A BOF Book Review: BEFORE THE BATMAN

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SYNOPSIS: We all know that billionaire Bruce Wayne is secretly Gotham City’s vigilante detective and protector, The Batman—but what road led him there? Find out in Before The Batman: An Original Movie Novel, which includes an exciting original story of Bruce Wayne’s early adventures on his way to becoming The Batman! This novel features an eight-page full-color insert and a pull-out poster!

BEFORE THE BATMAN is essentially a prequel to THE BATMAN told in book form as a novel.  It’s set in Bruce Wayne’s teenage years — he’s able to drive so he’s probably 16 or 17 — and gives the reader a great idea of what Bruce was doing before, well, Batman.

Speaking of 16-17-year-olds, this book is a “young adult” novel and you can tell who the target audience is, age-wise.  However, not once did I read anything that induced eye-rolling or that I felt was teen-silly, for lack of a better term.

I’m not going to give any of the specific details away, so if you’re reading now feel free to continue because I’m not going to spoil anything for you.  But will tell y’all these are some of the things that you’ll discover in the book…

  • The origin of The Batmobile.
  • How THE BATMAN‘s version of Bruce Wayne learned to be the skills that will enable him to become Batman.
  • Alfred Pennyworth’s backstory and his role in the Wayne Family — before and after Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed.  AND…
  • The connection between Bruce Wayne and one Edward Nashton, the future killer who will be known only as “The Riddler.”

Of course, there’s more to BEFORE THE BATMAN than what I’ve listed here, but I’ll let you read it and discover that for yourselves.

For me, I chose to read it before I will see THE BATMAN because I considered the novel to be world-building and part of THE BATMAN-verse — just like the film and the 2 upcoming HBO Max spinoff series.  And it did indeed paint a good picture of both Bruce Wayne and Gotham before The Batman will arrive on the scene.  Also, though I’ve yet to see THE BATMAN (I will be seeing it here very shortly), I do not feel that the film was spoiled for me in any way.  On the other hand, I can totally see how one might want to wait until after seeing THE BATMAN before reading due to wanting to go in totally fresh.

Regardless of the when, I absolutely recommend that you give BEFORE THE BATMAN a read.  It’s doesn’t take long to get through — 2 sittings for me — and  I enjoyed it quite a bit. – Bill “Jett” Ramey

FYI: For a detailed discussion of BEFORE THE BATMAN, check out BOF’s Micah Ramey and Ryan Lower’s video review below.

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Lifelong Batman fan Bill "Jett" Ramey is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Batman-On-Film.com. His passions include Dallas Cowboys football, Elvis Presley, Rock music, cold beer, dive bars, the University of Texas Longhorns, and of course, Batman. He resides in the great state of Texas with his lovely wife ("Announcer Rachel") and his .5 Boston Terrier.