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A reading list for fans of the Dark Knight and his friends and foes

J. Caleb Mozzocco
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      Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1

      This recently re-released, 600-plus-page monster collects the first third of the early ’90s saga that introduced Bane. Bent on “breaking” Batman and taking over Gotham City, the villain broke all of Batman’s bad guys out of Arkham Asylum, armed them and waited until Bats was exhausted before taking him on himself. It famously ends with Bane breaking Batman’s back, putting Bruce Wayne in a wheelchair and forcing him to find someone else to wear the cape and cowl. Don’t worry, though; he gets better, and the Dark Knight rises in future volumes.

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      Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score & Catwoman Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman

      This pair of graphic novels feature a more realistic, grounded and noir-oriented take on the feline fatale portrayed by Anne Hathaway in the new movie. The former is essentially a heist flick in comics form, and the latter gave the character her current costume and established her as a super-thief/vigilante with a heart of gold … or at least silver.

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      Batman: Birth of the Demon

      Another recent release, this 300-plus-page trade paperback collects a trilogy of previously published graphic novels detailing Batman’s dealings with Batman Begins’ Ra’s al Ghul and the villain’s daughter, Talia. Just as Ra’s originally sought Batman as heir to his empire, he later went with Bane, which might explain why Nolan ended his trilogy with an adversary of such recent vintage.

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