Batman's Dark Secret

Batman's Dark Secret
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
December 29, 2015
Buy This Book
Batman's Dark Secret is an inspiring story of how a young child overcame his fear of the dark and became a crime-fighting superhero.

One day, a lonely orphan named Bruce Wayne finds himself in a dangerous situation. He defends himself against a monster bat--and he wins. From that time on, he is determined to fight evil. He becomes ... Batman!

In advance of the new Batman movie coming out in March 2016 comes a beautifully illustrated hardcover version of Batman's Dark Secret! The cover features a new illustration by Caldecott Honor winner Jon J Muth!

Editor review

1 review
Batman for the very young
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Young Bruce Wayne suffers a tragic accident in a dark alley in Gotham City after a fun movie night out with his parents. When he returns to his family mansion, he is afraid of the dark. Alfred, the butler, makes sure that the house is always lit, but after spending the day in the countryside, Bruce doesn't make it home before dark. A misstep lands him in a dark hole where he is surrounded by bats. When he stands up to the bats and yells at them to back away, he feels a sense of power and decides that he will no longer be afraid. The final picture shows Bruce as a grown up in his Batman outfit.
Good Points
This book is almost more about conquering fear than it is about Batman, but this book would be fantastic for a child obsessed with this super hero. It has moments that are scary for the very young reader; after the fateful trip down the dark alley, we see Bruce standing alone on the sidewalk with his father's hat and his mother's scarf, with a police car in front of him. There's little explanation about where the parents have gone, so children will be able to approach this story from whatever perspective they may have about death.

The pictures are very atmospheric and dark, although the pages with Alfred show some humor and lots of light. Muth keeps the standard Batman iconography, as well as a 1940s vibe to the backgrounds and setting of the book.

Readers looking for extensive background on The Dark Knight might be disappointed, but parents who want to introduce young children to this character will find a lot to like in this story about facing one's fears and overcoming them.
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