What a great read. I don't exactly remember how this book landed in my possession. I remembers years ago seeing it in my Dads office, stuffed between some Tom Clancy novels and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I gave it no thought. And when the Batman story came back with the reboot movie Batman Begins, my whole mentality changed. I think after seeing the movie, and how interesting and engaging it was, that dusty book was pulled off the shelf and into eager hands.
First off I must congratulate Greg Rucka on doing something that many writers would laugh at tackling. Rucka in this book takes on the 1999 comic story arc 'Cataclysm' where Gotham city is hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that devastates the city. Killing thousands and leaving millions wounded. The comic ran completely through 1999, and in 2000 Rucka comes out with his novel adaptation of the storyline. The blending is flawless, as Rucka takes the story and conforms it to text, that is not only engaging to the reader, but plops you into the center of the madness in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Batman: A No Man's Land is a thoroughly enjoyable read, not only for the story, which teeters the reader at the edge of Gotham's complete destruction, or the maddening wasteland that it could be, but Rucka employs a style that rivals the Graphic Novelists of 'A Long Halloween' in which he develops The Batman character into a legend and a beacon of hope amidst the seemingly helplessness of it all. The story is greatly enhanced by the slue of characters both good and bad. The countless villains running around the wasted Gotham, spreading even more chaos, and the band of heroes fighting against the insurmountable hardships of the disaster. The heroes proved to be extremely interesting because very little back story or motive is given as to why they stay, and Rucka weaves their character development into the plot, helping guide the reader page after page.
An avid fan, or a curious reader, this book is fantastic. Regardless of how much you know about Batman or how little, Rucka adapts this story to any reader, and in doing so creates a novel from a graphic novel that works. And instead paints us the visuals with words, that are clear precise, and sometimes questionable. He styles the text and develops a story you keep wanting more of, kudos. I give this book a 5/5. Simply because I expected something so different, and got something so mature, so developed that Tom Clancy himself would be engrossed in the tale.