Back in the early 1990s, I started reading comic books. My mom would buy whatever issue I wanted from the local grocery store. I wasn’t an avid collector. Direct edition or direct sales or direct whatever wasn’t top priority. Story arcs were prominent during those early days of my comic book appreciation. In 1992, the world watched as Superman died fighting Doomsday. But killing Superman wasn’t enough for DC. In 1993, the comic company introduced Bane and sent him to Gotham to overthrow its dark knight. 1993 was the year Bane broke the Batman. And I never read anything that came as close to it.

When I decided to introduce Angela to comic books, I wanted to collect the titles that effected me most as a kid. Batman: Knightfall (at least the first volume), was on top of the list. However, I didn’t own it. Nor did I want to show her the crippling of Barbara Gordon and Batman in the same go. I biding my time, purchasing the first volume as a gift to myself. She’s still stuck reading the first Batman titles, anyway.

Knightfall-Vol.-1Reading the pages after 21 years, I catch the subtle differences between how writers and artist made comics then and now. Nothing that would lessen my appreciation for the titles I’m reading now. Just that reading something from my childhood turns on the nostalgia. Reminding me that kids and teens in this age of comics will never appreciate the thought that went into such story arcs. The gruel decisions. This comes during the week when the first issue of Batman: Eternal hits the stands. In the first page alone, we see a broken Bruce Wayne tied to the Bat Signal. On his chest, the bat insignia carved and bleeding. “Watch Bruce… Watch as you lose everything,” the caption teases.

Still, nothing can inspire me into reading—into writing—as Knightfall did in 1993. I wouldn’t be where I am now in my path of creative writing had it not been for the books I read then.

Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1
by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, et al
Paperback: 640 pages
DC Comics (May 1,2012)
ISBN: 978-1401233792
About (from Amazon):

The villainous Bane breaks the Bat in one of the most popular and well-known Batman tales! The inmates of Arkham Asylum have broken free and Batman must push himself to the limits to re-apprehend the Joker, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Killer Croc and more. Pushed to the limits, he comes face-to-face against the monstrosity known as Bane, who delivers a crippling blow destined to change the Caped Crusader forever!

This volume collects Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special #1, Batman #491-500, Detective Comics #659-666, Showcase ’93 #7-8 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #16-18.

Batman: Knightfall is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. An e-book edition is available for Kindle. Until next time, keep on huntin’.

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