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4.6 out of 5 stars13
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 June 2015
Kicking off the Knightfall series with a strong powerful start. Bane as one mission in life, to break the Batman. And hes not going to play nice to do it. After watching Batman and hunting him like an Animal, Bane kicks of his master plan to defeat Batman physically and psychologically by organising a mass break out of Arkham Asylum, undoing all of Batmans hard life long work and causing instant mayhem on the streets of gotham as every villain the city has ever faced strikes simultaneously. Batman needs to run Banes gauntlet, Protect his city and still have enough spirit to face Bane at the end of the day.

This is one of the greatest story lines of all times and a must read for all Batman Fans, containing appearances from almost all of Batmans rogues gallery and showcasing the cold evil cunning of the new villain on the block Bane. After this book you have nothing but respect and fear for Bane and what he achieves. its just a shame this is the only time we as readers see him as a real threat. his subsequent appearances reduce him to nothing but a heavy thug (Much like most of Batman foes).

The art is strong and detailed painting a great backdrop for all of Batman indivdual encounters with fantastic atmosphere. The characters are detailed and you can see the deterioration of Batman in his expressions as the story progresses. The fight scene between Bane and Batman is done fantastically creating tension as you read through, willing Batman to get up the reader feels really invested and involved in the story after witnessing Batman fight throught the gauntlet to reach this point.

There is now a better collected edition available which contains this graphic novel and its sequel Batman: Knightfall: Who Rules The Night, I would recommend buy the new edition over this one.
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The masked villain Bane arrives in Gotham with a plan to destroy Batman - release all of Batman's prisoners from Arkham Asylum and once he's gone through them all, he'll be at his weakest and then... then he will break him!

The first part of the Knightfall trilogy is overlong and a bit dull to be honest. It's a good storyline, Bane setting loose a ton of villains into Gotham and then sitting back, waiting for the perfect moment to strike, but all it means is that Batman has to go through each and every villain in a kind of rote, dull way as we slowly see Batman get weaker and weaker.

But why is he so worn out even at the start of the book? It's not explained in the book but the prelude to this is a fight Batman had with Black Mask and his gang which wore him out, along with a venom-juiced up Riddler, followed by what can only be described as a mid-life crisis (I know). Bruce can't sleep nor is he willing to take any rest so he's an exhausted wreck even before Bane sets free the inmates of Arkham.

Luckily Bruce has a new ally in Jean-Paul Valley aka Azrael, a graduate student in Gotham U, who discovers that he's been unconsciously trained from birth to be an assassin for an ancient religious order. While he plays a relatively low role in this book, he's being helped by Tim Drake (Robin) to overcome his conditioning to turn him from a would-be villain to an ally.

I felt there was a lot of crap in this book and a lot of it has to do with aesthetics. Jim Aparo's artwork looks very 90s and is bound to be a turn off to many new Batman readers who've been exposed to tremendous artists like Jim Lee, Tony Daniel, Yanick Paquette, Jock, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan, the list goes on. Joker's face looks ridiculously exaggerated, his mouth looks like you could fit a bowling ball in it, its so elongated, while Zsasz's eyebrows look so jagged they're jutting off of his face entirely. There's a Batman villain in this book I've never heard of and it's easy to see why - he's called "Film Freak" and his superpower is that he's got film reel earrings: that's it. Then there's the Batmobile which looks like a Blackberry Torch, Tim Drake's haircut looks very 90s while Bruce's do looks strangely like Superman's, then there's the 90s mobile phones and printers/computers... The book comes across as very dated.

Appearances aside, the story's not that enthralling either. The enemies that "sap" Batman's strength are all second tier villains like Mad Hatter, Zsasz, Poison Ivy, Cornelius Stirk, and let's not forget the incredible Film Freak. This bizarre line-up culminates with Batman vs Bane where Bruce actually looks scared of Bane, something I felt was very out of character.

The book has a solid overall story arc but it's a long dull slog to get to the conclusion until things get interesting. "Broken Bat" had its moments, I particularly enjoyed Batman's beat down of Joker for the murder of Jason Todd years before, but unfortunately these were few and far between. I'm going to read the rest of the trilogy but for those who're on the fence about reading this first book, I'd say take a look at the second to last page and you've basically got the book in a nutshell. "Broken Bat" is for Batman completists only, for more casual comics readers this book will be boring.
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on 3 August 2011
This is the book I think of when I think of 90's comics especially 90's batman books. The artwork is fantastic; making the villains appear as evil as they ever were and batman looks striking and dark, just as he should. The only time I have ever seen someone draw batman better was Jim Lee in the book "hush".

The story takes place over 3 volumes and it starts with Bane blowing open a hole in arkham asylum which allows everyone to escape and run rampant in Gotham. This means every major batman villain up to that point is free to do anything they wish and batman has to try recapture all the prisoners. Bane is doing this to test batman, to wear him down so that soon he will break batman and "own Gotham".
The reason I love this story is that throughout the story you can see batman being worn down, slowly having the life drained out of him. The writers Doug Moench and Chuck Dixon push batman to his very limit, they show how much batman really cares for Gotham and how far he will go to protect the innocent.

I would encourage any fan of batman to read this, this has one of the greatest moments in the history of batman comics but I won't spoil it for you. Buy it to find out for yourself.
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on 12 February 2012
after many years of wondering how knightfall started i finally got to read broken bat and i have to say its amazing. the artwrok is brilliant and the slow decent of the dark knight into despair really makes you feel something for him.
i really recommend this to both comic fans and just casual readers. you will enjoy this.
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on 25 March 2012
I must admit i have really enjoyed this book. It is very deep and all the way through it you really feel for Batman and his work load. The art work is very good but not amazing the fight with Bane is Epic. A must buy book for any super hero fan of any age.
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on 15 March 2013
This by far is the best batman story out there, I've order the "Batman Knightfall Part 02 Who Rules The Night" story aswell.
If you are into batman this is one you need to get.
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on 22 September 2010
Essential reading for any Batman fan particularly if you liked the central idea of someone trying to destroy batman by pushing him to the limits of his endurance in Batman RIP. Features more or less every villain from batman's rogues gallery and shows what happens when wayne is no longer able to act as batman.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2007
This is the first part in the trilogy that charts the conflict between Batman and Bane - a criminal powered by direct feeds of Venom to his body, which gives him huge amounts of strength.
Without spoiling the plot, this first part of the trilogy deals with Bane wanting to take complete control of Gotham City, and to run it with an iron fist. The problem he has is that the Batman watches over the city.
He devises a plan to bring Batman to his knees, by blowing up Arkham Asylum and releasing all the lunatics that Batman has captured in the past. Bane's theory is to let all the insane criminals seek Batman for revenge and ultimately wear him down, physically and emotionally before Bane steps in to claim Gotham as his prize.
I liked this aspect of the first part of the trilogy. It is almost like Bane is out-foxing Batman, and being very tactical about bringing him down. It is almost a role reversal, in that Batman is REacting to what is thrown at him, rather than stepping back and coming up with a strategy to turn the tables on Bane.
Batman is already weary at the start of the book, but after fighting wave after wave of criminals, he becomes weaker physically and Robin is pushed to one side whilst he blindly pushes on through the pain barrier. In this book we get to meet all the bad guys from Batman's past. They include the Joker, Scarecrow, Zsaz, the Human Firefly, Killer Croc and many more! It is almost a who's who of Batman criminals!
So all the pieces are here for you to enjoy - a really good plot, real emotional involvement, excellent characters and a good amount of care with the way all the characters are treated.
The only real flaw in my opinion is the artwork. This book is quite old now - it came out originally way back in 1993, so the comic version would have preceded this. Batman is in his blue and grey outfit, and not the darker suits we have seen in later comics, or in the Tim Burton films or the recently filmed Batman Begins. In places the drawing looks quite dated, and with some of the standards being set now, this looks really poor in places. That said, there are some genuinely good sections too.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel, it is certainly one of the better Batman collections, and i would recommend this to anyone who likes the character, or has followed his exploits for years through the comics, or to someone who has been away from the scene for a while. It is a good re-introduction to one of the best DC characters.
I picked this up again after a long break, and found that i still enjoyed it immensely. The problem for you - is getting hold of this! It is getting harder and harder to find now, so my recommendation is snap it up now, while you can - you won't be disappointed!!!

SPOILER ALERT - volume two ahead. Amazon put this book and volume 2 together when ataching reviews!

VOLUME 2
This is the second part of the Knightfall trilogy : He Who Rules the Night. As those of you who have read the first part will know, Batman (and more importantly, Bruce Wayne) was defeated by Bane. He was publicly defeated and suffered huge internal injuries and a broken back. This volume picks up where the first left off....
A young trainee takes up the cowl of the Batman, as charged by Bruce Wayne. But all is not well with this new incarnation of the Batman. Jean Paul Valley is the young student, but he is part of a secret society called the Order of Dumas (reference to Alexander Dumas, and the Count of Monte Cristo's mission of revenge?) which has at some point in his past, brainwashed him. Even Jean doesn't know what lurks in the corners of his mind..........
In the story we have a flashback to the first part of the series, where Batman (Bruce Wayne's version) fought against Two Face, and further highlights why he failed in defeating Bane. In this volume, Bane rules supreme over Gotham and is pulling all the strings. Robin has to come to terms with his new partner, who he discovers doesn't really want/need a partner. And in this plotline, there is much to enjoy. The isolation and helplessness Robin feels at being effectively dumped to one side are really good.
Without spoling the entire volume, the story arc deals with Batman (Jean Paul) trying to remove Bane from his position as ruler of Gotham. We see unnerving actions from the new Dark Knight and as the reader, i felt distanced from him, and more in tune with Robin. We see the new Batman prepared to go to lengths even Bruce Wayne would not go too and the over-riding question throughout the graphic novel is ' How far are you prepared to go to get the job done? '.
I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot. But in places it feels a little bit padded. We certainly didn't need the Two Face flash back in my opinion, as it just doesn't sit with the story arc of volume two. There is also a nice section with Nightwing , that could have been developed more. And there is a really long piece on the Scarecrow that does very little to drive the story forward. I liked the change in the costume, as Jean Paul tries to make the cowl and cloak his own. And generally the artwork s better than the first volume.
The final piece of action where we see the new and supposedly improved Batman, going up against Bane is very good too, and is an excellent climax to this volume.
I read through this volume much quicker than the first book, and in many ways it is more of a page turner. I will now start the final installment of the trilogy - so watch this space!!
Again, this is a fairly rare collection now, so snap it up whilst you can!The story is nearly 15 years old now, but still feels like part relevant in this new era of comics!
Enjoy!
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on 8 March 2000
This book is a excellent, the way Jean Paul transforms the bat into a killer and the new costume is just fantastic!
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on 15 August 2015
Great book
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