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Early Review: The Batman Files

The secrets of Batman's secret journal have been uncovered.

Not only is Batman the World's Greatest Detective, he's also one of the best superheroes there is. From the tragic moment he witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, Bruce Wayne has devoted his entire life in training and preparing to rid the world of evil.

Not one to take anything lightly, Batman analyzes every situation and scenario. Part of his preparations includes keeping detailed files on everyone in his life, friends, allies, family and enemies. With its simply, yet elegant cover, opening up The Batman Files reveals how Batman keeps everything organized. Check out our quick look video at the top of the page.

In a letter from Batman himself, he reveals that his apparent death at the hands of Darkseid, death was the one contingency he wasn't prepared for as well as he would have liked. The idea of Batman is much larger than he or anyone around him. The purpose of The Batman Files is to prepare his successor should he die or disappear once again, despite the dangers of allowing this book to be in existence.

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We've seen encyclopedias and books on characters before but this is something different. Including the history of all the major Bat-characters, the presentation of files, letters, newspaper articles and pictures gives the information in a way that doesn't come across as dry or boring. You get a feel that you're actually part of the DC Universe and are reading actual documents. The author has put a great amount of detail making each piece that hasn't appeared else feel true to the comics.

With DC's 'The New 52,' it may not be clear what events have been swept under the rug but everything is here so they won't be forgotten. The addition of minor events really shows the time and care put into creating this book.

If you've ever wondered about any characters in the Bat-universe, your questions will be answered. Even characters you might not have thought about are featured here. Along with vehicles and locations, this is the ultimate Batman book. The recent Essential Batman Encyclopedia has facts on major characters but the presentation here is much more appealing.

This is a book you'll want to keep out on display. It's a book you can proudly show to friends and family that might not be into comics as much as you are. Everyone knows who Batman is. Now everyone can find out all there is to know about him.

The book is being published by Andrews McMeel Publishing and has a release date of October 25, 2011. If you plan on attending New York Comic-Con, I believe copies will be on sale there. The book has a retail price of $100 but you can find it cheaper ($61) online at places such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The book is definitely worth the price.

Here's a few more shots. Click each image to enlarge.