Sunday, 26 December 2010

Batman: Year One

Written by: Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli, with Richmond Lewis and Todd Klein.
Year of Publication: 1987
Number of Pages: 143 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, action, superhero, adventure

Summary: Jim Gordon, a cop with a chequered past, moves to the crime ridden town of Gotham City with his pregnant wife Barbara to join the police department. However he soon finds out that the police department is completely corrupt, and that the corruption reaches to the highest levels of the city authorities. As one of the few honest cops on the force, Gordon soon finds himself a target of not only the criminals but also his fellow officers. Meanwhile, Gotham's wealhtiest resident, playboy Bruce Wayne, returns to the city after twelve years abroad. Shortly afterwards, Gordon finds himself investigating a powerful new vigilante on the scene. A mysterious costumed figure known as Batman.

Opinions: In the 1980s DC Comics decided to revamp many of their long-running superhero titles, by going back to basics and reinventing or expanding upon their origin stories. This book, which was originally published as a four part story in the Batman comic, details not only Bruce Wayne's first year as Batman, but also the future Comissioner Gordon's first year in the Gotham City Police. The book doesn't radically change the origin story of Batman, but it does expand on it, and provided a huge influence on the future development of the character. A year previously Frank Miller had written the acclaimed and controversial Batman: The Dark Knight Returns which returned the character to the dark, gritty, ambiguous character he had been in the beginning, and this book keeps the gritty feel of Dark Knight Returns. The story is fast moving and energatic and provides a refreshing take on a familiar tale, and the dynamic artwork complements it well. This is a must-read for Batman fans and especially for fans of the movies Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) bith of which, while not being direct adatations, borrowed many elements from Year One.

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