The name Matthew K. Manning is likely not a terribly familiar name, even in pop culture circles. But allow me to let you in on a little bit of a secret – this man is fountain of comic book knowledge, much of which is currently on display in the brand new DK book, Batman: A Visual History.
This title follows along the line of similar DK books, compiling and chronicling the history of the Caped Crusader through the years. The layout highlights the amazing array of writers and artists that have passed through the ranks of Batman’s history over 75 amazing year, from legends like Bob Kane and Bill Finger; gatekeepers Dennis O’neil, Neal Adams and Gil Kane; 80s icons Frank Miller, Bernie Wrightson, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland; through to new millennium icons Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder.
It’s staggering to consider the amount of talent that have the crafted the many tales of the Batman, but Matthew K. Manning does an exceptional job, highlighting significant story lines and issues from throughout the entire canon, from Bruce Wayne’s beginnings as a pistol packing vigilante to his rebooted, New 52 incarnation. How do you know where to start with Batman? What would make a great first issue for a friend? All you need to do is flip through Batman: A Visual History to find a moment in battime that would appeal to someone.
For me, DK books are coffee table titles that you actually want to have readily available, for myself and for friends who are into a given subject matter. Yes, they look gorgeous, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With Batman: A Visual History, Matthew K. Manning has curated a tome full of essential content for the comic book fan, regardless of your knowledge of Dark Knight history. Highly recommended, especially with the holiday season coming up.