more modern offerings. For this reason alone this collection is interesting, but hardly a must have addition to your collection.

Nick Smithson

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