BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOL. 3- KNIGHTSEND (DC, Third Printing, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Batman #509, 510, 512-514, Catwoman #12, 13, Detective Comics #676, 677, 679-681, Robin #8, 9, 11-13, Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight #62, 63, and Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #29, 30, 32-34 (cover dates July, 1994- January, 1995)
Writers: Doug Moench, Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, Jo Duffy, and Denny O'Neil
Artists: Pencilers (*also inkers)- Mike Manley, Bret Blevins*, Graham Nolan, Ron Wagner, Tom Grummett, Jim Balent, Joe Rubinstein*, Barry Kitson, Mike Vosburg, Mike Gustovitch*, Romeo Tanghal*, Lee Weeks, Phil Jimenez*, MD Bright, and John Cleary
Inkers- Dick Giordano, Bob Smith, Scott Hanna, Ron McCain, Ray Kryssing, Rick Burchett, Mike Manley, John Stokes, and Klaus Janson
Christ on a stick, would it have killed DC to do a complete run in any of their books? Did they have to omit the Zero Hour crossover which ran across the titles? They included one issue from it in this book while omitting the rest. Between this and the omitted issues from Vol. 2 it is apparent that DC will forever be second to Marvel's Collected Editions department. DC used to lead, and indeed helped define, this market segment but in the past decade became complacent. Marvel upped their game and raised the bar, leaving DC in the dust. All of the people who helped to build DC's collected editions department have long since left, leaving the clueless buffoons we have now running the show
This book starts out with the Knightsend crossover which ran across twelve comics. In that arc we see Bruce Wayne ready himself to return and resume the mantle of Batman. The problem is that his chosen successor, Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) is mentally unstable and is unwilling to give it up so easily. So Bruce Wayne has to defeat him in a pitched battle that requires not one, but two Aftermath issues to wrap things up. It is disgusting that this arc required folks to buy so many different titles in order to get the complete story. That is everything that is wrong with this industry. They should just slap a label on the cover reading ATTENTION COMIC FANS: We think that you are stupid sheep and will buy any and every piece of swill that we shovel at you.
The next arc is Prodigal. Bruce Wayne is not yet ready to resume his role as Batman, and picks Robin (Dick Grayson) to be the new Batman. The real Robin, not to be confused with the then-current Robin (Tim Drake, the third one). I used to spit at DC because of these multiple identities but Marvel has followed suit in the past decade, making me spit at them just as much. Ridiculous. At least this arc shows some true character development for Dick Grayson, as he regains his confidence while battle Killer Croc and Two-Face. Bruce Wayne returns at Batman on the final page of this twelve issue arc. He is wearing an all black costume reminiscent of the 1989 movie.
The writing and artwork are all good to very good, depending. While it is easy to lump in all '90s comics in together I think that DC was doing better superhero stuff than Marvel at this point in time. These three Knightfall books were an enjoyable line marred by DC's omissions. I would love to see DC go head to head with Marvel and do a chunky line of full color trade paperbacks which will eventually collect everything. These 600-650 page beasts are a good place to start.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I love thick chunky trade paperbacks of complete runs.
Linework and Color restoration: Things look good overall. The linework is tight and clean. The original color palette is maintained if certain liberties are taken where the original gradient blends are.
Paper stock: The paper stock is slightly thicker than the cheap paper that DC uses in most of their collections of classic material. It looks like real pulp comic paper, which is nice, but I don't know how well it will hold up over time. Then again, a recent trip to John King Books in Detroit showed me how durable paper can be. I was flipping through books that were 70 plus years old and the paper was solid if browned.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.