Reviews for Wayne of Gotham
Booklist Reviews 2012 July #1
Veteran fantasy author Hickman turns in a brand new story exploring the origins of Batman. Alternating between the present day and the late 1950s, the novel offers up some shocking revelations about Bruce Wayne's family history, revelations that could cause some fans of the Caped Crusader to feel a bit out of sorts. Although its central character is a superhero, this isn't really a superhero novel. There's some superhero action but not a lot of it. Mostly, what we get is the story of a middle-age man with a shattered past, faced with the difficult task of putting the pieces back together and finding out who he really is. Readers expecting the prose version of a comic book will be seriously taken aback by the book's rather heavy tone, but on the other hand, those who like their superhero stories to have some dramatic weight, not to mention richly drawn characters, will be well pleased. Tonally, the book is much closer to the Burton/Nolan Batman films and the Frank Miller graphic novels than to the campy 1960s TV and comic-book incarnations of the character. An imaginative look at the human side of an iconic superhero. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 July #2
Bruce Wayne, Gotham City's dark knight, discovers that the primeval event of his life--the murder of his parents, Thomas and Martha--may hold clues to the nature of his worst enemies. Industrious fantasy novelist Hickman (Embers of Atlantis, 2011, etc.) turns his attention to the weird world of Batman in this noir-tinged thriller. To assemble his plot, the author has gone back to Batman's well-known origin, doing his fair share of retconning along the way. For the casual fan, the superhero will be just as familiar, armed with Teflon-coated Batarangs and rumbling around Gotham in the pimped-up Batmobile. But the book spends equal time with Bruce's father, Thomas, a doctor who is enraptured with his future wife, Martha Kane. But the good doctor is also using the Wayne fortune to finance research into eugenics, the science of manipulating human populations. Back in the present, Bruce/Batman keeps running into lunatics like Harley Quinn, who seem to believe that they are long-dead contemporaries of Thomas, and that Bruce is in fact Thomas. As Batman, Wayne uncovers his father's part in the creation of the '50s-era gang of vigilantes called The Apocalypse. The conspiracy bits of the book struggle a bit with explication, but Hickman does a nice job of measuring the bleakness of the late-'50s set story with a blend of action, technology and the high-pitched madness that Batman inspires. Neither as grim as its cinematic counterpart nor as byzantine as the current comics, but casual readers and fanboys alike may be caught off guard by this divergent adventure. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.