Doldrums

A Letter to Zack Synder

Dear Zack Synder,

There were doubts when the first trailer for The Man of Steel debuted. You were the director of Watchmen, which I liked. But you were also the director of the zombie abomination remake, Dawn of the Dead. 300 was too homoerotic even for me (and I love me some good homoeroticism), and, from what I saw, it seemed like an ok movie. A lot of my friends seemed to love it, so maybe it was good. But you were also the director of Sucker Punch, which marked the first movie I walked out of since Corky Romano. But I wanted to believe. I hoped you would take a subject as sensitive as Superman and unleash something beautiful to the world. After all, DC/WB was losing a legacy with the closing of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Who would take up the mantle with Nolan’s departure? Who would bring forth a new era of DC comic superhero films that will remain in the nitty-gritty realism of the Nolanverse?

There were a few issues. I wouldn’t be a fan of comic books if there weren’t a few issues. Aside from the obvious father-killing tornado, the main issue was the overuse of power. I praised the use of Kal-El’s power on Earth. You showed the world that a Superman based in reality would be terrible for the world, especially if other Kryptonians survived. The battle in Metropolis left the entire city in a pile of rubble and destruction. And the finale showed us just how far Superman would go to save its people (you know, if you ignore the leveling of an entire city) by snapping Zod’s head. He didn’t want to; he had to. Otherwise, Zod would continue. He’d kill again and again, and no prison on this planet could hold him. And sending him back into the Phantom Zone was out of the question because the other survivors were sent back, and that idea only worked once.

Superman destroyed a city, killing and maiming thousands. That’s how we saw it. Even though the Kryptonians were at fault for most of the destruction, we only focused on the final battle as Zod and Kal-El threw each other into building after building, using their powers to level buildings; we focused on the mayhem. And what did you do when we called you out on altering our favorite boy scout? You sniveled. You whined. You shouted how you couldn’t understand how we still held onto the idea of a Christopher Reeve Superman when your Man of Steel was way better.

And as if a love letter to yourself and a testament to your awesomeness, you decided that you wanted to ruin more heroes by dragging them down to a Michael Bay level of destruction. You focused more on what these heroes and villains could destroy and only glossed over their humanity. With Ben Afflect’s Batman firing at will, killing bad guys, blowing shit up, and Superman’s inability to see past Lois Lane, doing whatever he can to prove himself a human while failing to do so time and time again, your ultimate stage match is falling on deaf ears. While superhero flicks are no strangers to violence, most still focus on the story. Most still focus on how the heroes are relatable. Most don’t level cities and hope the civilians below forget.

Two years after the events of The Man of Steel, the only person who remembers the battle of Metropolis is Bruce Wayne, but he’s too busy trying to infiltrate Lex Corps and crack the mystery of these so-called Metahumans. You were giving an opportunity to one up the folks at Marvel, and you lost sight of the goal. You figured that if Captain America and Iron Man were going to put up their dukes against each other, why not DC’s greatest gladiators?

You throw CGI sequence after CGI sequence to tell a story that falls flat. It falls flat because it’s a huge middle finger to your critics. Rather than listening, you continue to insist that you’re growing Superman’s character and reintroducing the world to a Dark Knight no one recognizes while you jam a clusterfuck of information and prophecies that get lost in translation. It’s like you took a cue from the folks who ruined The Amazing Spider-Man movies by building something much larger than we can imagine and fail to deliver. The only problem being, of course, is that you’re set to deliver. Warner Bros. is up against Marvel, and they’re not going to back down. My only fear is that you’ll remain attached as director and set fire on the DC universe one character at a time. At least Joss Whedon knew when to call it quits.

Personal

The Collection of the Gently Mad

The first collection I recall keeping consisted of my baby teeth. I kept them inside a small glass jar which I tucked away in a drawer. Most children placed their fallen teeth beneath their pillows. I did this once and the Tooth Fairy left me some money. She also left my tooth behind. Into the jar it went. Not all my baby teeth made it into the jar. Just the ones that weren’t swallowed or lost down a drain. I don’t recall why or when the collection started. And I don’t remember when it ended, or what happened to the jar.

Throughout the years I have collected many things. I collected pebbles, stones, and rocks. Pogs and comics and cards. I owned an array of marbles. Kept business cards in a plastic sandwich bag. Fliers and posters for events I never intended to attend. I archived the letters written to me. I kept letters found in public places where former romantics accidentally dropped them. I owned several half-filled marbled composition notebooks filled with adolescent poetry. Journals are tucked away throughout the house. Some forgotten, others carried with me wherever I venture.

Bookshelves, Shaun's toys, and a foot.
Shelves

I am nothing short of a hoarder. Step into my house and you’ll see nothing but the sickness, this gentle madness, encoded into my literary DNA. There are four boxes of unread comic books stacked besides the collection I started a year ago. I have shelves upon shelves of books. Half of which remain unread. Some of these books were gifts. Most were purchased on whim. They come from many places. From boxes outside professors’ offices. From a withdrawn shelf at the university library. From recycle bins. From Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Better World Books. Several from Hastings during their last days in McAllen, Texas.

I purchased books because their covers called to me. Because there was an itch that needed scratching. Because they were written by authors I’ve come to love. Or authors that I want to love. Or authors who are loved by those I love. Some were purchased to fill an emotional void. Others were purchased by suggestion or recommendation or after reading an article about the writer or a review of the book. I purchased books for research. To educate myself further. To find my center. Because I watched a movie or TV show based on it. Or because an upcoming movie was adapted from a novel that just seemed right up my alley. Once I purchased a book on the sole reason that a girl was reading it in class.

Hanns Bohatta said it best: “The bibliophile is the master of his books, the bibliomaniac their slave.”

Of the two, which am I? Was the ever a time when I controlled these impulses? Can I say that I am the master of my library? Can I say it honestly? Have I always been its slave?

I never stole a book. Not really, anyway. Some were given to me after being liberated from a library. Some were borrowed and never returned. I’m not willing to throw down money for a signed first edition of a classic text. I’m not about to spend a life’s savings on a framed sheet from a manuscript written by James Joyce or Ernst Hemingway or Sylvia Plath. My addition hasn’t reached those extremes. My career choices will never make those fantasies a reality should they ever come to fruition. It’s simple: I buy books to own books.

I shop sales. Take advantage of memberships and free shipping and discounted prices. I hit bargain bins and tables. Lust after three-for-two deals. Kept track when local libraries held sales. I buy used copies of hardcovers or softcovers, but do my best to stray away from mass market paperbacks; they cannot handle my affection or my abuse.

Unboxed comics beside collection
Unread comics

Of all my collections, my library is the newest and, by far, the most rewarding. Those that I have read have molded my prose, my thoughts, my ideals and ideas. I borrowed personality traits and philosophies, making them my own. They have suggested music and movies and other books, which I come to love and adore. My library ranges from the literary to the realms of fantasy and horror. Graphic novels and comic trades and manga stand beside Joyce Carol Oates and T.C. Boyle and Umberto Eco. There are old college text books, not all of them mine. The cheap shelves purchased from Walmart curve sa they exceed the recommended weight. There are small stacks in my bedroom. There are more making it to my lists. Some I’ve already pre-ordered. I subscribed to Comic Bento just to see what it’s like.

What’s the endgame though? As Nicholas A. Basbanes put it: “Whatever the involvement, however, every collector inevitably faces the same harsh reality. After years spent in determined pursuit, a moment arrives when the precious volumes must pass to other shelves. Some accept the parting with calm and foresight; other ignore it entirely. Some erect grand repositories as monuments to their taste; others release their treasures with the whispered hope that they reach safe harbor in the next generation.”

There will come a time when I’m faced with the decision. And I am uncertain of how I’ll respond. Am I the master, or just the slave?

Doldrums

A Post about Jenny, Issues with Heavy Ink, and Deep State

Go figure the first post I make in 2015 will deal about books—namely comic books. I’ll try to make this post about Jenny, too. About how I wish she were sitting next to me at the moment, playing with my hair as I type these words.

I started a journal for Jenny. Handwritten, of course. I bought a pack of recycled-paper journals at Barnes the day after Christmas for the sole reason of filling one up for her. This plus my personal journal has kept me busy these last few days. I just hope I’m finished with hers in time to send it as a Valentine’s present. The only thing I fear is that I’ll become redundant on the page. What better way than to scare a girl away than showing her how banal you are? It doesn’t matter. She’s already professed that she loves me. Banality and all.

She doesn’t mind my nerdism, either. Which is a great feat because most ladies will roll their eyes at me when I get overly passionate about my hobbies. Not to mention their bemused expressions when I talk about how Batman is a better character that Spider-Man.

Which brings me to Deep State, a comic series from Boom! Studios. In December’s shipment from Heavy Ink, the first two issues arrived. My motivation for subscribing to a new title came from unsubscribing from titles I lost interest in. (Most are Marvel and Marvel Now titles. Marvel knows how to make a movie, I’ll give them that. Their titles lately are less than appealing these days.) Because my childhood love for superhero tales are limited to DC Comics, I thought a break from that realm would do me some justice. Especially when it comes to creating worlds of my own.

Deep State # 1 & # 2Deep State is reminiscent of The X-Files. In the altered history, the Soviets made to the Moon first. What was thought as a barren rock turned out to hold life. The Soviets never broadcast their moon landing, and they made sure they destroyed most of the evidence. However, the landing craft that went missing crash lands in present-day America. And the secrets thought long ago buried begins to infect a small town. Now it’s up to Harrow and Branch to keep this alien life force from spreading.

There are a few titles I’m looking forward to this year. Graveyard Shift, S.H.I.E.L.D., They’re Not Like Us, Silk, and Spider  Gwen for starters. The last issues of Batman Eternal are approaching. I’m months behind on that weekly title. I have a few months to play catch up before that happens. I’m thinking about dropping Inhumans because the series is failing to keep my attention. I need to start an early spring cleaning before flushing money down the proverbial toilet.

I mentioned earlier that I use Heavy Ink to handle my subscriptions. Outside of their founder’s ultra-conservative stance, I never had a problem with them. That is until late last month when I took a gander at this month’s order. The price for the shipment hit $136. Pure insanity because several of the titles on the list were part of my December shipment. Because I don’t want duplicate—because if they’re not variant covers, why bother?—I canceled several orders. I’m just curious if anyone has ever had this problem with the company.

So to recap: Heavy Ink? Not so awesome. Deep State? Pretty awesome. Jenny? Fucking awesome. Well, that’s all for now. Keep on huntin’.

Books

Before Watchmen

A few years ago, DC Comics tried to strike a deal with Alan Moore. They were willing to revert the rights to Watchmen back to its creator if Moore agreed to write “some dopey prequels and sequels.” Moore, of course, declined the offer. DC Comics went ahead with the dopey prequels, dubbing the titles Before Watchmen.

Anyone who’s read Watchmen should be familiar with the characters featured in the Before Watchmen series. The goal seems to rehash the flashbacks presented in Alan Moore’s graphic novel with more depth. However, if the goal is to achieve storytelling on the same level… Well, that differs from title to title.

 Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair
Ozymandias

It’s no secret that Ozymandias is an important character in the Watchmen story. He is, after all, the mastermind that solved the world’s conflict in the form of an intergalactic squid. While reading Watchmen, I didn’t find myself wondering his origin story. How did Adrian Veidt rise to heroism and, eventually, a twisted form of heroism? What inspired him to “save the world” in the way he did? None of that mattered during Watchmen. What mattered was that he stood in the center of his perfectly crafted plan and not a single member of his former team could stop him.

Writer Len Wein attempts an origin story in the pages of Ozymandias. Adrian Alexander Veidt decides to share his tale minutes before putting his plan into motion. There’s no doubt that Wein’s writing abilities are nothing outside wonderful. His story is well crafted, though at times, it feels like there’s a forcefulness to it. When Ozymandias meets The Comedian for the first time, it leaves a sour taste in a reader’s mouth. Really? The foreshadowing of an event we already know happens in the future? Seeing Adrian’s plan brought to life, does answer some unnecessary questions. In the end, the story has a Star Wars prequel feel to it. Only we know that, unlike Anakin Skywalker, Veidt doesn’t redeem himself at the end of the story.

Jae Lee’s artwork, however, is something that needs praising. His renditions of characters Dave Gibbons brought to life so long ago are spectacular. It gives the air that is worthy of an Ozymandias tale.

Crimson Corsair

“Crimson Corsair” is clearly a rip off inspired of “Tales of the Black Freighter.” As Jacob M. Held put it in Watchmen and Philosophy:

You don’t have to think too hard to see the connection between Rorschach and the Black Freighter, as our castaway feeds on “raw shark,” becoming darker and more sinister with every bite, his quest to give what is owed to the demon ship. He himself becomes a demon. His mission is no longer about his love for his family and his desire to protect them but merely about wreaking vengeance on the demon ship; revenge pure and simple, blood lust. [p. 21]

Alan Moore admitted that “Black Freighter” isn’t exclusively about Rorschach. He stated that the story is Ozymandias’ tale. It’s also nods towards Dr. Manhattan. So it’s questionable how “Crimson Corsair” links to Before Watchmen—except for the obvious comic within a comic book angle.

There is not much difference in Len Wein’s story. While his ability to capture a Moore-esque writing style is superb—haunting, even—it’s unnecessary. It’s almost as if Wein ignored what Alan Moore wrote in his Writing for Comics book:

Above all, I don’t want to produce anything that smacks even remotely of “How to Write Comics the Alan Moore Way.” Teaching a generation of emergent artists or writers how to copy the generation that came before was a stupid ideas when Marvel introduced their “How to Draw…” book and it would be equally irresponsible of me to instruct up-and-coming writers on how to write sickly extravagant captions like “Dawn transformed the sky into an abattoir” or whatever. John Buscema is a fine artist, but the industry doesn’t need 50 people who draw like him any more than it needs people who write like me. [pp. 1-2]

There’s nothing worthwhile about the tale. Much like “Black Freighter,” the story introduces a noble character who finds himself in a terrible situation. And like that character, Gordon McClachlan faces a test that he cannot pass. If this relates to any or all characters in the Before Watchmen is yet to be seen.

While not as gritty as “Black Freighter,” Steve Rude’s macabre style of artwork makes the story worth the read. Even when the predictable ending is revealed, his talent redeemed the book.

Dollar Bill

Remember Rorschach’s journal entry in the first issue of Watchmen? Where he lists several masks from the past? He mentions that a hero by the name of Dollar Bill was shot. The film adaptation even shows his death. That should have been enough, right? Nope. DC felt that we just needed to know more about the fallen hero.

In a one-shot issue found at the end of this volume, Len Wein gives a nod to Frank Miller’s Sin City by using a narrator speaking from the grave. The story is mediocre, though well written. And Steve Rude’s artwork is reminiscent of the early years of comic books. However, it isn’t enough to carry the story. I even found myself wondering why I bothered reading it at all.

Minutemen/Silk Spectre
Minutemen

I had my doubts about the Minutemen story. While I wanted to know more about them in the past, I learned to accept that they’re existence was to pave the way to the Keene Act. And to paint the illusion that masks had been policing the street since the early 1900s. I formed the opinion that should anyone tell the story of first hero team in the Watchmen universe, it should be the creator, Alan Moore. However, writer and artist Darwyn Cooke does a pretty damn good job.

His ability to shine light on characters long dead at the beginning of Watchmen filled me with glee. The way he created the chemistry (no matter how platonic it was) between Silhouette and Hollis was melted my cold heart to the idea of a prequel. And the case that led up to her murder? Let’s not forget the story shrouded in mystery—the vanishing of Hooded Justice.

Set in the time where homophobia ran rampant, the story is a perfect contrast to the harrowing tale Alan Moore presented, while not denying its darkness. And the early Superman/Batman artwork appeals greatly to the setting of the story. Even Comedian, who is the antithesis of Robin, glows with boy wonder illumination.

Silk Spectre

Because who didn’t fall in love with Laurie’s Silk Spectre II throughout the pages of Watchmen? I know I did. However, how essential is a heroine’s coming of heroism age story really important? I suppose if you throw her during the reign of free love and nonconformity, a writer and artist can throw in some naked bosoms. And a penis. And random acts of sex. But as long as it makes the story flow, right?

And flow it did. Though at times, the mimicry of the original Watchmen set up seemed insulting rather than a nod toward the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons creation. And Frank Sinatra—excuse me, The Chairman—as the arc villain seemed cheesy with a side of Cheez Wiz. However, where Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner’s story failed, the latter’s artwork excelled.

With the cheesiness of the second story aside, this book excelled where the first book I read failed. All around, nothing about this book felt ripped off or repeated.

Nite Owl/Dr. Manhattan
Nite Owl

J. Michael Straczynski creates a slight Batman/Catwoman backdrop in his Nite Owl tale. With Andy Kubert artwork, this idea comes to fruition. However, the cat and mouse—cat and bird?—tale is overused and fails to keep a reader motivated to continue onward with the story. Nite Owl II’s origin of being just a wimp in school who idolizes Hollis Mason’s original reeks of a Catcher in the Rye reading bromance tale. This one with a slightly better ending.

It’s a sad betrayal of the character. While he isn’t Hollis Mason, Rorschach, or even the Comedian, Nite Owl needed to remain the guiding light of the Watchmen. Of them all, he’s the most human character in Alan Moore’s world. This story failed in providing him a proper backstory. His light of morality, left burned out at the end of Watchmen never seemed to exist in this story. Mostly because it wasn’t touched upon.

Dr. Manhattan

After reading Watchmen, I often imagine that Dr. Manhattan embodied Superman if he were real. The alien creature in an alien world observing the creatures around him with a bit of bemused interest. There isn’t much of a backstory needed for his character to make sense in Watchmen. And Alan Moore made sure to cover that pesky seeing the future trait in the graphic novel, as well. That wasn’t enough for Straczynski as he needed to create a Flashpoint arc of his own for the limited series.

Adam Huges’ artwork does its best to keep the story flowing without annoying the reader. However, it’s not enough.

Moloch

Why Moloch? Possibly because he’s the only villain in the Alan Moore tale that played a part in Watchmen. I wouldn’t call it a key role, but Straczynski sure as hell believed it was. Even made him Christlike, using artist Eduardo Risso to juxtapose the savior on the cross with Moloch as he searches for redemption. Nothing worthwhile. Nothing worth remembering. Just tucked in at the end of a his volume.

Comedian/Rorschach
Comedian

I saved the best for last. Or so I thought. The Comedian is dead throughout the pages of Watchmen. He only appears through flashbacks, filling the reader with little information about the character whose death sparks the story. Brian Azzarello takes upon himself to give the corpse an identity. And Comedian is just the Joker without the accident. Human qualities are given to the brute when the rest of the books ignore them. Why? No idea. Most of these stories intersect with each other, so there’s no plot holes. Edward is friends with the Kennedy boys? Really? He’s not the one behind the trigger when JFK was taken down? Really? He betrays Bobby’s trust in the end? That’s actually the only thing that makes sense. Half the time, while reading, I waited for Edward to joke about his origin— “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another…”

 J.G. Jones loans the artwork to this tale, giving the Comedian a much deserved clean-cut world. Something tells me DC left the nitty gritty for Rorschach.

Rorschach

Look at that. I’m correct in my assumption. Not quite though. Rorschach’s Journal carries throughout the pages of Watchmen—it is his journal, after all, that might unravel the injustice in the end. So it makes sense that Azzarello would use that. Rorschach is the sort to always carry a journal, after all. A serial killer stalks the night. An interesting tale for Rorschach indeed. Only, that’s not who he’s after. A group of thugs putting drugs on the street. Something that falls flat. Still, Rorschach. C’mon. This has to be good, right? Oh wait. A love interest? Lemme guess. The Bard (the serial killer) will go after her and that will make Rorschach bitter, right? Hurm. Nothing too original here.

Had it not been for Lee Bermejo’s artwork, this story wouldn’t have been worth the read. Sure. I’ll give you that much, DC.

All in all, the series is as entertaining and necessary as the Star Wars prequels. And if you feel that’s a good thing, then maybe you’re part of the problem. Here’s to watching DC create unnecessary sequels. Maybe Rorschach and Comedian aren’t really dead? Until next time, keep on hunting.

Doldrums

Another Post about Comic Books & Comic Book Accessories

Library finds

 
The Perks of Working at a Library

Penny pinching isn’t my trade. Tomorrow is pay day, but the bills are waiting for me to send in their payments. So there are perks when it comes to working a library. The most important being that I’m surrounded by books that I don’t have to pay to read. The added bonus is that I get to see what books are coming into circulation before they’re processed. Late April or early May, the library received several comic book trades and graphic novels. This includes the Before Watchmen books, a slew of Hellraiser books, Suicide Risk Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and a lot of Batman titles. Coming home with me today were the Hellraiser titles and Suicide Risk. Both of them are published by Boom! Studios.

Heavy Ink Subscription Issues: Value vs. Values

Back in March or April, I decided to drop shopping at Myth Adventures on new comic Wednesdays (or later in the week). After the careless handling of my purchases, I couldn’t bare it. I’m under no illusion that any of these books are going to skyrocket in price (unless they’re a variant cover), but they’re still my possessions. I’m courteous enough not to manhandle the books in their collections, so I expect the same thing when they become mine.

After researching shipping prices, I concluded that Heavy Ink had the better deal. Then I read that the owner/president/whatever of Heavy Ink is an extreme right-wing, gun nut who praised the Tuscon shooting. I’m a bit wary knowing that my money is going to this hate monger. Conflicted, I’m still debating whether to cancel my subscriptions with Heavy Ink. It’s better if I just pay extra for shipping with Midtown Comics.

Now his statement was made three years ago. That still doesn’t change the gravity of his words. It doesn’t make him any less of an asshole. I’ve never boycotted an organization or business because of words before. When Chick-fil-a’s CEO came out against same-sex marriages, I didn’t bat an eyelash. When Duck Dynasty jerk-wad spoke his mind, I didn’t write a letter to  A&E. There’s a difference, to me anyway, about being ignorant and supporting a terrorist. Makes me wonder where the money I spend is going to.

Tough decisions ahead, I’m afraid.

The Great Divide(rs)
I'm gonna need a bigger box. And more dividers. And possibly a girlfriend...
I’m gonna need a bigger box. And more dividers. And possibly a girlfriend…

Last night, I decided to make my own comic book dividers. I brought home several pieces of cardboard from work. That’s another perk, if you’re not paying any attention. It’s not stealing, by the way. The boxes they were a part of were on their way to the recycle bin. Whatever scraps I had left are destined for the same ending.

After fouling it up with the first one, I almost called it quits and just order them. But I’m not one to quit on something that feels impossible. Sadly, I didn’t have enough for each title, so I improvised.

Things to Come (Maybe, Probably, Perhaps….Sure, why not?)

In attempt to reach out and communicate with other readers/bloggers/etc., I plan to spice things up again. Instead of focusing on journaling and reviewing, I’ll discuss my book hunting skills. I’ll talk about my superpowers (yes, we all have a superpower). I’ll discuss the comic titles I’m currently reading. And hopefully I’ll get Ashton to help me out with old ideas that never came to light. If not Ashton, then someone else. Until next time. Keep on…well, huntin’ I guess.

Books

Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1

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’.