Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

In the great hierarchy of book genres, the media tie-in novel occupies a tier decidedly close to the bottom: higher than coloring books or street maps, but lower than, say, Jesus, Life Coach. All the worse when the corporate property in question in DC Comics’ Batman, a character whose appeal (whether in the comic books of his origin or the movies and TV shows that followed) has always depended in no small measure on the striking imagery of visual media. Seen in the four-color panels of Detective Comics, a man leaping rooftops in a bat suit reaches heights of the sublime. Described in typeset prose, he seems merely ridiculous.

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Into the Breach: "Battle Royale" and "The Hunger Games"

Into the Breach: "Battle Royale" and "The Hunger Games"

In the back of our ninth grade class, you may or may not recall, there sat a silent, studious boy whom everyone ignored. He wasn’t chubby enough to bully. He didn’t have the acne to scatter female cliques. Even the teacher, busy with students who achieved things or had problems, left him be. Such invisibility worked in his favor. Devoted to fictitious worlds, he wrote and drew continuously. Socials and first kisses, trivialities compared with the act of creating, only wrinkled his nose. His imagination, however, intensified, as he learned to focus it through the noisy social web of the surrounding classroom.

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