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All crime-fighters have paperwork and the Batman as the greatest detective of them all has collected quite a bit of this. In "The Batman Files" he tells us the story of his life, of his work, of his relationships and of his enemies in his own words and in the words of others.
We find his journal-entries, excerpts of other people's diaries, case-files of the GCPD, patient-files of the Arkham Asylum and clippings from newspapers. All this in a very big format, annotated by the Dark Knight himself and on very high quality-paper that makes the carrying around of the volume an exercise for the lower arms and the wrists. This book is heavy. And very well made. The binding is superb, the print is high-quality and the page-corners are blackened, so that on first turning each page one has a soft tearing of hardened paint in the ears. This sensual experience alone makes up some of the price (and the other quality-aspects the rest. Then comes the content). The cover is soft and looks quite expensive and the flap of the file is secured by a magnet, which connects with a satisfying sound. All in all very nice craftmanship.
Inside we find the story of the Batman from his own perspective and in it we find a man who isn't as sure of himself as he likes to make his surroundings belkieve most of the time. And the story of a man who has been alone in his mission for a very long time because he had difficulties to connect to other people - even to those who gave him everything they had. So we find quite a bit of self-criticism here, which is interesting in itself.
It's over 80 years that Robert Kane brought the first Batman-story to paper and the character changed a lot over the decades. In the writing and the artwork, we can see some of this development. But this work by Michael Readan and Matthew K. Manning, who wrote the texts and commentaries connecting the pictures and stories, selects part of them and streamlines them towards the newest incarnation of th Dark Knight. So old-fans who have never stopped can take a trip down memory-lane, pausers can catch up to today and to Batman Inc. and absolute beginners can get a good start-off with a lot of important background of one of the most iconic characters in the history of painted story-telling.