Batman: No Man's Land

Greg Rucka, Author
Greg Rucka, Author Atria Books $23.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-671-03828-1
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-84023-219-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-18364-2
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-56389-698-9
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-56389-709-2
Paperback - 168 pages - 978-1-56389-787-0
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-56389-634-7
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-1-56389-599-9
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-1-84023-735-1
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-1-56389-913-3
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-84023-297-4
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-84023-951-5
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WHAP! POW! Pocket Books joins DC Comics to bring Gotham's Dark Knight to the trade shelves for the New Year, in a savage millennial tale of urban implosion, divided loyalties and vigilante justice. Rucka (Shooting at Midnight) valiantly transcribes an essentially visual chronicle to print, no mean feat, given Batman's 60 years of history in comics, TV and film. In the new millennium, following a cataclysmic earthquake, the federal government has cut off Gotham City from the rest of the country, leaving the No Man's Land, with its masses of casualties and survivors, in the hands of the ""lunatics"" released from Arkham Asylum. They are the Penguin, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and the ubiquitous Joker. Newly married Commissioner Gordon makes a suicidal stand to maintain control with a handful of determined officers, and the former Batgirl (now the cyber-savvy paraplegic known as Oracle, thanks to a bullet from the Joker) tries to keep tabs on the chaos while hoping for Batman's superhero help. Batman is on the scene with a new Robin as well as the former Boy Wonder, now grown up and known as Nightwing. The inevitable showdown between the forces of good and evil is played out against a backdrop of violent urban decay, but the subject of sex (and death), which the series has often flirted with but largely skirted, is now candidly explored. The conception of the battle between costumed, urban criminals and crusaders as a gang war (with the Bat signal replaced by graffiti tags) is logical, and other familiar bat-tropes are ably transposed into contemporary milieus. The expected wordplay and punning retain the classic comic-book characterizations, infusing the tale with lively dialogue right up to the dramatic surprise ending. Agent, David Hale. (Jan.)
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