Films

Batman – Character Encyclopedia

Written by Omair Alavi

Synopsis

Read about the Caped Crusader, his friends, and foes while The Batman is in cinemas

Karachi: Call him justice, call him vengeance, but the fact remains that Batman is one superhero we all need in our lives. Just as he saved Gotham City in the movie, we want him to come out from the shadows and bring the change we so dearly need. Since he is busy solving crimes on the other side of the planet, the closest we can get to him is through Batman: Character Encyclopedia that takes you into the world of Batman, and help you find out all there is to know about his friends, foes, and colleagues.

Through this book, you can discover the powerful, crazy, strange, and normal characters from the Batman universe, and learn about their past and present without getting bored. Each page covers a different character from Batman comics, where powers, skills, abilities, and origin of these characters are given a special mention. If you didn’t know that Joker used to be the head of the Red Hood gang, or that the woman Mr. Freeze wants to save is not his wife, then you need to delve into these pages to update your knowledge.

This book can also serve as a guide to The Batman flick that is currently making moolah at the box office. From Carmine Falcone to The Penguin, The Catwoman to James Gordon, The Riddler to Alfred, this book covers each and every Batman character’s origin so well that when you go and watch the film, you know these characters like the back of your hand. It tells you that Joker was a career criminal before he became the owner of a disfigured face, Harley Quinn is adept at using a giant hammer and Alfred had a career in the Armed Forces before the Waynes employed him, among other things.

Since this book brings together the heroes who helped Batman in his crime-fighting, the villains against whom they fought, and those neutral guys who change sides at their convenience, it is an un-put-down-able guide. Updated till the evolution of Damien Wayne as Robin, featuring everyone from Batman’s parents to The Joker’s Daughter (yes, there is one!), every page revolves around one character. Besides a short description, that page features a famous quote from the Comics uttered by that character, his real name, his occupation (a hero or a criminal to be precise), his specifications from height to weight as well as his base, from where he operates.

That’s not all, you can also read about the powers and abilities of these characters, which makes them worthy friends or enemies of Batman. Don’t be surprised to know that the Batwoman, Bat Girl, and Black Bat are different individuals, whose only link is fighting alongside the Batman. As for the other characters in these pages, they can be a time-traveling warlord from another dimension, disgruntled ally turned evil or even a character who died before Bruce Wayne was born, but they all have something to do in making Batman, the world’s greatest detective.

What I loved most about this book is that it treats Bruce Wayne and Batman as separate identities, for they are mirror opposite of each other. One is a billionaire hell-bent on finding out his parents’ killer, the other wants to rid the city of crime. One wears a tuxedo to impress his associates, the other wears a bat costume to instill fear into the criminals. His relationship with his associates namely Alfred, Robin, and others is also brought to the fore so that the readers know that behind the mask is a superhero whose biggest superpower is being human.

And then there is the Justice League; Batman’s super friends from across the galaxy who are just one phone call away! From Superman to Aquaman, Wonder Woman to Martian Manhunter, The Flash to Green Lantern, every Justice League member (and villain) gets mentioned in these pages for their awesome powers, their association with Batman, and their origins. If you didn’t know there are more than one Flash, more than one Green Lantern, and more than one Robin, then you need to get your hands on this book so that you know it all, before your friends.

Justice League isn’t the only ‘league’ mentioned here for you can find Birds of Prey (all-female superheroes), Suicide Squad (all anti superheroes), The Teen Titans (all teenage superheroes), and The Red Hood Gang (criminals wearing a Red Hood) in this book as well. If you had no idea that in one universe Superman and Batman are the bad guys, or that Shazam exists in the same universe as Batman, this book is what the doctor ordered for you!

The evolution of all characters makes it more of an interactive book than an encyclopedia per se. What happened to James Gordon after he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit; what did Dick Grayson do when he became over-aged for Robin; how old is Ras-Al-Ghul, and how is he related to Batman’s son. Find answers to these interesting questions in this Batman: Character Encyclopedia and improve your knowledge about the World’s greatest detective and his companions.

Omair Alavi – BOL News

About the author

Omair Alavi