Batman: Knightfall, Part Three: KnightsEnd
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- Amazon Sales Rank: #22444 in Books
- Published on: 1995-06-01
- Released on: 1995-06-01
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .53" h x 6.74" w x 10.27" l, .88 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 320 pages
- ISBN13: 9781563891915
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Bats is back! And this time ... it's personal!
The Batman had been broken by the nefarious Bane, and, while his physical healing process isn't covered in any detail during the events depicted in KNIGHTSEND, Bruce Wayne struggles with the psychological aftermath of returning to the task of serving as Gotham's savior in this incredibly-paced retaking of the Mantle of the Bat from the now rogue Jean Paul Valley.
In a story nearly too complex to summarize for an Amazon review, Bruce/Bats goes from being Batman to being disabled to being whole again ... but it isn't without consequence, namely having to face Jean Paul Valley, the man he passed the job of Batman to after being broken down by a series of catastrophic events all orchestrated to end his career. The road back to mental and physical prowess is long and not without ethical consequences as Bruce submits to training by Lady Shiva, a long-time mortal foe who believes that killing is the only true measure of physical fitness. However, the world's greatest detective finds a means to even outwit her in the process.
Building to a hair-raising climax worthy of being filmed for the big screen, Knightsend features not one daring showdown with the Batman/Azrael Jean Paul Valley but several bare-knuckle brawls involved a fully-healed Bruce Wayne as well as his long-time protege, Dick Grayson ... aka the original Robin and aka Nightwing, a vigilante hero in his own might who's now back in Gotham to help Bruce take by the night. Catwoman, always a favorite from the Rogues Gallery, is along for the wild ride, and she joins forces with the side of justice in order to see the rightful Batman restored to his throne.
This isn't to say that Knightsend isn't without a few missteps ... a perhaps overly-obsessive Jean Paul suffering visions from the System (a kind of brainwashing to give his mind and body the abilities to serve its own brand of justice) almost becomes comical at one point when the visions try to enter into their own subplot ... an all-to-convenient escape from the clutches of death for Bruce Wayne not drawn or plotted very well given the pace of the frenetic conclusion ... and a few other repeated scenes due to the fact that this tale was originally serialized over the course of many issues of comics within the Batman continuity. Still, they are small missteps, as the grand story is almost operatic at times.
The greatest strength of Knightsend is the fact that, at its core, it doesn't deal so much with Batman as it does with identity: in the final confrontation, Bruce Wayne thinks himself out of a corner with Jean Paul bent on fisticuffs-to-the-death, and the one true Batman realizes that brain -- regardless of whose body it resides in -- will always triumph over brawn.
Welcome back, Batman!
For fans only
The Knightsend compliation marked the end of a two-year story arc in the Batman comics, which began in Knightfall when Bane broke the Batman's back. After numerous adventures, the new Batman, Jean Paul Valley (Azbats) went over the edge and started killing, forcing Bruce Wayne to return and reclaim the mantle of the Bat. Knightsend chronicles Bruce's training under a ninja master and his final confrontation with the new Batman.
While Knightsend is good reading, this one is really for devoted Batman fans only. Like all compilations, a lot of the history is lost in various back issues and collections, so first-time readers won't feel the epic effect that Knightsend and its fellow story arcs had on the Batman saga. Also, while the story is based around the redemption of Jean Paul Valley, don't expect any in-depth literary themes or character studies, as have been in such Bat-titles like "The Killing Joke". The story is action from start to finish, with very little else in between; in other words, it's a typical comic-book story, not the book you're going to use to convince your girlfriend why Batman comics are worth reading. Finally, and this is another fault of being a compilation, the story drags in places. Suspense is built when you read the story piece by piece, as they were originally published every two weeks or so, but when you read them in one go, you realize how some subplots were dragged out to fill up space in an issue.
Criticism aside though, Batman: Knightsend is still worth picking up, mainly because it does feature a pivotal point in the mythos. The art ranges from good to excellent; there is a minor continuity issue among the ninjas sent to attack Bruce, probably because some of the artists took creative license and altered their appearances, but this is a minor complaint. The individual dialogue boxes are excellently written, as is the norm for the folks who write the Batman comics.
If you're missing some parts to the story, or want to explore one of the most controversial story arcs in Bat-history, this is a must-have. Otherwise, I recommend picking up something more 'self-contained'.
The Bat Takes Back the Knight
It amazes me how two men, so highly trained and so directly matched in physical ability could be so different in method to accomplish the same goals. Bruce Wayne takes on the challenge of reclaming the "Mantle of the Bat" from his chosen successor, Jean-Paul Valley, Azrael. Bruce, trained as a fighter, Azrael, a brainwashed assasin. Bruce, broken by Bane, Jean-Paul, destroyed Bane and holding Gotham in terror. Bruce, vowing never to take a life. Jean-Paul, with blood on his hands and murder in his mouth. Who is the stronger Dark Knight? Who truly protects Gotham from the worst that evil has to offer? One, whose life gave purpose to the Bat, or the other, who the Bat gave purpose to his life.