ISBN is

978-0-7566-1121-7 / 0756611210

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About the book:

If you're already well versed in Bat-trivia, you probably won't find The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight anywhere near ultimate enough. But as a broad history of Batman's friends, foes, and high-tech hardware and hideouts, this oversized, illustration-filled DK guide just can't be beat.

Just as DK did with the people and paraphernalia of Star Wars in Star Wars: Episode I: Incredible Cross-Sections and Star Wars: Episode I: Visual Dictionary, this guide pulls apart and pokes at the many gadgets and backdrops found in the Dark Knight's world. Exploded diagrams reveal the innards of the new and old Batcaves, and stat-packed tags and captions spell out everything from how the Bat-Signal works to where Catwoman stashes her bullwhip. Batman scholar Scott Beatty has compiled hundreds of excellent panels and covers from the original comic, and he displays commanding knowledge cataloging Gotham's most colorful characters in big, splashy spreads. (And no doubt future historians will appreciate his capsulized, 1939-on Batman timeline as an uncanny window into American pop consciousness.)

Die-hard fans will find much lacking here, though, like the near-omission of Frank Miller's genius Dark Knight Returns series and not even a passing reference to Batman's poignant love-hate relationship with the Man of Steel. But what DK's Ultimate Guide does, it does well--examining neat Bat-minutiae and providing a primer on the post-no-man's-land comic continuity. --Paul Hughes

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