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Customer reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
6
Batman No Mans Land TP Vol 05
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on 22 January 2015
Be warned. This is volume 5 from the OLD editions. If you are buying the new editions they finish at volume 4. This volume contains the final 2/3rds of the new edition volume 4 and it uses inferior paper stock - Avoid!
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on 27 December 2014
An utter waste of time just a rehash of the 1st 4, a horrible end to the canon.
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VINE VOICEon 11 November 2007
This is the concluding part to the No Man's Land series which has spanned six books. It began with Cataclysm and then went from volumes one to this, the fifth volume.
The fourth volume ended with Lex Luthor on the scene, looking to put Gotham back together, and the Joker beginning his moves to bring madness to what was left of the city.
In essence this volume ties up all the loose ends to all the plot lines that have been going on through all the six books. The Joker gets plenty of action and the scenes where he is involved are excellent - full of mayhem, madness and utter psychotic behaviour. The Huntress is dealt with in an equally well thought out way. Batman visits Lex Luthor in some nice set pieces to 'persuade' him to leave Gotham. But the real twist to the tale is a tragedy that strikes at commissioner Gordon.... I won't spoil this plot twist for you, you will have to read this volume yourself.
So what is good about this final volume? Firstly - the Joker is superb. The artwork is also very good throughout. The plot lines are dealt with properly as well. The commissioner Gordon twist is top drawer comic writing is also excellent.
But this graphic novel also has some flaws that are inherent with the series. Personally, there are not many series that stretch over 6 volumes, and it feels too long to me. The idea is excellent, but the writers haven't paced it properly or made the most of the potential storylines in whole year that the series takes place in. Firstly, the Lex Luthor angle fades from the book, when it should have gone out with a bang. It seems incomprehensible that Superman would not have made an appearance to stop Luthor's scheme. And that scheme although clever, is not nearly dark, or menacing enough. The writers could have really shown Luthor as a master tactician, but it kind of drifts off.
Another fault is Bane. Yet again, the character that almost killed Batman is criminally under used. If Bane keeps becoming involved in these types of storylines he will become less of a threat, and ultimately will just be another thug as opposed to a criminal genuis like the Joker or Two Face. There is no real sense of threat by Bane, or any fear of him.
This seems to be the biggest problem with the series. The writers haven't really stretched themselves with the whole idea. Too many bad guys survived the earthquake for a start and that is almost unbelievable. The ones who have survived don't get really clever,well-thought out plot lines. The only criminal who gets a great plot is the Joker - and he only really appears properly in this, the final volume! The Penguin, and Two Face are under used as well. The plot lines are strictly painting by numbers, and the potential was there to really throw some great ideas into the stories in the series - there should have been some rip-roaring action, some clever twists, some dark knight detective action, some more tragedy, some more humour. And this series does not deliver these things.
Don't get me wrong, i don't hate it by any means, but it could have been so much better! The whole story is too long and doesn't really change anything in the Batman universe. This could have been great, and ended up being average at best.
This may seem harsh, and the three stars i have given this volume is more of a reflection of the series than this final part. If you are a real Batman fan this is a series you will want, but trust me, there are better Batman graphic novels out there that should be bought before this series.
I am sorry that this series ended this way and only the last few chapters were stunning - well done to the Joker for lifting the ending up above the average mark. He really is the best enemy Batman has, so why did he not get more page time!
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on 14 December 2015
This is the fifth volume of No Mans Land. Those who aren't familiar with the story Gotham City has been hit with an earthquake , killing many citizens and destroying much of Gotham's infrastructure and resources . As a result The United States has quarantined Gotham making it a No go zone. The survivors of Gotham must learn to adapt and get through the ruin or die trying, as Batman and co find a way to rebuild and restore Gotham and protect it against the threat of gangs and criminals.

In the last volume Batman's old nemesis Bane entered No Mans Land , posing a potentially formidable threat to the Dark Knight , only to reveal an even greater threat in Lex Luthor.

No Mans Land has to be the best series of Batman stories I've read. The 1st volume showed how value can change in dire circumstances, such as when an apple is more valuable than a 10 carat diamond. And when good men can become undone in lawless city , such as : Gordon dealing with Two-face and Bill Petit. The stories have been fantastic and left the reader waiting to see what's next. Well this story wraps everything up and brings it to a close. Luthor is planning to use his influence to rebuild the city , whilst at the same time using it for an ulterior agenda,
Elsewhere the Batfamily and the GCPD are trying to restore order to Gotham as the Joker plots his next move.

From start to finish I loved this as I did the last 4 volumes. The confrontation between Batman and Luthor was fantastic . It was priceless to see both masterminds square off , whilst at the same time sparring in wits not blows. Seeing Bill Petit become completely unhinged : considering it been foreshadowing in the stories leading up to it, was good and felt suitably intense in what I can only describe as an epic standoff between him and the Joker. Speaking of Joker he's excellently diabolical in this and is as malevolent as ever as he plans to give the Gothamites something they'll never forget. Huntress is also very good in this ,
it's funny seeing her as the voice of reason to Bill Petit's power trip and she really excels as she beats up Joker's men in an admittedly cool fight. While Bane is somewhat a red herring in the last two stories : including this one, it was certainly a treat to see him give a beat down to the Joker .

The final part in the story has Batman and the GCPD go up against the Joker in a high stake battle which ultimately ends in tragedy and heart ache for one of the characters.

All in all a good read
I highly recommend.
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on 21 May 2001
The best volume in the series gets back to Batman basics, beginning like Batman: Year One. Joker is as bad as ever, desperately seeking the limelight after lying dormant for almost a year.
The heart-thumping Joker plot search is one of the best Batman/Joker moments ever. Get this, even if you, like me, were not too impressed with the earlier volumes, this makes a complete set much more worthwhile.
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on 6 April 2013
And so we come to the end of (what is in my opinion) the worst Batman event book ever, No Man's Land, Volume 5.

No Man's Land's basic setup fails to convince me so throughout the series I've never really believed any of this could happen anyway: a massive earthquake destroys Gotham so the US Government abandons it, leaving the remaining citizens to fend for themselves for over a year. I know Bush 2 and FEMA abandoned those devastated by Katrina for a week but they ended up helping those people eventually and helped get Louisiana and surrounding states back on their feet. So abandoning one of the biggest (fictional) cities in America because of earthquake damage for a year never made sense to me.

That's the first big boo-boo - the second is that Bruce Wayne would abandon Gotham too! The Dark Knight of Gotham would just wander off and bum around Monaco while his city - HIS city - was in ruins? Makes no sense at all. But that's how Book 5 starts off, with Bruce shooting craps in Monaco. Ok, whatever Greg Rucka. Oh and Greg Rucka is one of the most overrated writers in comics today - I've yet to read something of his I've enjoyed unreservedly and NML stands as one of his worst achievements to date. It doesn't help that this Bruce in Monaco sequence is illustrated by the godawful Greg Land.

But while the US government have abandoned Gotham, Lex Luthor hasn't and he shows up doing what the government should've been doing on Day 1, and sets about rebuilding the wrecked city. But Lex being Lex, he's got more sinister plans... and here's a perfect example of why Rucka is such a piss-poor writer - his depiction of Luthor is of the cackling, hand-rubbing cartoonish villain sort that hacks resort to when they've got no ideas of their own. So rather than a nuanced Lex like Morrison or even Azzarello would write, we get the crappy Lex, a rather dull-witted, transparently "evil" baddie which makes the book that much more boring to read.

Bane makes a pointless cameo and then Joker finally makes an appearance and totally fails to make an impression. Here's a good rule of thumb when reading Batman books with Joker in - if the Joker isn't creepy or disturbing or even interesting, then the writer is probably Greg Rucka. I mean, terrible. But yes, the same thing in my book. Joker is an amazing character and, in the right hands, can elevate the story exponentially - in the wrong hands, he's basically playing off of his reputation rather than doing anything new. Such is the case here. His "plan" involves babies (gasp! the monster!) but he doesnt' actually kill any, and then he kills a really minor (not in age, just relevance) character which Rucka probably thought gave this book emotional weight it doesn't have.

Huntress is another character who for some reason is totally out of character as well. She spends the book hanging around a nutjob who's basically acting like a tyrant and then begins executing his men one after the other - because he's a nutjob! And her response? Standing there, hopelessly. That isn't Huntress. If it were, she wouldn't be called a hero of any sort to permit such behaviour. She eventually acts but not before half a dozen men or more are dead. Useless.

As for the ending, which basically closes with the death of a character who, even the most hardcore of Batman fans will have trouble remembering, it is disappointing and dull. It kind of ends with a shrug like "I guess it's over? Back to normal then". Really, what a terrible event - it was so meaningless and boring. I'm having a go at Greg Rucka (partly because I've read other books by him so know he's no good in general) but I'm sure any other writer, no matter how capable, would have a dickens of a time trying to squeeze anything good out of this awful setup.

Be warned if you're setting off on reading this bloated, overwrought affair - NML starts off very ordinarily and quickly loses steam until all drama and tension is long gone by the end and you're left wondering why you bothered in the first place. NML is the worst!
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