Will Brooker's "Batman Unmasked" has its moments. Brooker does a great job of giving the character a solid publication background and discussing some of the key issues that have come up in the history of the Batman character. However, he seems to spend a disproportionate ammount of time trying to convince us all that Batman is gay, or, more accurately, that "gay readings" of Batman are not "wrong", or even uncommon.
Well, to be frank, of course they're not "wrong," as you can never be "wrong" in an interpretation of a character. I remember writing a paper in my freshman year comparing the characters of Hamlet, Iago, and Richard III, and concluding that Hamlet could be read as a villain. However, Brooker preemptively tries to pigeonhole everyone who argues against this point as "homophobic" and tries to essentially say that most of the gay subtext of the character in the 40s, 50s, and 60s was intentional. It's one thing to reinterpret a character, it's something completely different to make the assumption that the subtext is intentional.
Brooker spends little time talking about "The Dark Knight Returns," probably the most famous, well-loved, and groundbreaking Batman comic book of the last 25 years, and only mentions it as a counterpoint to the more campy interpretations and as an influence on Tim Burton's 1989 film.
Finally, Brooker spends way too much time quoting from Internet message boards. I guess that's fine for a Culture Studies book, but I think that time may have been better spent reading Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Bruno Bettelheim and discussing how The Batman fits into the ideas of authors who have done similar works relating to mythology and fairy-tales.
This wasn't a bad book, but I think it could have been MUCH better.