This book is going to get rated harsher than some of my other book posts. Does it deserve it? Probably not. Is it going to happen anyway? Yes.
Hi, yes, HUGE Batman fan here. We’re talking the girl who had a Batman bathroom. We’re talking about the girl who plans on getting a Batman tattoo sleeve. We’re talking the girl who calls out people on their not-so-accurate love of Batman. “Ohhh, you only like the Nolan films. Obviously you don’t really love Batman.” Yeah, that girl is me.
That being said, I haven’t read every single Batman comic out there. I’ve read a bunch, but not everything, and No Man’s Land is one of the ones I’ve yet to get my hands on. It gets talked about a lot in some of the comics I’ve read, and I know a lot about what happens during NML, but I haven’t read it.
You don’t need to read the comic to know that this book is wrong though. Books can be wrong, and this is one of them.
Picking up this book for $1, I was intrigued. “Someone made a book about the comic book? Okay? Well, I might as well read it.” First off, I like reading books, and I like reading comics. I’m completely fine with reading comics that get turned into books, but comic storylines into books? I feel like maybe that’s a sacred space and shouldn’t be touched on. It’s already a written media. Come up with your own storyline for NML using what we don’t know but still keeping everyone in character and the original storyline accurate.
Did that get confusing? Okay, so let me try and explain. What this person has attempted to do is rewrite the comic book in a strictly “words only” format. I don’t feel that should ever be done though. You could say, “Well, remember this period of time we didn’t know where Batman was? Here’s a short story about those missing days” and I would accept that. That is ok. This just kinda feels like plagiarism, and not even good plagiarism.
Okay, so what you want to actually know about the book: Let’s talk specifics. First, it’s not a bad read. I was entertained y the whole book. A little annoyed by some out of character-ness from Two-Face, Joker, and Nightwing, but still a good read. Greg Rucka is a good writer. I just think he chose a bad storyline to write about.
For example, you can’t just come into the Batman universe and rewrite people’s beginnings. Harley Quinn has a show and a book that go over her origin story. This guy decided she needed to seem crazier, thus giving her an absurd origin story. You can’t rewrite history, guy! That’s what Fanfiction.net is for, not a published book.
I think if you truly love Batman, this book isn’t for you, but if you have a passing interest and don’t really know too much about it, then why not? Pick the book up. I sadly won’t be reading anything more by this guy though, even if the plot sounds good.
Word of advice: Go original next time. Make your own Batman plot line.