In celebration of our Batman VS Superman election, I'll be reviewing MY favorite Superman and Batman books Of All Time! I'll try not to reveal any Bat-Bias or Super-Subjectiveness that could unduly influence this election.
One night changed Bruce Wayne's life forever. A random act of violence took away his parents and gave him something new: a mission. Now, after year of training his body and mind he is ready to com home. He is ready to take back Gotham. A city of crime, sin, and corruption at the highest levels. Can one man save a city? No, but maybe a bat can.
This one book, even more than Miller's also excellent the Dark Knight Returns, changed the course of Batman forever. It is as if Miller completely rewrote his DNA and brought Batman in all his dark glory into the real world. This is a young and inexperienced Bruce Wayne, that barely survives his first disastrous outings. It allows the reader to see the Batman form over time and have a real understanding and investment in what makes Bruce into Batman. In starting Batman over from scratch, Miler gets to the core of what makes Batman so fascinating: an obsessive drive to make sure that no one else has to watch their loved ones die by crime and a fanatical devotion to a code of honor.
Miller also greatly enlarges the importance of characters that were underutilized at the time, like Catwoman and Jim Gordon. Placing a young and principled Jim Gordon on the incredibly corrupt Gotham police force made Gordon into a whole new character as vital to the Batman story as any character.
Mazzuchelli's art is perfect for the book. He has Batman as a menacing figure using shadows and his cape to look larger than life, but gives Bruce the realistic body of a superb athlete. This isn't the highly muscled Batman that is seen in most comics and this makes the Batman even more impressive, because he seems so much more human. The reality makes the idea of a man taking on crime single handed all the more impressive.
Miller is able to make
Batman's war with the mob that owns the city as compelling as any
Two-Face or Joker story ever written. If you are a fan of the
Christopher Nolan Batman films, then you owe a debt of thanks to Year One. This is a perfect book for both those that are already batty for Batman or total Bat-beginners.
You can find Batman: Year One in our catalog here.