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Book Review: The Dark Knight Manual

Posted on Monday, June 25 @ 12:50:57 Eastern by
In the lead up to highly-anticipated movie, you get all kinds of crap flooding the shelves, aiming for your hard-earned hype-dollars. Action figures, party supplies, tighty-whities, the list goes on and on. If people can sell it, you can bet it'll get branded.

Super hero movies are no different. I'm sure you can remember the Avengers and their attack on everything from pizzas to purses (except video games, no Avengers video games). It seems like Batman will be getting the same treatment in the lead up to The Dark Knight Rises, but how can you wade through the mountains of crap and come out on the other side with something that lets you celebrate your fandom, instead of bemoan it.


Enter The Dark Knight Manual from Insight Editions.

Remember when you were a kid and you'd get those pop-up books with the Ninja Turtles in them? This is a grownup's pop-up book. Every inch of this book is covered in bits of information and awesome fold-outs, pull-outs, and... well, just take a look at the video above to see what I mean.

Utilizing stills and production materials from Christopher Nolan's movies, The Dark Kinght Manual is a deep dive into the real world application of Batman and his rogue's gallery. What makes Nolan's films so enticing and entrancing is put to paper here.

Starting with the Wayne double murder and ending with The Joker, the Manual is a tome of all things Batman and the way Nolan and company have attacked the mythos in a way that brings the characters to life in the real world.


As a fan, I couldn't really expect more from an excellent coffee table book. Written in Bruce Wayne's inner monologue, each page is covered with notes on the subject at hand. On The Cave, Wayne writes:

Functioning optimally required a base of operations from which key methods and technologies could be developed. Each aspect of the operation demanded space: a workshop, a sophisticated computer station, and room for storage. The first challenge was to find a location able to support all of those needs safely, easily, and with a high level of secrecy. Something close to home—an expanse of land entirely inaccessible to those without clearance.

Perhaps more important than the text is the way gadgets are broken down and detailed at every inch. Wayne Enterprises Applied Science Division markups are littered throughout the book. Each showcases another item in Batman's arsenal.


The Tumbler alone gets a dedicated 12 pages. A sticky note on one pages lists the specifications: 2.5 tons, ~200MPH top speed, 0-60MPH in 2.9 seconds....

I could go on, but as someone who actually owns a coffee table at this point his life, The Dark Kinght Manual has booted long-standing staple The Sounds of Science to the book shelf. It's incredibly extensive, detailed, and even future-proofed with details on gadgets and villains from The Dark Knight Rises.

The Dark Knight Manual is 112 pages, hardcover, and available now. There are more than 35 removable inserts and dossiers. The list price is $40.00, but you can head to Amazon right now and get it for just $25.60. If you're as excited as I am for The Dark Knight Rises, you'd better jump on that.
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