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THE GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER TOLD Kane, Bob & Others D.C. Comics & Hamlyn Books. Though it may skip over some favourites, this compilation covers the Batman mythos from the early years to the late 20th Century, and in being set out in chronological order, it shows the changing face of the great detective through the dark phases and the more light hearted appearances. Robin pops in and out according to the mood of the day, and most of the major villains, i.e., the Joker, Penguin and Catwoman appear at various stages. If I have to pick a favourite adventure it is the 1946 classic 1001 Umbrellas Of The Penguin in which Batman just as the Penguinís Mum arrests the arch villain comes to visit and Batman has to pretend that the Penguin is a nice person in order to stop her dying of shock at his true nature. This is not made easy when the Penguin rushes off to commit crimes while Batman looks after his mum. It pitches perfectly between farce and drama. Another classic is the first story in which Batman gives assistance to Superman.With the Man Of Steel now known to be vulnerable to the effects of kryptonite, he uses Batman, in disguise as Superman, to take out the villainís supply of kryptonite while he does what he does best.The collection shows how a comic hero could evolve and develop over the generations, with more than one story harking back to Batmanís true origins. There are some great tales here, i.e., The Manbat, a vampiric creature that even dares to use a reversal of the caped crusaderís real name. The collection concludes fittingly with Son Of The Demon, a graphic novel length adventure in its own right, which is fitting, given the extent to which Batman stories dominate the market for such expanded collected episodes of an adventure. In themselves, most of the stories are great, while a few feel dated, but they capture the changing history of a true comic legend, and as such, that makes these truly greatest hits collection in its own right. http://www.dccomics.com/

 

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