Book Review - The Dark Knight Manual
by Paul (ral)

The Dark Knight Manual, written by Brandon T. Snider, is the second book to be released by Insight Editions to coincide with The Dark Knight Rises. 

I reviewed the other new Batman book, Batmobile: The Complete History, yesterday (read it here). After reading both it's fair to say that this sort of book is something Insight Editions do well. Very well.

Front cover

Where the Batmobile book is a comprehensive and breathtaking read, The Dark Knight Manual is brilliant fun...and immersive treasure trove filled with all sorts of cool artifacts and information.

The first thing you notice is the gorgeous sleek black finish of the cover - with the embossed bat-symbol on it. It has been written very much as Bruce Wayne's diary / filing system and as such runs along in the same chronological order as the movies. Within are lots of little post-its from Alfred and Lucius Fox - and notes from Bruce to himself - on Wayne Enterprises stationary.

Again the paper stock is nice and thick with a lovely sheen. There are reproductions of Police "case file" folders with reports and photos on such things as the Wayne murders (which happened in June 1984 apparently).

There are also cool things like Bruce Wayne's Applied Sciences Division access card!

Would you like detailed maps of Gotham City and the Batcave? Blue-prints and spec sheets for The Tumbler and The Bat? Get this book. I was so damn impressed to find them folded up inside. The detail is staggering.

There are lots of Dark Knight stickers inside - though I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to use them...not with a book this gorgeous.

Probably one of the coolest things I "found" (yes there is lots to find in here) was a book about the suit detailing the Survival Suit Progression. It has transparent sheets that overlay each other showing how the suit technology is designed - a wonderful piece.

Obviously, as well as spec sheets and blueprints for the vehicles, the gadgets are given a great amount of focus. The book really complements and explains their function and purpose alot better than the movie did - making the book more of an enriching experience.

The vehicles, gadgets and characters from The Dark Knight Rises are detailed. The story plot isn't divulged but the information on these things does give you an idea of what will happen in the movie and how certain things will be used / portrayed. In that respect...if you get this book before you see TDKR and you want to avoid spoilers - proceed with caution.

An immersive, film-enriching treasure trove with so much detail that it's a whole heap of fun!
Rated: 9/10


Just a few of the many artifacts within the book - click to enlarge

You can buy "The Dark Knight Manual" from Insight Editions

Look of for a CD hidden in the back of the book. It took me two days to find it. It has lots of cool Batman things for your computer.


Press release:
The Dark Knight Manual is the first in-world exploration of Christopher Nolan's Batman. This fascinating manual contains key sketches, diagrams, notes, case files, and other top-secret documents gathered by Bruce Wayne as he came to embody and serve as Gotham's Dark Knight. Every defining moment is detailed here, from his collaborations with Lucius Fox, to his alliance with James Gordon at the GPD, to his handwritten memos to and from faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth.

Featured are more than two dozen removable documents, including the design and capabilities of the famed Batsuit, blueprints revealing the inner workings of the Batcave, the specifications for Batman's amazing arsenal of weapons and gadgets, and much more.

Look for hidden bonus content and exclusive images from the final film in Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.

Brandon T. Snider is a New York-based writer and actor who has penned books featuring Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern, in addition to fiction for The Official Smallville Magazine and humor for The Huffington Post. Brandon has also appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Chappelle's Show, and Law & Order: SVU, as well as in commercials, stage productions, and short films.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s12)

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