Posted in Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade

Batman’s Backstory: Gotham’s Guardian

batmanBatman: Gotham City’s Guardian, by Matthew Manning/Illustrated by Steven Gordon (Jan. 2016, Scholastic), $5.99, ISBN: 9780545868167

Recommended for ages 7-10

What would a series of DC Backstories be without the Dark Knight? Scholastic’s Batman: Gotham City’s Guardian gives readers a quick history of Batman, his friends and foes, and origin.

Gotham City’s Guardian follows the style set by the previous Backstories: we have a foreword by Batman, leading into his origin story; a roll call of friends, foes, and family, including a breakdown of the four sidekicks who have worn the Robin mask; a chronology of the characters’ origins; a short biography in chapters; timelines; glossaries; fast facts, and indexes.

Readers learn how small-time mugger Joe Chill created an icon during a robbery gone wrong in Gotham’s infamous Crime Alley; how a young Bruce Wayne traveled the world, learning from experts in martial arts, investigation, even acting, so he could gain the skills he needed to avenge his parents; how he embraced the image of the bat, and how he eschews firearms because of the devastation they brought to his life at such a young age. The guide is comprehensive, covering such major events as Batman’s back being broken at the hands of supervillain Bane and the Joker’s murder of Jason Todd’s Robin. Heavily illustrated, we also have fun touches like Bruce Wayne’s own drawings, newspaper clippings, and schematics for such gadgets as Batman’s utility belt and several important vehicles.

Get the full set in time for the movie (only 3 weeks away now!) and get your kidlings caught up on the real origin stories for Bats, Supes, and Wondy!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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