Huh. Somewhat let-down by this.
Now, before I go any further, this rating is based on my experience with the book. I realize that this comic had a major influence over Batman and the comic-book industry in general. Without this book, we wouldn't have the Batman we know and love today, with his dark and gritty style. This comic also helped saved the comic industry in the 80s. If I considered those factors, this would easily get bumped up to 4 stars...but I don't.
It really is a good comic, don't get me wrong, it's just has some weak points. Like let's see, at one point Batman dresses up as a fat, black, homeless lady! Really!? The BATMAN. Dressed up as a fat, black, homeless lady. Who is he, Eddie Murphy? I found this to be stupidly unnecessary.
Also, Batman shows emotional responses towards the old Robin's death a few times and even hints that he blames himself for what happened. SO what does he do? He makes a 13 year old girl with almost no prior training the new Robin and allows her to go straight into combat against bad guys that the Batman himself can hardly defeat. I'm not even kidding. Seriously Batman, that is some irresponsible shit right there. Not to mention this new Robin girl has virtually no back story whatsoever. None. She is so boringly uninteresting and was blatantly only included to stress the point that old Batman is no longer as strong as he once was.
Oh yeah, and Batman rode a horse. Which was actually kind of bad-ass.
The book is sometimes dialogue heavy, but some of the politics were actually interesting, though extremely repetitious. But hey, that's politics for ya. The politics were basically just people on TV arguing either for or against Batman, with no real reasoning behind anything. Some parts were interesting though. I guess it tried to show the comics realism. I also enjoys the satirical portrayal of Ronald Reagan and the numerous pop-culture references that seemed to age well.
The bad guys, besides the recurring ones, were pretty bland and unoriginal. I suppose that is again to try and maintain a somewhat realistic story. I did like to see the thought process of Batman while he was fighting and the tactics he runs through his mind. That was cool, though only appeared a few times.
Book 4 was by far the best one. With the inclusion of Superman and numerous plot advances. Although, I didn't care much for the ending, I won't ruin it but it was kind of boring. I guess it made sense though, it wasn't terrible. At the end of the day: it's still a story about a grown man who dresses up in a costume and tights, and runs around at night beating up bad guys.