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Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-first Century Batman

Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-first Century Batman
Will Brooker

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Publishing alongside the world premiere of Christopher Nolan's third Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises", Will Brooker's new book explores Batman's twenty-first century incarnations. Brooker's close analysis of "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" offers a rigorous, accessible account of the complex relationship between popular films, audiences, and producers in our age of media convergence. By exploring themes of authorship, adaptation and intertextuality, he addresses a myriad of questions raised by these films: did "Batman Begins" end when "The Dark Knight began? Does its story include the Gotham Knight DVD, or the 'Why So Serious' viral marketing campaign? Is it separate from the parallel narratives of the Arkham Asylum videogame, the monthly comic books, the animated series and the graphic novels? Can the brightly campy incarnations of the Batman ever be fully repressed by "The Dark Knight", or are they an intrinsic part of the character? Do all of these various manifestations feed into a single Batman metanarrative? This will be a vital text for film students and academics, as well as legions of Batman fans.

Author Info

Will Brooker is the leading academic expert on the Dark Knight, and author of the cultural history of Batman, Batman Unmasked. His other books include Using the Force and Alice's Adventures. He edited the Audience Studies Reader and The Blade Runner Experience, and wrote the BFI Film Classics volume on Star Wars. He is currently Director of Research in Film and Television at Kingston University, London, and editor of Cinema Journal.


'Taking multi-faceted tilts at a multi-faceted character, Brooker elicts oodles of thinkers, critics and fans as back-up for his ideas. He also packs a loaded Bat-belt of theories and themes, roving from 'queer' slants to 'paratexts' to pizza tie-ins and beyond... Brooker's enthused rigour is infectious.'
Total Film

‘Brooker, the editor of Cinema Journal, is both a long-term fan of the comic-book character Batman and a distinguished academic; here he plaits both interests to persuasive effect... Unafraid to wheel out the critical big guns (Barthes, Derrida, Bakhtin, Truffaut), Brooker is acute on the ways in which these dense, complicated films have been appropriated by political Left and Right.’
Jonathan Barnes, Times Literary Supplement

'[Brooker] uses theory to set the 21st-century Batman free from the stabilising discourses of Nolan, Schumacher, fans and DC Comics itself... Brooker's portrayal of Batman reinforces that we are both who we say we are and also what we might disavow. See – you really are like Batman after all.'
Sarah K. Donovan, Times Higher Education

'As well as being an insightful examination of the Caped Crusader, [Hunting the Dark Knight] is a primer in how the ideas of such thinkers as Roland Barthes, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida can be used... The final chapter is a critical tour-de-force on the post-9/11 overtone and subtexts of Nolan’s sequel The Dark Knight'
The Scotsman

‘A fascinating and incredibly detailed analysis of comic fiction’s most powerful and successful hero.’
Pat Mills, author of Batman: The Book of Shadows

‘Through the prism of poststructuralism, Will Brooker casts dazzling new light on Batman as myth, brand, and canon. Hunting the Dark Knight is, quite simply, a brilliant study of the Batman and contemporary processes of rebooting, franchising and shaping a cultural icon.’
Matt Hills , author of Triumph of a Time Lord



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Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781848852808
Publication Date: 29 May 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 30 integrated bw illustrations

ISBN: 9781848852792
Publication Date: 29 May 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 134
Illustrations: 30 integrated bw illustrations

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