Sunday, May 24, 2015

Review- BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOL. 2- KNIGHTQUEST


BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOL. 2- KNIGHTQUEST (DC, Second Printing, 2012; Softcover)

Collects Batman #501-508, Catwoman #6, 7, Detective Comics #667-675, Robin #7, and Shadow Of The Bat #19, 20, 24-28 (cover dates October, 1993- June, 1994)

Writers: Chuck Dixon, Alan Grant, Doug Moench, and Jo Duffy
Artists: Pencilers- Graham Nolan, Vince Giarrano, Mike Manley, Barry Kitson, Jim Balent, Bret Blevins, and Tom Grummett; Inkers- Scott Hanna, Vince Giarrano, Mike Manley, Eduardo Barreto, Dick Giordano, Bob Wiaceck, John Beatty, Josef Rubinstein, Frank McLaughlin, Robert R. Smith, and Ray Kryssing

Ahh, the '90s. I quit this hobby during the turn of that decade (as 1989 gave way to 1990), but I occasionally popped in a comic shop to see what was shaking. Whenever I peeked into various comics I was appalled by the artwork (see cover image above). The “Image” look was in vogue, and the speculators lapped this stuff up. Buried under this horrid artwork are occasionally good stories, as evidenced by this very book.

The 1990s were !!!TOTALLY EXTREME!!!, and comics always move with the order of the day. Lame old-fashioned Bruce Wayne Batman was out, and in was the new, almost amoral badass replacement Jean Paul Valley Batman. He had psychological damage due to his programming when he was Azrael, only adding to his !!!TOTALLY EXTREME!!! '90s-ness. He even redesigned the costume with !!!TOTALLY EXTREME!!! weapons. This was a new Batman for today, man. I find the macho posturing of 1990s superheroes to be amusing.


The Joker kidnapping Hollywood studio heads and making a movie, The Death Of Batman, was the best arc in the book. Pretty funny stuff there. Both Catwoman and Commissioner Gordon have realized that this is not the Batman that they knew and loved. Other memorable issues were the ones with Mr. Freeze and Clayface, although why even the cops would refer to this third Clayface as Clayface 3 struck me as being dumb. Abattoir and Gunhawk are both '90s to the core, and were enjoyable adversaries in their own way. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed many of these stories, to be honest with you. They are fun, and while the !!!TOTALLY EXTREME!!!, dark and grittiness can get tiresome I enjoyed this book in 2-3 issue doses. The artwork was mostly decent, although there is some that is painfully dated and ugly.

I drink Diet Mountain Dew by the gallon. It is the nectar of the gods.

In typical DC fashion, this book is far from being complete or comprehensive. The entire Knightquest: The Search storyline (Bruce Wayne's quest to heal his back) is omitted, resulting in Bruce Wayne reappearing completely healed “on set” in the final issue in the book with no explanation. The issues omitted are Shadow Of The Bat #21-23, Justice League Task Force #5, 6, and Legends Of The Dark Knight #59-61. Only Robin #7 from that crossover was included in this book. What a joke. (Thanks to rifft for clarifying this to me.)

I already have Volume 3 and hope to read it someday. Stay tuned!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- DC should do more of these complete runs in chunky trade paperbacks. Marvel has been doing this with their Epic-branded line, and I have been buying them all. I am a sucker for complete runs, and even if I am not very interested in the material I tend to pick them up. Think of it as a Blu-Ray box set of a complete series that you will likely never watch...only for comics that you will likely never read.
Linework and Color restoration: Very good overall. While the original color palette is faithfully maintained, it is the gradient shades that come up short. There were gradient shades in the original comics, and the blends here come up short when compared side by side with the original issues. Again, the colors are correct, and I would say that the blends are better than 90% accurate. For DC, this is good enough.
Paper stock: This being a value priced full color phonebook means that by definition it will have cheap paper. The pulp paper here is slightly thicker than the original issues and a tad heavier than what DC usually passes off on folks in their collections of classic material. I can live with it with this page count at this price point.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Thick waxlike lamination.

1 comment:

  1. Good review. I really wish they'd recollect this without the.missing issues but also with better paper. I don't need the heavy gloss they use in the No Man's Land complete collections but I'd be thrilled with the paper Marvel uses on the Epic Collection books. I really enjoyed reading this story week to week back in the day. Death of Superman was my gateway introduction to the DC but this was the follow up punch that solidified it all for me. I'd love to re-read this on nice paper 20 years later.

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