During this ascension into his bat-themed, crime-fighting persona, Wayne and his allies left lots of Post-Its around which would immediately implicate Bruce Wayne as Batman, or at least someone in allegiance with him. Despite the absolute need for secrecy and security, Batman maintained a tell-all diary about how awesome he is.
It’s a bit out of the character for the modern Batman, but it’s not completely impossible. Crazy people like to write stuff down, craft manifestos and meticulously record things. Silver Age Batman was always writing down stories about his exploits, or revealing his identity in tear-stained notes. The Dark Knight Manual makes a modern Batman diary a kind of meta-reality, much in the same vein as the Spider-Man and Marvel Vault books, replete with openable envelopes stuffed with documents, stickers, folders, photos and other “evidence”—some of the best of which includes maps of Gotham City and the Batcave, and a set of eight different Joker cards (presumably left around at each of The Joker’s crime scenes).
It’s very difficult not to stick the Gotham City PD sticker on the rear window of my car… but much to my chagrin, it’s an outward-facing sticker, and not the inward-facing kind appropriate for cars. It would match my Batman license plate holders, steering wheel cover, floor mats and rear view mirror dangler. Because nerding ain’t easy.
The Dark Knight Manual is divided into three main sections: Bruce Wayne’s super-special, secret diary as he transforms into Batman, a huge section about Batman’s wonderful toys (their uses, diagrams, tech specs, and so forth), and finally, dossiers on Batman’s enemies and allies. And all of this is covered with glued-in notes, From the Desk of Bruce Wayne, pretty much saying “THESE ARE MY BATMAN SUPPLIES, SHHHH!” It enhances the experience well enough, but it pushes the whole ‘document’ just that much past the realm of insane. Aside from that bit of weirdness, the rest of the collection-in-a-book, arranged as if literally taped into the world’s most ill-advised scrapbook, work together excellently. And very voyeuristically. It’s nothing but the highest-quality images, and paired with Insight Editions’ Batmobile: The Complete History, there’s very little left over to be desired if you’re interested in knowing everything about the cinematic world.