Billion Dollar Batman

Bruce Scivally. Henry Gray Publishing (www.brucescivally.com), $29.95 paper (446p) ISBN 978-0-615-30641-4
Pop culture historian Scivally follows his comprehensive Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway with an even more extensively researched—and possibly more obsessive—look at the Caped Crusader's celluloid career, ranging from Columbia Pictures' 1943 Batman serial to The Dark Knight in 2008. Scivally also provides an enjoyable romp through the history of the Batman television series, cutting through its camp notoriety with insightful comments from primary scriptwriters. Scivally delivers more than a fanboy compendium of famous stories, obscure facts, and insider secrets—although he has lots of those—along with hard financial reporting. Throughout his lengthy narrative, Scivally never loses sight of Batman and secret identity Bruce Wayne's complex relationship with the law and society. He expertly explores the issues of Wayne and Batman's psychological pain in the two Tim Burton–directed Batman films of 1989 and 1992. And he expertly discusses how director Christopher Nolan's 21st-century Batman Begins and The Dark Knight moved beyond superhero adventure genre and explored the ethical issues of America's war on terror. Coming just in time for the release this summer of Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Scivally's work is essential reading for anyone interested in the cowled crime fighter's rise from comic book hero to international icon.
Reviewed on: 04/09/2012
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