The Batman Chronicles (3 stars)

BOB KANE & VARIOUS

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The Batman Chronicles Volume 3 (DC/Titan)

BATMAN

Is Batman the greatest comics character of all time? Probably. The depth of personality that has been examined through the years is just astounding; the darkness concealed within the cowl and the simple visual punch of the Batman image can still be breathtaking in the right creator’s hands. That a character created in 1939 is still one of the most popular superheroes in comics is testament to the quality of his conception. It’s a central conceit can be used to tell myriad tales, from the gritty urban sci-fi of Frank Miller’s opus The Dark Knight Returns to the high camp of the 60s TV series.

Every month there is a plethora of Batman tiles launched, and here we pick just some of the most interesting. First we have the third volume in DC’s massive project to reprint every Batman story in ‘the exact order they were published’. It’s a mammoth task - and this only goes as far as 1941. They may seem simplistic, but they whip along with a breezy 40s gusto and set the groundwork not only for all Batman stories to come but, in many ways, the blueprint for modern comics as we know them today.

(Henry Northmore)

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