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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece and its company, 17 April 2012
Paul McNamee (North Ireland) - See all my reviews
Of the three hardcover graphic novels compiled in this single paperback edition, only one is what I'd happily call a must-read. That is of course the third and final of the trilogy, Birth Of The Demon, for which this book is named. Though the first two (Son Of The Demon and Bride Of The Demon) are enjoyable romps in their own right, Birth Of The Demon is truly a sublime Batman publication charting the history of villain extraordinaire Ra's Al Ghul and written by his own creator, the legendary Denny O'Neil. O'Neil always had the best handle on his own character and the first two stories (written by Mike W. Barr) honestly feel like a warm up to the main event, but it's so much more than just a well-written origin story. From pace to framing, the story is perfect, thanks in no small part to the art of fellow Bat-alum and legend Norm Breyfogle which sees his discard his typical linework for an altogether more unique feel with paintwork and colouring and so many more positives that I can't describe them. It's gorgeous, truly, and the tale is tall and nasty and properly fitting of the man many would consider Batman's greatest foe.

The presentation is definitely worth a mention seeing as these books have been scaled down for their reprinting here and as such, as least on the first two, the artwork seems to suffer from a strange compression eefect that leaves the colours bleeding into one another and creates a sort of sickly look for the first two thirds of the book. Whether it's Breyfogle's artwork or just pure good luck, Birth Of The Demon itself doesn't seem to fare as badly and I've not a single complaint about it.

This edition is affordable (check out the prices for the original three hardcovers online - yowza) and though the presentation isn't perfect it's a great alternative to hunting down the originals and frankly a steal for the chance to own O'Neil and Norm's crowning achievement. There's nary an extra in sight save for the original covers collected at the back so unfotunately the original introductions are absent, but regardless I can easily recommend this for Batfans new and old (and if you fancy tying it into Morrison's recent run, the rear blurb gives you the go ahead, though it seems a tad strenuous considering a single panel "a prequel" to Batman And Son).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest graphic novel of all time?, 22 Mar. 2012
Is this the greatest graphic novel of all time? Quite possibly! It's certainly my favourite. This new edition brings together all three of the Demon tales with the best (Birth of a Demon) saved for last. It's a masterpiece: superb artwork, punchy dialogue and a story that's rich and vivid and yet set far away from Gotham. More Arabian Nights than Dark Knight. Someone needs to turn this into a movie. It's also very morally complicated. People often dismiss graphic novels but I think it's genuinely thought provoking. If you've haven't read it - get yourself a copy now!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of the Greatest Batman and Ra's al Ghul stories. One of the best graphic novels you can buy., 22 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Batman Birth Of The Demon TP (Paperback)
The trilogy of one shot graphic novel stories featuring Batman and Ra's al Ghul, The Demon and the Detective.

When I first got into reading Batman books, IGN's original Top 25 best graphic novel list was a great help. The list has changed and been updated a few times since but back then I was seeking out the books that I was interested in. Two of those books were Birth of the Demon and Son of the Demon. Both were unavailable and I put them out of my mind for a time. Recently I saw an Amazon List of the Top Ten Batman Graphic Novels and this collection was listed. It contained the two aforementioned tales as well as Batman: Bride of the Demon, all referred to as The Demon Head trilogy. This new collection featured classic stories from the 1987, 1991 & 1993 respectively.

Batman: Son of the Demon Written by Mike W. Barr and rt by Jerry Bingham
Batman: Bride of the Demon Written by Mike W. Barr and art by Tom Grindberg
Batman: Birth of the Demon Written by Dennis O'Neil and art by Norm Breyfogle

Ra's al Ghul is character that doesn't appear in too many Batman stories, its quality over quantity. The only stories I have read where he featured as the main antagonist are Mark Waid's Justice League Tower of Babel and Matt Wagner's Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman Trinity. In my opinion he has always been one the scariest and creepiest of the Batman villain's and yet a fascinating and interesting character. Ra's al Ghul is great villain that is well matched for Batman and presents a very different kind of story.

The trilogy begins with a strong start with Son of The Demon features The Dark Knight and Head of the Demon form a partnership while they both track down a mutual adversary along with Talia, who has always been one of the more interesting of Batman's love interests. Batman begins his allegiance with Ra's and ultimately becoming Ra's son after he and Talia marry and she reveales that she's pregnant with Batman's child. It is a welcome change offering brighter light to a character that is so steeped in the darkness. One of the happier Batman tales of the 80's. I really liked the story Batman, Ra's and Talia all work together to bring down their enemy, another refreshing take for a solo character. Ra's has no ulterior motive to double cross the Dark Knight, he trusts him and even allows Batman to train the his troops in non lethal forms of combat. This was a great story one of the great Batman tales you will ever read. Son of the Demon offers a fantastic mix of action and drama. Talia's loyalties become split between father and husband.

The beginning of the Ra's trilogy, Son of the Demon is a refreshing read. We get to see how Batman was portrayed in the late 80's. Batman's humanity is on full display in this tale. If you've ever had a fascination with the Demon's Head, Son of the Demon is one book you absolutely must read.

The second story Bride of the Demon, finds Ra's al Ghul having moved on from his desire for the "Detective" to be his heir and instead seeks to create his own. The main plot of the story is Ra's working with a environmental scientist to repair the damage done to the O-zone layer and have his own son to carry on Ra's al Ghul improved world. He offers the chance to an aged Hollywood starlet to regain her youth in return to be his bride and to aid his determination of having a son. It feels like the kind of story that you would expect from Ra's al Ghul story, the environmental terrorist. While the previous story consists of personal vendetta this is much more of the typical Ra's al Ghul story, Batman attempts to thwart his plans for the betterment of mankind but with many human casualties in the process. The story does feature some great action scenes, detective work and one of the favorite moments of the story, Ra's Al Ghul's men leading an assault on the Batcave. The story also continues the conflict of Talia, torn between her Father and her Beloved. Ra's is shown as both tyrant and tortured soul, it's hard not to feel some sympathy for his cause.

It is an expected and great story featuring Batman and his biggest adversary Ra's al Ghul. It's good reading, offering a new element as Ra's requires a bride and to be a father again. The story is the kind of story what you'd be expecting that feels right in this collection sandwiched in between two other great Batman and Ra's al Ghul classic stories.

Birth of the Demon, It is easy to see why this is title for this graphic novel and also why it was saved to the last. This was a brilliant story and gave me the biggest thrill of the three. The book ends in final Ra's al Ghul tale detailing his origin in the time of the crusades.

Batman is determined to put an end to Ra's al Ghul's reign of terror. Not by killing him but by making it impossible for Ra's to revive himself within Lazarus Pit. Having discovered the secret to the location of each pit, Batman has been repeatedly foiling any attempts to create new pits. In response to this, Tailia sets out to prepare the final pit personally where she confronts Batman and the former lovers begin to discuss Ra's Al Ghul and how he came to be hundreds of years ago. A key component in of most of the Ra's Al Ghul stories is the Lazuras Pits, this tale does answer the questions to how and why they work and even why his name translates as Head of the Demon. The last story is the best, I thought the first story was very good, the second was good but the final story completely took me by surprise by how brilliant it was. It's more of a character driven story in the hands of the writer who created him Dennis O Neil. I was hoping when I bought this collection it would feature the famous first story arc featuring Ra's al Ghul and Batman issue #232, but this final story pays homage to that infamous final duel that we've first scene in the aforementioned issue.This story is brilliant and was real surprise to actually how good it was. I loved the first story and thought it couldn't be topped but Birth of the Demon blows both those stories out of the water. Almost as if there was no plot, just a story of a man and how it came to be. A character driven tale unlike anything I have read before. The art is stunning too, it really fits the story.

This spectacular story ends in a climatic showdown between the Demon and the Dark Knight. This final face is nothing more that a duel between these two long time adversaries, Ra's no plans in place and Batman is not trying to prevent the latest evil scheme, just good old fashioned fight which lasts for several pages and is the thrilling to witness.

Overall it is a great book featuring one of the most fascinating villains of the DC Universe. This collection offers fans a chance to get into these stories that are no longer available individually. Here the Demon trilogy in one great collection of classic stories. The book cover art is by Andy Kubert who also was the artist for the Batman and Son story. Each tale provides roughly an hour and half of reading, all the stories are different and the first two show us Ra's al Ghul in the modern setting against Batman and the final story we learn of how he came to be before a epic face off with Batman.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and getting to get into stories of one of Batman's infamous and mysterious villains. Ra's al Ghul will be the main antagonist in the upcoming third season of Arrow. I loved this book, the highlight for me was the final story, Birth of the Demon. Ra's al Ghul's origin and best story written by one of his creators Dennis O Neil. I've just stared reading Dennis O Neil and Neal Adam's acclaimed stories that first brought relevance to comics in the 1970's. That review will be up sometime soon after I get through the 18 issues.

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4.0 out of 5 stars 3 stories involving Ra's, 28 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Batman Birth Of The Demon TP (Paperback)
Ok, i am not a big fan of Ra's but i was curios to learn more about the character. The first story is really good and leads to some revelation about Batman's relationship with Talia. Won't say more cause i don't wanna be a spoiler. The seconds story seemed a little bit easy for me, like the oldstyle comics, more for kids... The third one was Ra's origin and it was interesting.
I like it, was a good buy!
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Batman Birth Of The Demon TP
Batman Birth Of The Demon TP by Mike W. Barr (Paperback - 7 Mar. 2012)
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