If you’re looking for a highly-detailed guide to Batman’s 75-year long history, look no further than DK’s Batman: A Visual History. Written by Matthew K Manning, the author of such works as The World According to the Joker and The Batman Files, Batman: A Visual History explores the journey from 1939 to the present in a way unlike any other volume I’ve ever seen. In the book, Manning takes a comprehensive look at each of the 75 years that Batman has been a staple of pop culture (with overview introductions to each decade that sum up the major advancements that occurred within that time frame), giving information on each important arc, graphic novel, and one-shot that affected the status quo or public outlook on Batman. From the exploits of our hero in the flagship Batman and Detective Comics series to offshoots like Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Brave and the Bold, and more, every major comic book action of an ally, enemy, or alternate universe analogue of Batman is taken into account and presented to the reader in an engrossing, easy-to-read format.
Batman: A Visual History is clearly a labor of love on Manning’s part, and it shows in the painstaking attention to detail shown in every entry. Manning and his team clearly tried their hardest to get any and every fact they could into this book, and they exceeded expectations! Even when space constraints would typically preclude the inclusion of certain arcs (which says a lot, considering the book’s hefty 350+ page count), the author is certain to mention in brief other important events that took place in a given year, making use of a special, bulletpointed “Also This Year” section to keep readers informed.
If the sheer volume of Batman knowledge that can be gleaned from Batman: A Visual History isn’t reason enough to pick it up, then the beautiful packaging elements definitely are. While it’s been said that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, comic fans know that adage isn’t always true– thankfully, with a brilliantly-drawn (thanks to artist Jason Fabok) homage to the key players and events of Batman’s long career serving as a wraparound case to the book, we don’t have to worry. Covers don’t come much better than this one, only made better when coupled with Fabok’s stark black-and-white portrait of the Dark Knight that serves as the book’s actual cover within the slipcase– and the best part is that both of them come packaged with the book as exclusive prints!
Batman: A Visual History offers the definitive look at Batman’s long tenure as one of the most popular, culturally relevant, inspiring, and storied comic book heroes of our time, and provides anything and everything that any Bat-fan (from those fresh to the character to the ones who swear they know it all) could hope for!