Publisher: Insight Editions; Hard/cover edition (July 10, 2012)

ISBN-10: 1608871045

ISBN-13: 978-1608871049

If you know a serious Bat-fan, then Inside Editions has created a seriously cool Bat-book for them.

Based on the Christopher Nolan films, The Dark Knight Manual is built on the premise that Bruce Wayne, after the destruction of Wayne Manor, assembled a manual detailing all the technical documents about his Bat-equipment along with case files of his adversaries and entrusted this manual to Alfred, his butler. Now, we the citizens of Gotham City and elsewhere can get 190 pages of peeks behind the cowl.

Thumbing through the large, coffee-table edition of Wayne's alleged work, it's clear the imaginative text by Brandon T. Snider isn't really the heart of the package. It's the rich Bat-cornucopia of pictures. And not just over-sized photos and diagrams, but removable Bat-artifacts. There are blueprints for the Batcave, the "Bat" (the flying vehicle), and a map of Gotham City. There's a pull-out file folder with newspaper clippings and information on the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents. There are decals and stickers for the Batsignal, the Gotham Police Department, Harvey Dent's campaign, and 8 Joker playing cards. Look inside the folder on the last page, and you'll find a hidden disc with 14 high-res images.

Still, it's fun to read Wayne describing his training, fighting techniques, and sharing the specs behind all those Bat-toys. There are hand-written sticky-note memos from Alfred and Lucius Fox, Harvey Dent's hospital records, and Wayne's private files on the Joker and Scarecrow. However, there's little reflecting the last of the Nolan trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, but who is going to care? In Nolan's Bat-universe, there wouldn't be much in the manual about the battle with Bane anyway.

While the manual has been out since this summer, there have to be legions of Dark Knight aficionados who never heard of it or haven't picked up a copy yet. Now's a great time—it's a book youngsters, in particular, will take hours to explore and use to decorate their own Batcaves. But film buffs will find much to absorb as well as the book is also a good behind-the-scenes look into how Nolan made all that Bat-gear believable and realistic on screen, even if it's Bruce Wayne doing the explaining. In short, you won't need a painted smile to enjoy this one. Why so serious?

Follow Here To Purchase The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave

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