Author: Gary Collinson
Publisher: Hale Books
With The Dark Knight Rises now with us, the time is right to look at the history of Batman on both the large and small screens.
For those of us that grew up in the 1970s, it is hard to imagine a time when Batman wasn’t on our screens in some shape or form. Since his creation in the 1940s, there have been many incarnations of the Dark Knight and each generation probably has its favourite. This could be Adam West with his underpants on the outside of his pants along with his faithful sidekick Robin shouting such things as “Holy Astringent Plum-like Fruit” or you could be the only person who liked George Clooney and his nipple suit.
Whatever your personal favourite, it will be in this rather excellent book by Gary Collinson. He has broken down Batman’s many appearances in chronological order from the very earliest film, through that 60s TV show, the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher period, the 1990s animated TV show and then right up-to-date with Chris Nolan’s trilogy. Well it’s not quite up-to-date as Dark Knight Rises has only just come out and so doesn’t really feature. Expect a second run of the book soon to include that, I would wager.
Within each section you have detailed plot synopses, which are of some interest but also, and of more interest, information on how each of the films or shows got made in the first place. All this information, which for a minor fan such as me, is really interesting and quite eye-opening and comes from many different sources. These are often interviews that the protagonists did with various publications over the years. They are all referenced at the back of the book and it makes for very good reading.
It’s interesting to find out how Adam West and Burt Ward got the roles and also what happened to the Batman franchise after Clooney’s ill-fated fated nipple-gate romp, Batman and Robin. Then how Bats got another go under the tutelage of Chris Nolan. There is also a lot of information on the many episodes in the rather excellent 1990s TV series that, at the time, rather passed this reviewer by.
So if you just can’t get enough of the Dark Knight at the moment, then this is well worth shelling out for and shouting at the top of your voice, “Holy Franchise Batman!”
Review by Henry Tucker