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The Dark Knight's greatest enemies have all simultaneously escaped from Arkham Asylum and are preying on Gotham City. With his city under siege, Batman pushes his body to the limit as he takes on The Joker, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Riddler and the Scarecrow. But things get much worse when Bane, the man behind all the madness, confronts an exhausted Batm The Dark Knight's greatest enemies have all simultaneously escaped from Arkham Asylum and are preying on Gotham City. With his city under siege, Batman pushes his body to the limit as he takes on The Joker, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Riddler and the Scarecrow. But things get much worse when Bane, the man behind all the madness, confronts an exhausted Batman...


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The Dark Knight's greatest enemies have all simultaneously escaped from Arkham Asylum and are preying on Gotham City. With his city under siege, Batman pushes his body to the limit as he takes on The Joker, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Riddler and the Scarecrow. But things get much worse when Bane, the man behind all the madness, confronts an exhausted Batm The Dark Knight's greatest enemies have all simultaneously escaped from Arkham Asylum and are preying on Gotham City. With his city under siege, Batman pushes his body to the limit as he takes on The Joker, the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc, The Riddler and the Scarecrow. But things get much worse when Bane, the man behind all the madness, confronts an exhausted Batman...

30 review for Batman: Knightfall, Part One: Broken Bat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    This was one of the inspirations of Christopher Nolan for the last Batman film with Christian Bale in the lead. It is where Bane is introduced. The main story is fantastic - it is absolutely captivating when...oh never mind, no spoilers - you'll have to read it yourself. Let's just say that the intervention of Azrael towards the end which is also the impetus for Knightfall Vol 2 did not really please me as much as the rest of the book. This was one of the inspirations of Christopher Nolan for the last Batman film with Christian Bale in the lead. It is where Bane is introduced. The main story is fantastic - it is absolutely captivating when...oh never mind, no spoilers - you'll have to read it yourself. Let's just say that the intervention of Azrael towards the end which is also the impetus for Knightfall Vol 2 did not really please me as much as the rest of the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I found this more interesting than really enjoyable. The comics in this compilation are over 20 years old, and the old version of the storytelling really isn't my style. Also, I just have to say: most emo Batman ever. He starts this hefty collection hurt, and spends the entire thing being... well... not very Batman at all. Making bad choices. Being bitchy. Constantly hurt and sucking at his job.... Kinda took some of the fun out of it for me. On the plus side, as someone who isn't a huge Batman I found this more interesting than really enjoyable. The comics in this compilation are over 20 years old, and the old version of the storytelling really isn't my style. Also, I just have to say: most emo Batman ever. He starts this hefty collection hurt, and spends the entire thing being... well... not very Batman at all. Making bad choices. Being bitchy. Constantly hurt and sucking at his job.... Kinda took some of the fun out of it for me. On the plus side, as someone who isn't a huge Batman fan (by which I mean I don't read the main comics, just a lot of the side stuff written by the A-list talent like Gaiman, Miller, Moore, Loeb, etc etc.) it was interesting to see the parade of villains in this collection. It's almost like a primer in Batman bad-guy lore. But honestly, that's the only thing that even keeps this at the relatively low "meh" rating of three stars for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    ..and I thought I was excited for The Dark Knight Rises before. I seriously had no idea that Bane could be this awesome. When he was announced as the villain in the new Batman film, I was really hesitant to get my hopes up. I mean, Bane?! That loser from Batman & Robin (note to self: never base anything on that garbage movie)?? All he did was grunt, scream and smash stuff. Other than brute force - he didn't seem like that much of a threat. So when I was given this graphic novel for Christmas, I wa ..and I thought I was excited for The Dark Knight Rises before. I seriously had no idea that Bane could be this awesome. When he was announced as the villain in the new Batman film, I was really hesitant to get my hopes up. I mean, Bane?! That loser from Batman & Robin (note to self: never base anything on that garbage movie)?? All he did was grunt, scream and smash stuff. Other than brute force - he didn't seem like that much of a threat. So when I was given this graphic novel for Christmas, I was pretty reluctant to even pick it up. However, it came with a pretty firm recommendation from a trusted friend, so I gave it a shot. It took a while for me to actually see where they were going with this arc but once it picked up and I began to understand, it blew me away. Basically, Bane throws everything at Batman. Bane frees all the inmates at Arkham Asylum and exhausts Batman as he attempts to incarcerate them all. Already beaten up and apparently pretty sick, it doesn't take long for Batman to run out of gas and when that occurs, Bane will pounce. I've never even been exposed to this side of Batman - he tries so desperately to maintain an image of endless determination against a task so enormous. Sure, you must imagine that at times his job can be pretty damn hard but its rare that he shows it. There are even scenes where he's drawn with this look of fear, knowing that it may be his end. Despite the fact that I spent the better part of this review gushing over the story, I need to give it a 3 out of 5. Why? I'm not crazy about the artwork. Jim Lee is my favorite Batman artist of all time and it's kind of unfair that I compare everything to him - he's a pretty high measuring stick - but a lot of it looked kind of ugly. There is some great stuff to be found in here but it's few and far between. This is only Part One, so I need to get my hands on 2 and 3.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    When I found out that the Batman: Knightfall story arc was one of the main sources of inspiration for Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight Rises, I had to check it out. And honestly, I'm glad I did, because I think it may be the best Batman story I've come across so far. This first volume collects twelve individual comic books in the story arc, written between April and late July 1993. In the stories collected in this volume, the venom-injected, muscular supervillain Bane launches a massive When I found out that the Batman: Knightfall story arc was one of the main sources of inspiration for Christopher Nolan's film The Dark Knight Rises, I had to check it out. And honestly, I'm glad I did, because I think it may be the best Batman story I've come across so far. This first volume collects twelve individual comic books in the story arc, written between April and late July 1993. In the stories collected in this volume, the venom-injected, muscular supervillain Bane launches a massive assault on Arkham Asylum, freeing all of Gotham's most dangerous criminals, including Joker, Riddler, and Scarecrow. One by one Batman must confront them as they inflict mass casualties and mayhem on the city of Gotham. But why has Bane freed them in the first place? What are his motives? What is his master plan? I thought this first volume in the Knightfall saga succeeded on almost every level. The confrontations between Batman and his enemies were well-executed, and allowed you to enter the psyche of these villains in a way I have seen only a few times before in Batman comics. They were also highly entertaining; this is a very fun book to read, and it moves at a breakneck pace. I also liked the way the book had some deeper dialogue and scenes, offering poignant reflections and insights on things like knowing your limits, knowing when to ask for help, and fighting back even when you feel defeated. It was also interesting to see how the characters differed from Nolan's films. I haven't run into some of the characters from Nolan's films, like Bane and Scarecrow, much in my comic book Batman readings so far. Bane and Scarecrow differ quite radically in both appearance and in some cases behaviour from Nolan's versions of the characters. Similarly interesting were the scenes from the comics that were portrayed almost verbatim in Nolan's films (though these seemed to be few), like the scene where Bane breaks Batman's back during their big fight. One thing I understood, but which became a bit annoying as time went on, was how they kept absolutely beating to death how tired and exhausted and worn-out Batman is; it's mentioned probably every ten or fifteen pages, and this collection is 268 pages long. I say I understand it because it's obviously a pivotal part of the story; the story hinges on the reader not only understanding but fundamentally believing that Batman has been broken both mentally and physically. That being said, it got a bit tiring over time. Another thing I understood but that got a bit tiring was Batman's static interactions with Robin. Pretty much every single one of them goes like this: - Batman plans something, e.g. where he is going next to catch a certain villain - Robin wants to come with Batman - Batman says "stay in the car" or "stay home" or "I'll handle this by myself" or etc. In Batman: A Death in the Family, Batman's previous Robin, Jason Todd, was brutally murdered by Joker, and so it makes sense that Batman doesn't want to risk losing another Robin. That being said, if you aren't going to trust Robin with anything, why have a Robin in the first place? I was asking myself that question more and more as this volume went on, although Robin does eventually take some of the workload from Batman (albeit a small part, comparatively speaking). Overall, I absolutely loved Batman: Knightfall, Part One: Broken Bat. The story is superb, the deep reflections and insights add incredible depth, and the windows into the psyches of Batman and his villains provide invaluable background for those trying to better understand the characters of the Batman universe. It's fascinating to see where Nolan got the inspiration for The Dark Knight Rises, and to see what he used and what he didn't use, how certain scenes were reused but interpreted differently (like the Batman and Bane fight scene where Batman's back was broken, which was far more one-sided in the comics than in Nolan's film). I'm surprised this isn't more widely read; it deserves to be. It may be my most enjoyable reading experience of 2020 so far. Highly recommended. On to volume two...!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The masked villain Bane arrives in Gotham with a plan to destroy Batman - release all of Batman's prisoners from Arkham Asylum and once he's gone through them all, he'll be at his weakest and then... then he will break him! The first part of the Knightfall trilogy is overlong and a bit dull to be honest. It's a good storyline, Bane setting loose a ton of villains into Gotham and then sitting back, waiting for the perfect moment to strike, but all it means is that Batman has to go through each and The masked villain Bane arrives in Gotham with a plan to destroy Batman - release all of Batman's prisoners from Arkham Asylum and once he's gone through them all, he'll be at his weakest and then... then he will break him! The first part of the Knightfall trilogy is overlong and a bit dull to be honest. It's a good storyline, Bane setting loose a ton of villains into Gotham and then sitting back, waiting for the perfect moment to strike, but all it means is that Batman has to go through each and every villain in a kind of rote, dull way as we slowly see Batman get weaker and weaker. But why is he so worn out even at the start of the book? It's not explained in the book but the prelude to this is a fight Batman had with Black Mask and his gang which wore him out, along with a venom-juiced up Riddler, followed by what can only be described as a mid-life crisis (I know). Bruce can't sleep nor is he willing to take any rest so he's an exhausted wreck even before Bane sets free the inmates of Arkham. Luckily Bruce has a new ally in Jean-Paul Valley aka Azrael, a graduate student in Gotham U, who discovers that he's been unconsciously trained from birth to be an assassin for an ancient religious order. While he plays a relatively low role in this book, he's being helped by Tim Drake (Robin) to overcome his conditioning to turn him from a would-be villain to an ally. I felt there was a lot of crap in this book and a lot of it has to do with aesthetics. Jim Aparo's artwork looks very 90s and is bound to be a turn off to many new Batman readers who've been exposed to tremendous artists like Jim Lee, Tony Daniel, Yanick Paquette, Jock, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan, the list goes on. Joker's face looks ridiculously exaggerated, his mouth looks like you could fit a bowling ball in it, its so elongated, while Zsasz's eyebrows look so jagged they're jutting off of his face entirely. There's a Batman villain in this book I've never heard of and it's easy to see why - he's called "Film Freak" and his superpower is that he's got film reel earrings: that's it. Then there's the Batmobile which looks like a Blackberry Torch, Tim Drake's haircut looks very 90s while Bruce's do looks strangely like Superman's, then there's the 90s mobile phones and printers/computers… The book comes across as very dated. Appearances aside, the story's not that enthralling either. The enemies that "sap" Batman's strength are all second tier villains like Mad Hatter, Zsasz, Poison Ivy, Cornelius Stirk, and let's not forget the incredible Film Freak. This bizarre line-up culminates with Batman vs Bane where Bruce actually looks scared of Bane, something I felt was very out of character. The book has a solid overall story arc but it's a long dull slog to get to the conclusion until things get interesting. "Broken Bat" had its moments, I particularly enjoyed Batman's beat down of Joker for the murder of Jason Todd years before, but unfortunately these were few and far between. I'm going to read the rest of the trilogy but for those who're on the fence about reading this first book, I'd say take a look at the second to last page and you've basically got the book in a nutshell. “Broken Bat” is for Batman completists only, for more casual comics readers this book will be boring.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. If you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises, then know that what you see here is one of the many comics that inspired some of the great scenes that Christopher Nolan translated onto the big screen. As much as this volume is known as an absolute classic in Batman’s universe, it however struggles to survive the test of time. Published in the 90s, written by both Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench, illustrated by Jim Aparo, Jim Balent, Norm Breyfogle and Graham You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. If you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises, then know that what you see here is one of the many comics that inspired some of the great scenes that Christopher Nolan translated onto the big screen. As much as this volume is known as an absolute classic in Batman’s universe, it however struggles to survive the test of time. Published in the 90s, written by both Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench, illustrated by Jim Aparo, Jim Balent, Norm Breyfogle and Graham Nolan, Knightfall is only the first part of a trilogy, and essentially the most memorable story arc. The great writers behind this volume introduces readers to Bane and his ultimate plan to take control of Gotham by first getting rid of the one and only Batman. While Bane manipulates the whole orchestra and devises a painful and exhausting trial for Batman, the story essentially leads to the one and only highlight hinted in the title of the volume. Is Bane’s plan truly flawless? Will he be able to take down the Dark Knight? The crusader that no other villain has yet been able to put an end to? Bane makes sure to drain out every single inch of energy of his target before he gets his own hands dirty. If that isn’t cruel, I don’t know what it; that’s a lie, I can think of a billion things that are quite sadistic, mind you. Essentially, the story really begins when we find out that Bane plans on making a giant hole in Arkham Asylum in order to unleash every criminal that Batman had put behind bars to this date. Talk about a nasty leakage to your favorite aquarium. If having a vast and notorious cast of villains running freely and cooking up their own personal flavor of a plan to bring down the Bats isn’t something to worry about, you’re wrong. The whole volume showcases countless villains, whether its the Film Freak, the Mad Hatter or the Joker himself. You’ll quickly realize that each one of them will make sure to drain a little something out of the Caped Crusader before the grand finale. Repetitive in nature, the story can easily bore a person that sees this as a déjà vu of Batman bringing down villains once again. Knightfall isn’t exactly about digging deep into the villain’s psyches and discovering a goldmine in their personalities, something that would blow the minds of fans. Knightfall is about putting Batman to the test without ever giving him the chance to breathe. It’s a story that creates the perfect nightmare for the Caped Crusader. The one scenario where Batman has to deal with every crazy lunatic, one after the other, instead of being able to stand on his gargoyles preying on a villain who’s looking for a high. The artwork is a throwback to the era of comics right before the more accustomed modern artwork we see nowadays. I honestly didn’t find it disturbing or lackluster, I actually swallowed it up fairly easily and was able to just enjoy the story afoot. I thought the characters were pretty well penciled and were done justice in the aesthetic department. Of course, with the plot direction that Knightfall has, the artists had a lot of things to work with. Every single villain had their own moments to shine and their main traits portrayed through the simple evil schemes they concocted. It was quite the fun to see them try and find ways to take down Batman. In all honesty, I didn’t however feel like the artwork pulled me into feeling feelings; gosh, that made my brain fart. The only time that that the story actually had me captivated and intrigued is in the final act, the final chapter. Even though I knew where it was going, the execution was much more shocking and powerful than the rest of the story. Throughout the volume, you do see Batman realizing the plan little by little, while seeing how much its killing him. But the final chapter felt like the last straw. It felt like you could actually see that Bane’s brains did an extremely heavy damage to the Dark Knight, but that the nail on the coffin would come from his brawn’s. The best part of this volume is obviously the last chapter. The writing became lyrical and focal to the panels that were building up to the famous scene. A lot of the stories presented before the main event could’ve been cut out just to avoid feeling the repetition in plot. Although the plot could be seen as Batman climbing a tower and being challenged by a different villain until he reached the top for the big bad boss, Robin’s adventures on the side helped bring change and add subplots. Even Killer Croc had his own agenda, one that you don’t exactly expect from the savage creature. The first part in the trilogy remains a classic in Batman’s universe, but one that doesn’t exactly have the same weight as other masterpieces. This is the volume where you meet with Bane and where you are shown what his motives and way of villainy are. Although the focus is around the downfall of Batman and the rise of Bane, you also get glimpses of another important character, Jean-Paul Valley. His role becomes a lot bigger in part 2 and 3, but his appearance sure can intrigue some of the connoisseurs of Batman’s universe. Any hardcore fan should go through at least Knightfall. It’s always nice to see a Bane that isn’t a growl-only slave of Poison Ivy. Am I right? Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Extreme shock value, but it's just trying to copy "The Death of Superman". Extreme shock value, but it's just trying to copy "The Death of Superman".

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeice

    This is one of THE classic Batman stories, if only because it is a story people like to re-tell in various forms of media. I've seen versions of Bane go up against versions of Batman in cartoons, books, videogames, movies, etc. With the menacing, hulking form of Bane and a story about a Batman who might not have an easy, assured victory, how could people resist? As far as classic "must-read" Batman stories go, however, this would rank pretty low on my list. The art is good, except for the hyper- This is one of THE classic Batman stories, if only because it is a story people like to re-tell in various forms of media. I've seen versions of Bane go up against versions of Batman in cartoons, books, videogames, movies, etc. With the menacing, hulking form of Bane and a story about a Batman who might not have an easy, assured victory, how could people resist? As far as classic "must-read" Batman stories go, however, this would rank pretty low on my list. The art is good, except for the hyper-stylized "Shadow of the Bat" issues, which tried too hard to fit the predominant 90's vibe for my taste, and it is mostly consistent. The writing is serviceable, but retains a lot of the dark, melodramatic style that was a staple of comics in the 90's. It's not laughably bad or anything, but it is full of heavy dramatic angst. All of the characters brood and whine extensively in interior monologues, and there is a tendency for the characters to overexplain the exact nuances on what is happening in a manner that occasionally got in the way of me immersing myself in and enjoying the story. I also wasn't a fan of much of the characterization in the story. This was written during a period of Batman's life where he apparently was incredibly annoyed with Tim Drake (Robin), and so instead of an enjoyable partnership I found myself mainly annoyed by Batman and sorry for Robin. Also, I understand that I'm supposed to be seeing a Batman worn thin, partially by some mysterious sickness that's never fully explained within the graphic novel (though I assume it was in some comic before this collection takes place), but there is a certain level of whininess that I could never fully get myself to enjoy, especially since characters kept referring to Batman's awesomeness, tenacity, and nobility, which were on very limited display. Watching Batman whine, mope, and clumsily plod through most of this story made me feel more like I was watching some emo kid play as Batman than the man himself. Even still characters kept talking about this awe-inspiring Batman I was still waiting to see. The other characters don't fare much better. Though given a sufficiently hardcore introduction in the beginning, Bane doesn't do much to show that he deserves the title of "Bat-breaker." There's very little to him that distinguishes him or any of his forgettable henchmen from any other two-bit mobster wannabe. Gordon appears to be a worthless whiner whose only role is to be yelled at by the one-dimensional obnoxious Mayor, Robin is a sad kid who is always told that he's in the way (despite being one of the only people in the trilogy who seems to be aware of all the horribly stupid decisions going on around him), and Jean-Paul is a bland, personality-less drone. There are a string of Batman villains thrown in the mix, including "winners" I've never heard of like Film Freak, who all give Batman a harder time than I would have thought possible. All in all, though, the main draw of the story (the Batman vs Bane bit) was fairly enjoyable. It is unfortunately not the main PART of the story, however, as most of the book is the filler between Bane's intro and the main fight. For great "must read" Batman stories I much prefer other classics like The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura Wattie

    Batman: Knightfall vol. 1: Broken Batman by Doug Moench. This Batman story is not everyone, actually it brings everything you love and hate by the Caped Crusader in to one volume for a two volume story. First of all, you need to read to the lead up comics to understand it which I admit that I didn't do because most of the Batman stories I read is that you don't need to read surrounding stories to get it. However its a good read, a bit trashy and less thought provoking than other Batman stories ( Batman: Knightfall vol. 1: Broken Batman by Doug Moench. This Batman story is not everyone, actually it brings everything you love and hate by the Caped Crusader in to one volume for a two volume story. First of all, you need to read to the lead up comics to understand it which I admit that I didn't do because most of the Batman stories I read is that you don't need to read surrounding stories to get it. However its a good read, a bit trashy and less thought provoking than other Batman stories (The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween, Arkham Asylum). The good: Bane is an excellent Batman villain. Smart but also strong and lethal not normally a combination you would think for a Batman villain but it works. Which explains Nolan choosing him for the TDKR. A struggling Bruce Wayne/Batman is great to see since Superheroes are often meant to look superior to everyone else but Batman is more human than super which great. You also Bruce struggle to keep his Batman weakness hidden while in his playboy disguise. Tim Drake/Robin and Alfred: Great supporting characters and Robin doesn't come across annoying and kidlike as people would beileve he would come across. And Alfred keeps up with the saracastic humour and wit that stops the story becoming to dark. Other Batman villains: Almost all of the Batman villains appear as either large threats or minor cameos. Seeing The Joker escape Arkham is always a due and seeing interactions between the villains is occassionally funny and self aware while being dark still. The Scarecrow/Joker team up is a highlight. The Bad: Bane's goons: They should be interesting (one has a Falcon and one of them is called Zombie!!)but unfortuately they suffer from being slightly stupid and annoying since Bane has to bail them out too often. Jean-Paul Valley: The man who takes over Batman is extremely egotistic and lacks anything really interesting about him. He gets worst when you read the second volume where every part of me wanted to see him be killed by Bane in the second volume. But it wouldn't happen and he changes the suit goddamit!! Bruce's love interest: She's boring and Bruce seems to be totally in love with her!! Of course Bruce would fall in love with his doctor but come on Batman/Bruce Wayne, Catwoman and Poison Ivy are in this story too and you tell me you're not interested!! The art: Maybe I'm a bit pomp but the art of this story is actually boring same old comic look. The only highlight is the Scarecrow/Anarcky story which is interesting especially the use of red but its still boring. Overall read this if you're interested in Batman's history, the fact that he's just like us and for the villain Bane but the rest could have been so much better!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    It might be blasphemy to say this, but I found this volume to be just “okay”. Yes, I know it’s regarded as a monumental event for Batman, but maybe it hasn’t aged well over the years or it’s truly a product of its time. Although at the time it was in the shadow of the Death of Superman arc, this one feels like it was trying to follow a similar model; Hero runs a gauntlet of brutal and unending violence to face a big baddy and ultimately fail. Unfortunately for modern eyes, this story doesn’t fee It might be blasphemy to say this, but I found this volume to be just “okay”. Yes, I know it’s regarded as a monumental event for Batman, but maybe it hasn’t aged well over the years or it’s truly a product of its time. Although at the time it was in the shadow of the Death of Superman arc, this one feels like it was trying to follow a similar model; Hero runs a gauntlet of brutal and unending violence to face a big baddy and ultimately fail. Unfortunately for modern eyes, this story doesn’t feel very original. Bane orchestrates a mass breakout at Arkham and Batman tries to find who’s responsible and why. As a result, in each issue he takes on a specific villain (well…sometimes in pairs) trying to get answers as to why this all happened and find the “King of the Hill” if you will. Sure, it’s a brutal slog for Bats and each fight wears him down even further. However, with each successive issue, I kept think “Ok, but what’s new in this one? Do I care anymore?” I know it’s meant to show his slow decline, his arrogance in his own abilities, and his turn to rage as opposed to logic, but in the end it felt very drawn out for an interesting but somewhat flat payoff. Bane comes off as the more clever and cunning of the two which is a bit worrisome for the World’s Greatest Detective. It doesn’t end up feeling as iconic as Supes v. Doomsday. It ends up more like the premise for the Arkham Origins video game…Actually pretty much any video game with a mandatory series of bosses. It ends up being “Batman: Mega Man Edition” instead of something meaningful. Instead of an intriguing slow burn, it feels like a bunch of re-runs until the “season finale”. The art is enjoyable, but again a product of its time. Quite stylized and peculiar, but this is indicative of the landscape in this era. I guess it’s impossible, but condensing this would have made it more palatable. I get that it couldn’t have happened, since this was presented as a major event. Hoping that now that the Bat is broken, that volumes 2 and/or 3 will offer something a bit more compelling and interesting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krzysztof

    Not as good as I remember it from my childhood, but still pretty good. The main gripe I have is that I remembered more Azrael in the background, and that apparently happened before this story arc? Also, Bane wasn't introduced here, there was some kind of side-story with the Riddler, Killer Croc and Bane before the action of this collection, so there are some blanks which this book doesn't cover. The complaint I'm making is that this is not the "comprehensive" Azrael/Batman/Bane story arc I though Not as good as I remember it from my childhood, but still pretty good. The main gripe I have is that I remembered more Azrael in the background, and that apparently happened before this story arc? Also, Bane wasn't introduced here, there was some kind of side-story with the Riddler, Killer Croc and Bane before the action of this collection, so there are some blanks which this book doesn't cover. The complaint I'm making is that this is not the "comprehensive" Azrael/Batman/Bane story arc I thought it would be. The entire story isn't particularly strong, but when you know what's coming in the climax, it kind of feels justified that what precedes isn't stellar. Some Batman foes picked for the roster are very much silly (The Mad Hatter and Amygdala, for example), others are a bit more menacing than you'd think (The Ventriloquist), others are kept in their less "serious" versions (Joker being a prime example) and are more cartoony... Not necessarily a bad thing, and rather a sign of the times when this comic was published originally (early 90's). Bane doesn't really show to be an all that big mastermind - he has a good idea and executes it, but it doesn't seem like there's much for him to do in the time in between letting out the Arkham inmates and confronting Batman. The fact that he knows who Batman is in the end is also a case of "He's just that smart" instead of some action or analysis on his part, at least nothing we see. So yeah, other than those final few pages, there's nothing here which is really groundbreaking, but it's a solid Batman thread anyhow. The way Batman fights with exhaustion is gripping, but a bit overdone (he keeps saying he's out of juice, but it only really shows during "the gauntlet")... Dunno, I'm looking forward to Who Rules the Night to see some Jean-Paul/Bruce time - if I get it, as my memory may fail me again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I really did like this one. Some drawbacks: Some of the characters and situations this one starts off with are kind of confusing if you don't know the back story on them. I really didn't understand some of what was going on until I looked up the prelude stuff on Wikipedia's Knightfall page. But it IS a comic book series, so that's probably to be somewhat expected. Also, some of the dialogue is a little too cheesy, to the point that I occasionally couldn't suspend my disbelief or felt that a line I really did like this one. Some drawbacks: Some of the characters and situations this one starts off with are kind of confusing if you don't know the back story on them. I really didn't understand some of what was going on until I looked up the prelude stuff on Wikipedia's Knightfall page. But it IS a comic book series, so that's probably to be somewhat expected. Also, some of the dialogue is a little too cheesy, to the point that I occasionally couldn't suspend my disbelief or felt that a line really didn't quite fit a character, especially the sections written by Doug Moench (in my opinion). But again, it's a comic book. That's kind of the nature of the beast. Other than that, though, I really enjoyed the storyline. With all the inmates busted out of Arkham, you get to see a lot of Batman's rogues gallery, which is always a pleasure. Also, I didn't really know much about Bane before reading this one. It made me a lot more excited for the upcoming movie because he came off as a very compelling villain. I can see why Christopher Nolan picked him for the next plot (though that Catwoman casting will probably always leave me feeling disappointed). So overall, an entertaining read. Maybe a little confusing for a beginner with little knowledge of Batman lore, but with a little help from Wikipedia you'll probably be fine. Now off to read part 2.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Cristiani

    Classic DC arc from the 90's, where superheroes are shown to be fallible. It's not fun to watch Batman like this, run-down and ill and throwing batarangs all wrong. But it does make for a great story, of course. This first volume is 'broken bat' and yeah, he pretty much gets broken. It doesn't really compute - because he's BATMAN - which is why it works so well. You kind-of can't believe what you're reading. Typical of the character, Bruce Wayne keeps going when he should be resting. Something a Classic DC arc from the 90's, where superheroes are shown to be fallible. It's not fun to watch Batman like this, run-down and ill and throwing batarangs all wrong. But it does make for a great story, of course. This first volume is 'broken bat' and yeah, he pretty much gets broken. It doesn't really compute - because he's BATMAN - which is why it works so well. You kind-of can't believe what you're reading. Typical of the character, Bruce Wayne keeps going when he should be resting. Something about 'as long as I'm still standing Gotham will be' blah blah blah. Batman doesn't have many faults, but like most superheroes, his perseverance is his downfall. Bane's a fine villain but doesn't have to be a genius to figure that out. If Bruce had actually done the unexpected - hidden out and actually gotten some sleep - he might not have ended up so broken here. He needs to have the long view. But hey, I'm one of about a zillion people who were telling him that throughout the story. And I don't have as cute an accent as Alfred, so why should Batman listen to me?

  14. 4 out of 5

    C. Varn

    Good, but not as good as I remember from the 1990s. Chuck Dixon really was trying to return Batman to form, but this run still can't decide if it is hardboiled or campy. Coming off some of the 1970s and 1980s, more adult Batman stories by Alan Moore and Frank Miller, the Dark Knight did seem a bit lost. This introduces Bane and also gives us the more gritty Azazel-turned-Batman, but much of the rogues gallery seems cheesy and under-developed. Dixon's Bane, however, is a great addition to the sto Good, but not as good as I remember from the 1990s. Chuck Dixon really was trying to return Batman to form, but this run still can't decide if it is hardboiled or campy. Coming off some of the 1970s and 1980s, more adult Batman stories by Alan Moore and Frank Miller, the Dark Knight did seem a bit lost. This introduces Bane and also gives us the more gritty Azazel-turned-Batman, but much of the rogues gallery seems cheesy and under-developed. Dixon's Bane, however, is a great addition to the story and a very compelling character in the beginning. However, his motivations seem far too simple for a character written that intellectually. Furthermore, many of the problems with Azazel Batman are broadcast far, far too obviously. It's good, but many other Batman arcs are better and definitely seems to come from a time when D.C. was struggling to define the character.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I was pretty much gnawing my fingernails off out of fear for Bruce. He’s perpetually the man of strength and indestructible resilience and stamina, so it’s frightening to see him crushed by another man. A shitty villain like Bane. Oh sure, he deduced Batman’s true identity under a year or so, but that doesn’t make him a worthy villain to me. At least Ra’s al Ghul and perhaps even Hush (the villains who know that Bruce is Batman) has more charisma and showmanship than the steroid-glutting brute. I was pretty much gnawing my fingernails off out of fear for Bruce. He’s perpetually the man of strength and indestructible resilience and stamina, so it’s frightening to see him crushed by another man. A shitty villain like Bane. Oh sure, he deduced Batman’s true identity under a year or so, but that doesn’t make him a worthy villain to me. At least Ra’s al Ghul and perhaps even Hush (the villains who know that Bruce is Batman) has more charisma and showmanship than the steroid-glutting brute. Bane is boring. It’ll be interesting to see how Bruce recovers, and how Gotham will react to the new Bat on the block ... Rating: 3.5/5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "and in the corner to my left...BANE!" really my first batman story arc to put under my belt, and actually one of my favorites. sure, the tank baddie is a staple for every superhero, but bane is quite different. his strategic crippling of batman ultimately culminating in batman's literal crippling is great. bane was and is still is one of my favorite additions to batman's iconic rogues gallery. "and in the corner to my left...BANE!" really my first batman story arc to put under my belt, and actually one of my favorites. sure, the tank baddie is a staple for every superhero, but bane is quite different. his strategic crippling of batman ultimately culminating in batman's literal crippling is great. bane was and is still is one of my favorite additions to batman's iconic rogues gallery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miki

    I can't believe that the average rating for this book is 4 stars. The overall plot is reasonable, but the execution is bad. The book feels like Batman facing a series of mini-bosses before meeting the megaboss. The encounters feel contrived and the author does a poor job of conveying any complexity - the dialogue is terrible. All this said, I'm still going to try to read part 2 of Knightfall because I love Batman. I can't believe that the average rating for this book is 4 stars. The overall plot is reasonable, but the execution is bad. The book feels like Batman facing a series of mini-bosses before meeting the megaboss. The encounters feel contrived and the author does a poor job of conveying any complexity - the dialogue is terrible. All this said, I'm still going to try to read part 2 of Knightfall because I love Batman.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Part of my Batman comic book reread project. Continued from Knightfall: Prelude. CAUTION: Spoilers abound in this, and I'm not hiding them this time. Solid five stars. Is this my favorite Batman story? I don't know, but it's a distinct possibility. I've read it several times, and enjoyed it just as much this time as I did when I first read it in high school. But I have another six years worth of issues to read, and I don't remember a lot of the later ones, so I guess the jury will have to be out o Part of my Batman comic book reread project. Continued from Knightfall: Prelude. CAUTION: Spoilers abound in this, and I'm not hiding them this time. Solid five stars. Is this my favorite Batman story? I don't know, but it's a distinct possibility. I've read it several times, and enjoyed it just as much this time as I did when I first read it in high school. But I have another six years worth of issues to read, and I don't remember a lot of the later ones, so I guess the jury will have to be out on that for a while. But I might've actually liked this even more this time since I could hear The Dark Knight Rises's Tom Hardy's voice as Bane. I always assumed he was Hispanic since he throws out a Spanish word every now and then, and I think his minions call him Jefe a couple of times. I could never get a Spanish accent to work in my head, but Tom Hardy's interpretation came pretty easily. Well, this is the one. The story with one of the most famous images in comic book history: the picture where Batman gets his back broken. It created quite a stir, and I don't mean in the comic book world. This shit was on the 6:00 news. I remember seeing the report, and it was discussed by the talking heads for a couple of days. The main question was "are comic books getting too violent for children?" DC had just killed Superman the year before, and was breaking Batman's back going too far? As usual, nothing really came of it, but parent groups sure had a fun time bitching about it for a while. This story was also the basis for the movie The Dark Knight Rises, though Bane's motives are a little different. He wants to run Gotham in this whereas he wants to nuke it off the face of the Earth in the film. In both cases he needs to destroy Batman in order to pull it off, and he does this with the same technique my chiropractor used to try to get me put back together: a knee in the sacroiliac, though my chiro was trying to remove a click-clack, and Bane was trying to introduce one. The final fight between Bane and Batman is fine, though at that point Batman could've been bested by Don Quixote. It's the run-up to it that makes this story great. Batman is going through some kind of midlife crisis, and he's sick and already exhausted. Then Bane causes a breakout at Arkham asylum just to weaken Batman further. As Batman gets worn down, Bane and friends monitor. At the right moment, Bane, who has discovered that Batman is also Bruce Wayne, meets him at Wayne manor and simply beats the hell out of him. Batman tries to fight back because that's just how he is, but after weeks of mental and physical torment, he simply has nothing left. Shee-it, I think I could've withstood that blow. Bane didn't even need his venom (which makes him super strong) for this, but he used it anyway. I believe Batman could've taken Bane in an even fight, even with him amped-up on the juice, but Bane isn't interested in a fair fight. He's interested in abject humiliation at every level, which he almost achieves; Batman never gives up, so his spirit isn't really broken, but it's a close thing. The other villains and their schemes which lead up to the final confrontation are pretty fun. Normally they'd be nothing to write home about, especially the Firefly arc, but seeing the toll they take on Batman is what makes the story more interesting. Then there are the ones that are worth writing home about, such as the Ventriloquist's search for Scarface (I know the Ventriloquist is supposed to be lame as hell, and he is, but I still think he's a scream). And the Joker and Scarecrow teaming up, kidnapping the mayor, and using fear gas to force him to cause more chaos with ridiculous orders and edicts. I know such behavior is common practice for governors and mayors in 2020, but in 1993, watching your city burn, doing nothing to stop it, and in fact helping to run it into the ground was a novelty. Batman goes further than usual when he gives the Joker his beatdown, and who knows what would've happened if they didn't start a trap that would've killed the mayor, forcing Batman to rescue him instead. Basically years of pent up anger at Jason Todd's murder finally came out, and Batman was too mentally fatigued to stop himself from losing control. All of this is great reading. As usual, trade paperbacks that collect several issues aren't meant to be complete stories. There are events that went on before that will be mentioned, and foreshadowing of events to come that won't be resolved. There is also ongoing soap-opera stuff, such as Bruce's relationship with Dr. Kinsolving. Somebody approaching this for the first time will see things to make him go "What the hell was that all about?" However, they're minimal, and I think people can follow along easily enough if they're diving in for the first time. Next checkpoint: Knightfall: Part Two

  19. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    I missed Knightfall the first time around, because the series began right after I left for college and temporarily gave up my comics habit that was born from and raised on Batman. Nowadays a craving for superhero books boils up in me about twice a year, and the last one hit its peak just as I rewatched The Dark Knight Rises, giving me the irresistible urge to examine its primary source material. Turns out it's the first comic collection in years that made me embarrassed to be reading it. The lig I missed Knightfall the first time around, because the series began right after I left for college and temporarily gave up my comics habit that was born from and raised on Batman. Nowadays a craving for superhero books boils up in me about twice a year, and the last one hit its peak just as I rewatched The Dark Knight Rises, giving me the irresistible urge to examine its primary source material. Turns out it's the first comic collection in years that made me embarrassed to be reading it. The light of even Nolan's worst Batman movie exposes everything awful about this series, which breaks out every superhero comic cliche. Knightfall'soverwrought dialogue and unrelenting dourness camouflage an almost total lack of imagination and a villain that would seem thinly drawn even facing off against Flash Gordon. But it was nice to see Norm Breyfogle's proudly goofy artwork again, and the final panel of Bane breaking Batman's back (<--spoiler) has become iconic, so I guess that's something.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brini

    Not accepting any help made Batman really annoying and the end of part 1 of this story predictable, therefore less enjoyable. Right from the start, Robin was way smarter and would have been a better Batman.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Koen

    Amazing story on how Bane tries to destroy Batman's will and confidence with the help of all those crazy Arkham villains.. And then.. the apotheosis of this volume!! Can't wait to read the next chapter of this story.. Amazing story on how Bane tries to destroy Batman's will and confidence with the help of all those crazy Arkham villains.. And then.. the apotheosis of this volume!! Can't wait to read the next chapter of this story..

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lavell

    The idea of how to beat the Batman is quite good. The quality of Bane as a villain is great.Now on to the next chapter. Enjoyable.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rider

    It was long but interesting.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Finnley

    Brilliant. The art pops out at you. The story is thrilling. The ending is great . I will not go into spoilers but the battles are bloody and grousome but the mind games throughout are generally quite terrific as you see this man who is the protector get beaten and beaten despite obvious victory’s. I generally advice anybody to read it. Sure it’s quite long but when you get gripped into it you will not put it down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gil Hernandez

    I like Batman and the comics but this is a novel wich said in the beginning of the book. I was so bored in the book but it did show the Batman in a Good way and how he needs a replacement or he will let Gotham down. The author try to do something different, and he failed me because like I said I couldn't keep up in the book. I like Batman and the comics but this is a novel wich said in the beginning of the book. I was so bored in the book but it did show the Batman in a Good way and how he needs a replacement or he will let Gotham down. The author try to do something different, and he failed me because like I said I couldn't keep up in the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This graphic novel was very old school and fairly suspenseful. Batman is my favourite Superhero from DC and so as a character I wanted to read more about him. This was not the most brilliant collection of comics but it was readable and I enjoyed the story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adam Pereira

    Batman: Knightfall Part 1 is the first Part of a three arc storyline of a classic tale, and one of the most popular of the Dark Knight's tales. Knightfall is about the classic tale of the fall of Bruce Wayne. The story sets off as a review to Bane, and his origin in the prison in Santa Prisca. We see Bane as a child, going throughout the prison, damned to serve the sentence of his father. As he lives throughout the prison as a child, his mother is executed at a certain age and Bane is left as a Batman: Knightfall Part 1 is the first Part of a three arc storyline of a classic tale, and one of the most popular of the Dark Knight's tales. Knightfall is about the classic tale of the fall of Bruce Wayne. The story sets off as a review to Bane, and his origin in the prison in Santa Prisca. We see Bane as a child, going throughout the prison, damned to serve the sentence of his father. As he lives throughout the prison as a child, his mother is executed at a certain age and Bane is left as a boy to fend for himself in a prison alone as just a young boy. Bane grows up to read many books and becomes self-educated. He meets a friend named Bird, who breaks him out, and Bane is free, to set out to Gotham. Bane is learns about the Dark Knight, and hears stories of the dark, brooding man who protects the city who is nearly invincible, and Bane shows great interest in him. Bane sets out to Gotham due to him learning in prsion that if you want to be respected, you must take out the leader in order to become one. Bane is shown to be a a very big asset to the story, and the story has a great sense, in showing both sides of the hero and villian and each of their stories. In great detail as we see Bane slowly break the bat. Bane frees Arkham Asylum and all of its inmates, having the batman to defeat every villain who had escaped. With each villain Batman takes down, a toll is taken on him. Bruce Wayne is weak and sick and this comic series shows a great portrayal of a side of Batman we do not usually see often. We see Bruce Wayne at a point of serious weakness and sickness. However, even at his moments of sickness and weakness, Bruce Wayne continues to fight the villains of Gotham to protect his city. Once Bane has found that The Batman is weak enough, he pays him a visit at Wayne Manor, and beats him, until the famous move of Bane breaking Batman's back. Knightfall was personally one of my favorite series of all time. The art in the comics was great, and the story i found to be even greater. The story of Bane breaking Batman's back has been a defining moment of Batman's history, and has been portrayed in such movies like The Dark Knight Rises. The comics show a side of the Batman that is not usually portrayed, but as always, batman has the determination, that no matter the odds against him, he would die for the city that he was raised in, and would do anything to protect the citizens of Gotham. The comic series will go down and continue to be a great moment In comics and in literature itself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Gibson

    I am pretty sure I read most of these when they were originally published, but what fun to read again. This is one oft the greatest Batman stories ever told! To weaken the Bat, Bane blows a hole in Arkham Asylum freeing the some of the world's most dangerous and insane criminals. This is bad news for Batman who is already badly poor health, but good news for fans who wanted to see an A-List Super Villains- including The Ventriloquist, The Mad Hatter, Firefly, Poison Ivy, Riddler, Scarecrow, the I am pretty sure I read most of these when they were originally published, but what fun to read again. This is one oft the greatest Batman stories ever told! To weaken the Bat, Bane blows a hole in Arkham Asylum freeing the some of the world's most dangerous and insane criminals. This is bad news for Batman who is already badly poor health, but good news for fans who wanted to see an A-List Super Villains- including The Ventriloquist, The Mad Hatter, Firefly, Poison Ivy, Riddler, Scarecrow, the Joker, and eventually Bane!

  29. 5 out of 5

    R. Jones

    I like the idea of having a copy of the graphic novels the recent Nolan movies are based off (Year 1 for Batman Begins, The Killing Joke for The Dark Knight), so, Knightfall seemed like a good investment to make. I only got Volume 1 because I'm frankly not interested in the subsequent Azrael storyline, though I might end up picking up Volume 2, since Broken Bat ends rather abruptly. Spoiler: the bat gets broken. Aside from being a little dated (the robot that appears on the first fucking page jus I like the idea of having a copy of the graphic novels the recent Nolan movies are based off (Year 1 for Batman Begins, The Killing Joke for The Dark Knight), so, Knightfall seemed like a good investment to make. I only got Volume 1 because I'm frankly not interested in the subsequent Azrael storyline, though I might end up picking up Volume 2, since Broken Bat ends rather abruptly. Spoiler: the bat gets broken. Aside from being a little dated (the robot that appears on the first fucking page just makes me cringe), this was a surprisingly good read. Batman starts off pretty sick, and gets pushed to his absolute limits with each villain he chases and brings down. Still guilty over the death of Jason Todd (the second Robin, who died at the hands of the Joker), he refuses to let the third (and current) Robin take part in any danger. It's a good ongoing story that adds depth to the Batman mythos. You can tell they're rather new to the "Let's at least TRY to give SOME semblance of reality here" game, but that doesn't detract from the experience. Bane is an absolutely terrifying (if somewhat silly looking) villain, and even knowing what's going to go down, it was still pretty cool to see the fight that has been building up throughout. Art's a little... well... it's a twenty year old novel. The writing is absolutely top-notch, though. Quite frankly, Knightfall is just required reading for any hardcore Batman fans. Fortunately, it also happens to be an enjoyable read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah Demster

    Here's the thing about Knightfall, because of his huge stature both physically and mentally, and the way he subverts expectations as a villain, most people see the entirety of the story arch as being about Batman vs Bain. But it's not. Knightfall part 1 is a good story in it's own right, sure, and as shocking in comic history as the death of Superman was, but the story here is only the set up for the actual story being told. This whole arch is about Bruce Wayne vs Batman. How bad does he still w Here's the thing about Knightfall, because of his huge stature both physically and mentally, and the way he subverts expectations as a villain, most people see the entirety of the story arch as being about Batman vs Bain. But it's not. Knightfall part 1 is a good story in it's own right, sure, and as shocking in comic history as the death of Superman was, but the story here is only the set up for the actual story being told. This whole arch is about Bruce Wayne vs Batman. How bad does he still want to do what he chose to do all those years ago? Becoming Batman was a reactionary decision. He never owned the cowl as much as it owned him. The beginning-to-end theme here is him seeing that Batman is bigger than him, and being forced to wrestle with the decision as to whether or not he wants to continue. And if he does can he step into the role in a new way...a way that is equal parts his identity, and the identity Batman has on his own, outside of what Wayne created. You can't judge part 1 for it's own weaknesses, which it does have, because it's not a complete story. It's the first third of a book. The dramatic tension. The consequences, the climax, the turn, and the ending are all still yet to be discovered if you stop at the end of this book. This is brilliant for what it is, and is a fantastic set up for what comes next.

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