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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Batman: Dead White (audiobook) by John Shirley

A harder edge to Batman tales than most are used to

Published 2009 by GraphicAudio
Performed by a cast of 30+ actors
Duration: Approximately 6 hours

Set early in Batman's career, Batman: Dead White features Batman versus a group of militia-based racists who are planning an Al-Qaeda inspired terror campaign designed to start a race war. The plan is reminiscent of Charles Manson's Helter Skelter race war except that the lunatic in charge of this group is much more organized and has hundreds and hundreds of followers.

The Bavarian Brotherhood are led by White Eyes, a gigantic white man who speaks the standard lines of racial purity, Aryan superiority and various plots by different Jewish groups to control everything. The difference is that he has  a workable plan to de-stabilize the United States government, lots of money and access to a whole series of new and dangerous weapons that even impress Batman.

Bruce Wayne has been "Batman" for about 18 months so he is still working out all of the details of his personae. Lingering doubts plague him throughout the book and he is still a novelty to the police and the military who see the BatPlane for the first time in this adventure.

GraphicAudio's tag line is "A Movie In Your Mind" and once again they deliver. The cast features more than 30 performers and includes sound effects and music. More than once I had to turn down the radio to make sure that the sirens in a chase scene were not real sirens as I listened to this audiboook during my daily commute.

Listeners may be surprised at the graphic language used throughout (somehow most comic book bad guys do not curse much, have you noticed? They'll steal national treasures, poison your water supplies, blow up buildings and kill lots of people but never utter a curse word.). There is a lot of cursing and racial slurs (drug dealers and race-baiters curse and use racial slurs? Shocking!). There are also open discussions of rape and slurs against homosexuals. None of these seem inappropriate in their context and there is a warning on the package and at the beginning of the first disc.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Batman: Dead White (audiobook) by John Shirley.

Reviewed on January 21, 2012.

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