Book Reviews Reviews

Book review: Batman Character Encyclopedia

Omair Alavi|Published July 11, 2020

We all know who Batman is … but do we really know everything there is to know about the Dark Knight? What made him give up everything else to become the saviour of Gotham City, who helped him become the most successful vigilant in the world, and why is he so obsessed with saving lives of his fellow residents when many of those don’t believe in him?

Batman Character Encyclopaedia takes you back even before the time of Batman and explains to you everything that happens in the Bat-verse, who his friends are and why his enemies hate him so much.

Don’t be surprised if you didn’t know that Joker had a daughter, Batman has a son and there are more than one Robins in Batman’s life. This book will give you answers to everything in Batman’s life, including the person who killed his parents, why is the masked hero Zorro important to Batman, why as Bruce Wayne he acts carelessly in front of others and why Alfred is worth more to him than any superhero around.

But that’s not all, this Character Encyclopaedia doesn’t just feature the Batman allies, but also his foes along with those who are marked neutral. There is a reason why Bane is one-dimensional when it comes to the Caped Crusader; why Harley Quinn is so madly in love with his nemesis Joker, and how the only superhero with no superpowers took on the most powerful villain in the DC Universe, Darkseid and got away with it. Interesting, isn’t it?

The best thing about this book is that it’s not like a novel or a descriptive book that talks about Batman endlessly. Every hero, villain and side character gets a full-page mention here, with information that you will not find anywhere else. From the person’s real name to his occupation (read status), his height and weight to allies and foes, his base from where he operates to powers and abilities, everything is mentioned in the Vital Stats section.

Each character has a full page to himself where besides his full-page image, there is the summary of why he hates Batman, or why Batman wants him or her out of the streets. You will be surprised to find out that there are some super villains who have helped Batman in his adventures and although they didn’t turn over a new leaf, their act displayed that they have ‘good’ in them.

And then there are the catchphrases that add expressions to the pictures; from Darkseid’s “You come a long way to die” to “Only when I’m dead do I intend to rest” delivered by Bane, every page is laced with such thunderous quotes from super villains, superheroes, and characters who are neither but important to Batman. Be it former Gotham City Police Chief Commissioner Gordon to his ex-partner Harvey Bullock, the members of the Red Hood Gang to Batman’s journalist friend Vicki Vale, this encyclopaedia covers them all. Happy hunting, Batman fans!

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 11th, 2020

About the author

Omair Alavi