Review: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
“What’s the point of being a billionaire if I can’t have a little fun?”
I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Batman. In my opinion he’s not really a superhero, just a rich asshole. I only decided to read this book because I’d heard a lot of good things about Marie Lu’s writing but wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to reading a series (plus this book is super short, so if I didn’t gel with it I knew it wouldn’t take me long to get through it anyway).
What I wasn’t expecting was for Marie Lu to convert me into a Batman fan. Her Bruce Wayne has some of the stereotypical traits of the Batman we all know (and most people love); he’s a cocky billionaire with a taste for fast cars and justice. But Lu’s Bruce Wayne doesn’t stop there. He also has a softer side, vulnerable from losing his parents and reliant on Alfred, his guardian and the only parental figure he has left. He cares for his friends, Harvey and Dianne, and they even make him crack a few smiles – this Bruce Wayne isn’t moody and bleak, he actually has some hope and happiness in his life. And when he starts falling for Madeleine, an apprehended Nightwalker who’s more than just a cold-blooded killer, it even looks like he might have love…
Lu takes the source material and twists it, bending Bruce into her own character which still closely resembles the original. This is a book for those who love Batman, and those who have always thought that he could be a better character. I’ve always been disdainful towards him, but now I can’t help but think that there is more to him than meets the eye, which makes him a far more interesting character.
Not only that, but the plot and the storytelling are cinematic, and I found the scenes coming to life behind my eyes. I’m not a very visual reader, so when this does happen it takes me by surprise, but this book wouldn’t have been the same if Lu hadn’t described everything in such great detail. The fight scenes are well choreographed, and even though they’re playing out on the page the movements still sound realistic: there’s nothing that made me raise an eyebrow or seemed physically impossible. The plot does have a few overdone tropes, but what superhero movies don’t? It made the book seem even more ingrained in the DC universe.
I loved seeing familiar names pop up in the background, because it made me wonder what would happen in those character’s futures to take them to where we know they end up. We all know Harvey Dent as the villain Two-Face, so how does he get from being Bruce’s best friend to being a bad guy? It’s very fun to speculate. I did wonder whether Dianne was supposed to be Wonder Woman – it’s a similar name to Diana – but that didn’t get confirmed, so I’m left to ponder upon it.
If you like origin stories which add something, I highly recommend this book. Even if you’re not a Batfan, give this a go and I’m sure you’ll end up feeling more affectionate towards him by the end.
If you’re interested in learning more about Batman: Nightwalker, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!
Have you read any of the DC Icons books? If so, which has been your favourite so far?