Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-first century Batman

Published to coincide with Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, released in July 2012, Will Brooker’s book explores Batman’s twenty-first century incarnations.

There have been many Batmans:  TV’s Adam West, Frank Miller’s graphic novels, the videogame Batman of Arkham Asylum, the very different Batmen drawn by Frank Quitely, Dave McKean or Jim Lee, and the various movie versions as portrayed by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and, most recently, Christian Bale.

Brooker’s in depth investigation into Batman Begins and The Dark Knight uncovers the complex relationship between popular films, audiences and producers in our age of media convergence.

He addresses a myriad of questions raised by these films: did Batman Begins end when The Dark Knight began? Does its story include Burger King’s “Dark Whopper,” the Gotham Knight DVD, or the “Why So Serious” viral marketing campaign?

Is it separate from the parallel narratives of the Arkham Asylum videogame, the monthly comic books, the animated series and the graphic novels? Can the brightly campy incarnations of the Batman ever be fully repressed by The Dark Knight, or are they an intrinsic part of the character? In other words, do all of these various manifestations feed into a single Batman metanarrative?

How were Christopher Nolan’s films distinguished from and linked to all the contradictory texts of Batman, from camp crusader to dark vigilante? Brooker addresses all of these questions and more in this fascinating book.

Further details of Hunting The Dark Knight can be found on the main catalogue (available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website)