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Hunting The Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman Hardcover – 30 May 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd (30 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848852797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848852792
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,372,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


A fascinating and incredibly detailed analysis of comic fiction s most powerful and successful hero. --Pat Mills, author of Batman: The Book of Shadows

Through the prism of poststructuralism, Will Brooker casts dazzling new light on Batman as myth, brand, and canon. Hunting the Dark Knight is, quite simply, a brilliant study of the Batman and contemporary processes of rebooting, franchising and shaping a cultural icon. --Matt Hills, author of Triumph of a Time Lord

About the Author

Will Brooker is the leading academic expert on the Dark Knight, and author of the cultural history of Batman, Batman Unmasked. His other books include Using the Force and Alice s Adventures. He edited the Audience Studies Reader and The Blade Runner Experience, and wrote the BFI Film Classics volume on Star Wars. He is currently Director of Research in Film and Television at Kingston University, London, and editor of Cinema Journal.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Billy Proctor on 17 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Following on from Will Brooker's 'Batman Unmasked: Analysing a Cultural Icon', 'Hunting the Dark Knight' is simply 'the' book for Bat-fans everywhere. By utilising a framework which consists of doyens of poststructuralism such as the controversial Derrida, Bakhtin, Foucault and others and wrestling with multiple theoretical models (authorship; realism; intertextuality; carnival; deconstruction), this book presents complex arguments in a clear, concise and eminently readable manner. Don't worry if the theories sound somewhat obscure - Brooker explains all with deft articulation and profundity. Focusing on, amongst many things, Nolan's Batman films and Grant Morrison's 'game-changing' tenure as Batman writer for DC Comics, Brooker does not constrain Batman within inescapable chains of meaning, but unleashes the multiplicity of his personalities. 'Hunting the Dark Knight' sets the Batman free. If you love The Dark Knight, this book is a must buy. This should be on the shelves of academics, film-lovers and comic book fans everywhere. Simply put, the book of the year!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Felix the Cat on 31 July 2012
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I have been a fan of Will Brooker's work ever since I read Batman Unmasked. His latest, Hunting the Dark Knight, provides an excellent analysis of Batman's recent history. In weaving together adaptation theory and concepts outlined in Roland Barthes' 'The Death of the Author', Brooker constructs a model for understanding how recent Batman texts, particularly Christopher Nolan's film trilogy, manage to negotiate the space between auteurist innovation and narrative tradition. His suggestion that every work fits into a 'matrix' of cultural influences that extend far beyond any individual Batman text, or continuity, is likely to change the way you look at Batman and his surrounding universe. This sounds very theoretical, but, as readers of his previous work will know, in addition to being a scholar, Brooker is a self-confessed Batman fan. He writes in a fluid style that makes his work accessible to Batman enthusiasts, as well as academics interested in the subject. He also has an eye for detail that an analyst less close to the subject matter could miss.
This book is a complete work in itself. Nevertheless, the theories outlined inside it help to develop and expand those of Batman Unmasked and, if you return to Brooker's first monograph on Batman after having read the second, you are likely to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts outlined there. Taken together, the two works represent the definitive analysis of Batman from his first incarnation, to the present Christopher Nolan trilogy. Both books are highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TonyV on 17 July 2012
Format: Paperback
It's only fitting in an age of sequelitis in superhero films that Will Brooker has followed up his earlier 'Batman Unmasked' with an equally compelling successor. Whereas his first book was a cultural history of the Caped Crusader from the 1930s to the millennium, this study focuses attention on the twenty-first century Dark Knight. After more than 70 years, Batman remains a compelling and alluring figure. DC's heroes were generally more boring and conservative compared to the cooler, hipper Marvel - the major exception being of course Bruce Wayne.

These two books are written from the perspective of a fan-scholar, charting the character through various iterations and interpretations. This publication cannily coincides with the release of Chris Nolan's highly anticipated 'Dark Knight Rises', and Brooker sets himself the complex task of navigating the networks of media convergence composed of cinema, audiences, fan communities, authorship, marketing and much more. This he manages with much aplomb and lucidity, drawing on aspects of cultural theory - Barthes, Bahktin, Foucault, Derrida etc. - to advance and illuminate his reading. Both studies set the bar high, and both deserve to be read together as a box set (though they can quite easily be enjoyed separately and out of order).

With Batman set to be rebooted for the movies once more, can we expect a threequel from Brooker in a few years time...?
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