In order to prepare myself for "The Dark Knight Rises" I decided to finally read the novelization of the Batman Knightfall story arc from the 90's, that I've had for around 3 years now. I haven't read alot of the original comics so I'm going to review it on it's own merits. Why didn't I buy the comic you may be asking? Well I don't have the money or the time to read 2 or 3 Giant Trade Paperbacks. Anyway, Knightfall is the story that first introduced Bane.
The story is essentially Bane comes to America to find and break Batman. He eventually discovers that Batman is Bruce Wayne, and goes to fight him. This ends with Bruce getting his back broke. Bruce then get's Azrael to become Batman. Eventually Azrael beats Bane while Bruce is try's to save his Doctor, Shondra Kinsolving, and Tim Drake's father, Jake Drake.
|All these pictures are from the comic. By the way this costume is awesome.|
Azrael starts to go over board, locking everyone out of the batcave, turning on his allies, killing villains, and eventually just goes completely crazy. Bruce is eventually healed by Shondra who was revealed to be a meta-human, however it came at a price. After hearing about what's happening with Azrael he decides he must stopped, and goes to Lady Shiva to get back into shape. Him and Azrael fight. Bruce wins by using his head, and the tells Azrael to leave.
This is pretty good. Some could say the story is about the main characters alter egos. Bruce, Bane, and even Tim. But no one more then Azrael, who already has a split personality due to the effects of the "System." During this he gains a third personality. At first his just trying to emulate Bruce. Eventually most of the bad parts of his other personality's combine with his Batman one causing him to go insane.
There are some bad parts. Some of the fights like the fight between Azrael and Bane as well as the final fight between Azrael and Batman feel like they were over to quickly. The whole thing seems a bit rushed and condensed. Which is to be expected since this is a 350 page novelization of a whole year or so's worth of comics.
Despite not reading much of the Knightfall story arc I think it's safe to assume they changed a few things in the novel. I know for a fact that Nightwing was in the original story but he seems to be written out of this, and I think they changed the way Batman beats Azrael at the end. Overall it's not a bad book, and I recommend it to any Batman fan.