This is a graphic novel that almost follows on from [b:Batman: Year One|59980|Batman Year One|Frank Miller|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327940389s/59980.jpg|2501570], excluding of course the introduction of Batman villains such as Joker. This is an earlier version of Batman, a Batman still struggling with himself and his identity as a crime-fighter. A Batman who needs Jim Gordan to help him in his war on crime.
In this story, the new villainy of Dr. Hugo Strange is introduced for the first time. Hugo Strange is a psychologist, one of those breed of bizarre individuals who wear creepy spectacles and have shaved heads and have mannequins in the place of lovers. Or at least, those are the stereotypes of psychologists adopted in this book. That, for me would have to be one of the major negatives of this work, that there are so many stereotypes of the unknown 'other' of the psychologist adopted for this novel. That said, Hugo Strange, as a villainous mastermind who works out Batman's identity and sets up several intriguing traps is a fascinating character.
If you want a graphic novel with a classic story and some dazzling artwork I'd fully endorse this. It's Batman at his finest: as the Caped Crusader, Dark Knight and world's greatest detective all rolled into one. Now with added action. Did I mention also for the fanboys that Catwoman features prominently in this book? I didn't? Well what other incentive is there to go and read this?