The Batman Files – What If Bruce Wayne Kept a Journal All Along?

The Batman Files

Matthew Manning

Andrews McMeel Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-1449408220

308 Pages (Includes front and back matter)

Purchasing gifts always has an aura of mystery attached to it. In anticipation of my most recent anniversary, my wife and I visited our local mall. We toured a number of shops with the idea that I would get a new watch for my anniversary. Each store had an ample collection and I knew the decision was going to be tough. After departing the fourth such store, as we were walking by a tattoo parlor I quipped, “I know-how about I get a Batman tattoo for my anniversary?”

My wife’s shocking response was, “Go for it.” An hour later, I had the Bat symbol popularized in the movie Batman Begins emblazoned on my right shoulder.

Without apology, I admit that I am the consummate collector of Batman paraphernalia. Recently, the amazing work, The Batman Files, found its way into my life. Anyone who appreciates the mystique of The Dark Knight will love this book. And while I admit that readers often say of good books, “I could not put it down,” that was truly my experience. I poured over the design and relished the high quality illustrations for a few hours after opening it.

I enjoy the fact that Matthew Manning is not attempting a novel history of Bruce Wayne’s becoming Batman. Instead the author attempts to synthesize the volumes of what has been written about Batman into a plausible amalgamation. The result is a book that looks like the personal journal of Bruce Wayne which captures the development of the Batman. [The cover is amazing and gives the journal an almost secretive feel.] Its back story is believable, as well-one day, the author receives a package in plain brown wrapping. In it, he discovers this journal and understands its receipt implies that Bruce Wayne has died. Mr. Wayne wants to set the story straight about who Batman was, and more importantly, make a full disclosure of his life.

Serious Batman aficionados will appreciate the lengths to which the author goes. He includes personal photographs, hand-written entries from Bruce Wayne, and newspaper clippings heralding the exploits of Batman. Additionally, many of Batman’s villains are explored; schematics of Batman weaponry are included; and an interesting lifespan of Dick Grayson, the original Robin is provided. Bruce Wayne wants everyone to understand that Robin was no mere sidekick; he even donned the Bat suit when it was appropriate for him to do so.

Such an encyclopedic reference is not meant to be fully appreciated in one sitting. Its content will keep Batman collectors busy for quite a while.

This one is a must have for any Batman enthusiast.

Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

Reign of the Supermen, The Destruction of Coast City

After the event of the Death of Superman, four individuals appeared and tried to claim (or so it seems) for the rights to bear the Man of Steel’s famous “s” insignia. These individuals were Superboy (Con-el), the Man of Steel (Henry Irons, later known as Steel), the cyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw) and that one with the shades that was later identified as the Eradicator.

I am not going much into detail about the whole Reign of Supermen or The Return of the Superman event. What I am after here is the effect of this incident to the life of Hal Jordan and how it had eventually affected the entire Green Lantern Corps, and it did bigtime!

In the midst of the argument to claim the right to be identified as the new resurrection of Superman, an unidentified spacecraft hovers over Coast City (the hometown of Green Lantern Hal Jordan). The massive spacecraft implanted 77,000 detonating globes all around the city. Eradicator was there to investigate but Hank Henshaw (cyborg Superman) attacked him. The two fought, with the spacecraft proceeded to its goal and,”It sounds like a million thunderstorms all rolled as one. 77,000 explosive devices erupt as one–, –and the world is changed forever.””Every Office, every home, every school and hospital is atomized. The west coast and its entire ecosystem is instantaneously shattered–, –and more than seven million men, women, and children that once called the coast city area home–, –die.”

Turns out, cyborg Superman was behind it all, and his accomplice, Mongul. The two shared a common hatred for Superman. Their plan, make Earth to be (Mongul’s) new Warworld, and they have chosen Coast City as their primary base of operations. And they have succeeded in their initial plans. Coast City was gone. All of it.

The real Superman finally appeared and together with Steel, Superboy, and Supergirl, forge an attack to the now dwellers of what used to be Coast City, now known as Engine City. Also, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Coast City’s hometown hero arrived from outerspace (Oa probably). But he is a hero with no city to call his own. He arrived on a strange place where a massive engine is on its place. He forced his way in searching for the culprit of this madness. He came in, blasting anything and everything on its path until finally Mongul. The two fought brutally with each other (great fight sequence by the way, if that fight scene would have been adapted into animation, it would have been awesome). After numerous exchanges of attacks, Green Lantern emerged victorious with Mongul lying unconscious.

Green Lantern met up with Superboy, Steel, and Supergirl and in the end, the real Superman. Cyborg superman was turned into pieces. All seemed over, that’s how this story ended for now. But the outcome of what had transpired cannot be changed. Coast City was gone, reduced to a barren land with a monstrous construct for its landmark. Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) was well aware of this, but it seemed like the effects of this catastrophe is yet to sink in to him. Well, things definitely changed after this.

Akame Ga Kill Manga Series by Kazuhisa Nakamura

Akame ga kill manga is a story of the dark manga that took place prior to the original series of the akame ga kill. The prequel mainly concentrates on the attributes of Akame who was brainwashed, bought and raised by kingdom as a murderer.

This manga story starts when a girl stole the Tatsumi and as a result, people are attacked by a group of killers when they think that they are safe.

Tatsumi initially appeared when a royal soldier was being attacked by the earth dragon in which he managed to overpower the dragon and he was congratulated by the royal soldiers. After brave appearance, Tatsumi was traveling to the capital city in which he was first shocked by the beauty and size of the capital however he comprehended that everything was not as he initially thought. He did not have a smooth commencement with the villagers residing in the town however another girl who had a weird outfit who was ready to provide some tips to him on how to live in the city in order to make him famous. The girl told him that he should have invited her out for a meal if he really wanted to know how to live in the city.

Tatsumi while with the girl at a bar was surprised when he saw the girl drinking alcohol heavily. When Tatsumi eventually arrived at the capital, he was told by the girl that the most essential was to get contacts and money. As a result, Tatsumi have a lot of money to her.

The girl was very happy to get the money and even told her that he needed to wait for sometime as she contacted her captain. This made Tatsumi very happy. Many hours passed on and the girl never showed up. As a result, Tatsumi realized that he was conned and he was very heartbroken. While walking, he met two men who had the intention of taking his sword however he defeated them very easily. He was left sitting in one of the town’s streets without any money that he could use to pay for accommodation within the town. While faced with such a problem, Aria who was a very friendly and rich girl found him. Aria offered Tatsumi accommodation.

You can watch this manga series on television or online. There is a forthcoming animated version of Akame ga KILL manga to be published in the June issue of manga magazine that will be mainly of the past two seasons.

In the story, Kazuhisa Nakamura designed the characters whereas music was composed by Taku Iwasaki. The introductory part of the manga series was interpreted by Amamiya while the conclusion was interpreted by Miku Sawai. The other members of the group include Hiroshi Souma, Keisuke Nakamura, Miyuki Sato, Yoshito Takamine and Hozumi Goda.

Akame is actually aware of the girl who purchased the entre Empire. This is mainly because he was brought, raised and brainwashed as a murderer.

Akame ga kill manga series was released in the year 2010. Its 9th volume was launched in 22nd January 2011. A prequel story of the original series was published in October, 2013 in the issue of Gangan Big of the Square Enix.