Nine Lives

Author: Dean Motter
Artist: Michael Lark
Titan Books
RRP 24.99, US $24.95
ISBN 1 84023 358 3

Available now

In Elseworlds, heroes are taken from their normal settings and placed into strange times and places - some that have existed, and others that can't, couldn't or shouldn't exist. The result is stories that make characters who are as familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow...

So starts Batman: Nine Lives a world in which Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Harvey Dent, The Joker and a whole collection of Batman's worst enemies are brought to life.

Set against the backdrop of a Film Noir detective movie of the 50s all the characters are present but their roles are slightly off. Richard Grayson is the local PI, Joker is a poor gambler and Selina Kyle is the city's most popular high class prostitute.

The plot is believable and engaging and Michael Lark's artwork helps give the story a better grounding in the 1950s.

The copy that I received was the original American graphic novel which has a dramatically different cover than the UK release. Whether or not the presentation has otherwise been changed I can not comment on, but the the US edition is beautifully presented with quality, glossy pages and a nice hard cover.

A must for Batman fans and there is enough original material here to appeal to graphic novel fans who are really not that bothered about the goings on in Gotham.

Darren Rea


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