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Batman: Year One (Batman)

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4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  96,847 ratings  ·  1,236 reviews
Whether you grew up reading Batman comics, watched the campy television show, or eagerly await each new movie, this is the book for you. A retelling of the events that led to Bruce Wayne's becoming Batman, this book combines Frank Miller's tight film-noir writing with David Mazucchelli's solid artwork.
Paperback
Published May 1st 2001 by Titan Books (UK) (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Keely
This is one of those books that's been absorbed into the public consciousness so fully that, reading it now, it can be hard to see what was revolutionary about it. This book has come to define the way we think of Batman today and was influential on the darker, grittier cape comics of the eighties and early nineties.

But it is also instrumental in introducing what made that period of comics so ridiculous. It's been praised for its gritty realism, but like any Miller book, it's more sensationlist t
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Patrick
To me, Batman is kinda like Pizza. By which I mean that even bad pizza is still pretty good.

But for me, the best Batman is written by Miller. Maybe it's because I like his writing style, or maybe it's because his fairly dark writing style really suits Batman.

Or it could just be that the very first comic I read as adult was Dark Night Returns. That's the comic that made me realize that comics weren't just a bunch of silly bullshit stories for kids.

Whatever the reason, this comic is in that fin
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Melki
I've never been much of a super hero fan. And to me, Batman will always be Adam West's campy TV show of my youth. Bap! Zammm! Kapow!

BUT...there's something about beginnings that appeals to me. I like watching a guy discovering and honing his powers. I'm remembering my favorite parts of two super hero movies I was forced to sit through - Spiderman on a rooftop, trying to figure out how to get his web thingamajig to work - "Um, Shazam?" and Iron Man crashing through his grand piano. Once they've g
...more
Sam Quixote
You know the classics of literature - War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Middlemarch? There are aspects to them to appreciate and patient readers can be rewarded greatly with those books. But let's be honest - most of us view classics as a bit of a chore. But what about classic comics? Kind of the same thing, but not for so many. Some classic comics, Marvel and DC especially, are tough to read because the stories from the 40s and 50s are so badly written and cheesy, and the art is hit or miss, ...more
Adam
I'm not a big fan of superhero origin stories, so I avoided reading Batman: Year One for awhile, but I'm really glad I finally picked it up and gave it a try. This four-issue series totally blew me away. It got to the heart of everything I've always loved about Batman, while giving equal time to Commissioner Gordon (still a lieutenant in Year One). Gordon has always been one of my favorite supporting characters in Batman's world, and I think he rarely gets his due, so it was nice to read a story ...more
Jonathan

Year One is the Batman origin that everyone currently knows. It is the origin story that until Frank Miller wrote it, did not exist. And therefore, while the book may not appear ground-breaking currently; at its time of publication it was incredibly fresh. It was the gritty, revenge seeking origin story of Bruce Wayne that audiences wanted.

However, in all honesty Bruce Wayne cannot be called the protagonist in this novel. As I recently read: the protagonist is the character which shows change an
...more
Ronyell
description

Brief History:

To be honest, I have actually first heard about Batman through the 90s cartoon series “Batman: The Animated Series,” which apparently, I have actually had my first exposure to the world of comics through so many animated series throughout the 90s. Since I have been reading a lot of comics lately, especially the “X-Men” comics, I wanted to try a different comic book series and that is where I started reading up on “Batman.” So, the first “Batman” comic I have actually came upon re
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Anne
Meh. It was alright. It was sort of cool to see things from Gordon's perspective. I still would have liked to see a little more Bruce. I don't feel like I gained any new insight into his origins or his character. It wasn't awful, I was just hoping for more.
Carolyn
I read this slim volume in an hour or so, because I've long heard good things about this take on Batman's origins and earliest days, and I heard it was a source of inspiration for Christopher Nolan's Batman films, for which my appreciation has only grown after seeing them both again recently.

One of the biggest pleasures of the films for me is Gary Oldman's portrayal of Jim Gordon, and easily my favorite thing about Year One is Jim Gordon. In his review of The Dark Knight, Peter Travers said tha
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Michael
When DC decided it was time to retell the origin story of its some of its iconic super heroes, it was decided that while Superman and Wonder Woman's origin might need some freshening up, the mythology surrounding the origin of Batman worked without any tweaks or revamps. Instead what the origin of Batman needed was a different take on the classic origin. The result is Frank Miller's highly influential, much revered four-issue work Batman: Year One.

Going back to the early days of the Batman saga,
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Callista
Three and a half stars. This is the first Batman book I've read, and I decided to start with this one because the screenwriters of the movie reboot Batman Begins (a movie I love) were influenced by it.
It's really more about Jim Gordon than it is about Bruce Wayne. Gordon is a good cop on a corrupt force, in a corrupt town; and he does his best to maintain his integrity, endangering himself. He isn't quite as saintly as Gary Oldman's character in Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, but he's still
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Paul
Batman: Year One is a great Batman story...
Batman: Year One is also a great Gordon story.
In many of the Batman stories I've read Gordon is depicted as an innefficient cop who needs to rely on Batman to get "his" job done.
Not so in this story, Frank Miller paints a picture of Gordon as a 3-dimensional human being with all the faults that come with being human. And with all the strenghts a human being posesses.
Gordon is a very good cop and deserves the respect and humanization he gets in this book
...more
Petertpc
The ultimate Batman origin story and one of the most important Batman stories ever. Frank Miller singlehandedly redefined the Batman with the Dark Knight Returns and this four issue series of the Batman comic. As a mile marker in the history of the Batman character, this story's importance can't be overstated.
Keith
Okay... I guess I don't like Frank Miller much. Batman: Year One has less of the fascistic feeling that I got from the movies Sin City and The 300, but I found it sketchily put together and not well characterized. I think that Nolan's Batman Begins film effort actually did a better job covering the first forays into costumed crimefighting by our caped crusader. Perhaps were I more informed by reading a lot of Batman comics I could fill in the story better on my own. Maybe Miller was too close to ...more
The Crimson Fucker
ok… this one I love, I was angry went it was over and I had to go back to my crappy book… and batman kick the shit out of some dude who tried to kill a kitty!!! I love it!!! I love it I say!!
John Yelverton
A well written story that takes these great characters and drags them through the mud.
Sophia
I like to consume Batman one graphic novel at a time, because there's so much to glimpse. So much to question. Miller says -- quoted in the bonus material -- that Batman is a hero who wishes he didn't have to exist. I was about to say he reminds me of the American Dream, but he starts his life rich, and keeps himself there by staying industrious, yet...has the world convinced he's a manchild. But isn't he, in another sense? A child hiding behind a child? It's 4am, so I'm confusing, I know.

I mea
...more
Rick
Oct 13, 2008 Rick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Pretty well written and drawn the story itself seems kind of rushed though. The end just seemed to come rather abruptly and Catwoman's presence seemed rather pointless. Miller's take on Catwoman was interesting but she didn't really seem to have much to do with the story.

Also this really seems to be more about Gordon's story than it is about Batman's. Not that that is a bad thing, seeing things from Gordon's point of view is fairly interesting. I would have liked more Batman though.

I think ove
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Mike
Re-read this again after ten and twenty years, and I'm surprised to feel that it holds up as well as it does. It doesn't feel like Miller threw in cheap thrills or gimmicks to amp up the story, and the look of the art is great, dirty and low-key - just what an "early days" story should do for someone who's been shined up so much since. Like what apparently is being done in the New 52 bat books, it's fascinating to see a different, less disciplined and omniscient Batman at work here.

The real gem
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Michael
In some ways, this was actually the perfect graphic novel. It had two tight story arcs that fed off of each other, both of which had emotional resonance and pivotal action sequences to create decision points. And it had nice little touches toward the larger universe like hints at Catwoman and other references. It did not overstay its welcome, but told the specific story that it needed to tell very succinctly, but with riveting panache.

Ultimately, I gave it only 4 stars because although possibly
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Michael Benavidez
I completely understand the argument that this book is a bit overrated. Mostly because it kinda is.

And yet it is amazingly done. The story is pieced wonderfully, telling the beginnings of Batman with the failures that are understandable, as well as Gordon's introduction to the crime infested Gotham. The artwork fits it perfectly, always doing well to match the words with a perfect urgency depending on the situation.
My only complaint is Selina a.k.a Catwoman. Bet you thought I was gonna say it w
...more
Timothy Stone
In the late 1980's, following the events of the “crisis crossover” story, Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics began altering continuity in a big way. Especially, they wanted new continuities and origin stories for the “big three”, i.e., Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Supes and Wonder Woman had some pretty significant changes made to their characters back stories (especially Wonder Woman, who had quite a few changes), but with Batman, large-scale changes were not feasible. This is because h ...more
Michael (Tattoogirl Reads)
Really, the only Batman exposure I have is the Michael Keaton and Christian Bale movies; and Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Soooo, I was a little surprised by some of the differences and really what this installment in the epic Batman tales was about.

First Off: Gordon
To me, this really wasn’t about Batman but more about Gordon with a little bit of Batman’s beginnings. It shows his ups and downs, and his faults along with praises. I love him. He’s a great character with a lot of depth. This reall
...more
Matt R.
THE definitive Batman origin story. Miller's body of work is kind of off-and-on, but this is dead-on throughout, and takes a fantastically human look at both Batman AND Jim Gordon's first year.

Both are so well-done, and what I really love is the little touches... like Batman saving Otto the cat from a SWAT-team member, and THEN beating the holy hell out of the guy for taking a shot at the cat. It's stuff like that which truly makes Batman someone worth cheering for, and something which most comi
...more
Colin McKay Miller
Superhero origin stories come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t like one? Ignore it and write your own (or even better, write an earth-altering opus that simply undoes the old canon). If there’s a Batman origin story that’s become the new standard to unravel—especially with the clear influence on the current film series—Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One is the candidate.

Chronicling the emergence of Batman and the rise of Jim Gordon through the ranks of law enforcement (along with the introduction of
...more
Guillermo
I'll never understand why I put off reading Batman Year One for so long. Maybe I wasn't ready for Frank Miller's version of the story. Which bothers me, because I accepted The Dark Knight Returns with open arms.

Many things come to mind while reading Year One, though. First of all, its importance to the Batman mythos, a signature in the canon, and so forth. I've said this before with another book, haven't I? It's still very true, however.

Told from the point of view of both Batman/Bruce Wayne and
...more
Robert Jones
Is there anything to even say here? This is the best Batman story ever, in my opinion. It's better than Batman Begins (which clearly drew a lot of inspiration from Year One), better than the Killing Joke, better than Arkham City.

Batman is given the Noir treatment for (maybe?) the first time. Year One chronicles Bruce Wayne's return to Gotham from years abroad, and the slow birth of the Batman we all know and love. Even better, though, is the fact that Batman is kind of treated as a background ch
...more
أحمد
In 1986 Frank Miller has given The Dark Knight - and the whole world of graphic novels - a whole new dark dimension, with his legendary "The Dark Knight Returns". The next year he decides to give him a proper beginning. "Batman: Year One" follows the first year of the rise of Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent, the three knights of Gotham. This approach - and many other themes from this book - are adopted by Christopher Nolan's trilogy. So this is the book where Batman begins, and The Dark Knight ri ...more
Matt Brady
Within the space of a couple of years, frank Miller wrote the definitive alpha and omega of Batman. The Dark Knight Returns, the first one to come out, is structured as the "last" Batman story, whereas Year One is, as the name suggests, the beginning. They are both, quite rightly in my opinion, regarded as THE definitive Batman comics.

The interesting thing about Year One is that it isn't an origin story. Not really. I mean, we get the familiar, iconic by this point, beats you'd expect. The Wayne
...more
Jen
It is so good to be reading these comics again after so many years! Miller has always been one of my favourite Batman storytellers (although lately he's gone nuts) and the inks and colouring are superlative and nostalgic, especially when I see the Univers typeface used to great effect. Gordan's back-story is great; there hasn't been anything like it.
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Frank Miller is an American writer, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. He is one of the most widely-recognized and popular creators in comics, and is one of the most influential comics creators of his generation. His most notable works include Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One and 300.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the
...more
More about Frank Miller...
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Sin City, Vol. 1: The Hard Goodbye (Sin City, #1) 300 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 Sin City, Vol. 2: A Dame to Kill For (Sin City, #2)

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“Ladies. Gentlemen. You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on...none of you are safe.” 40 likes
“You can never escape me. Bullets don't harm me. Nothing harms me. But I know pain. I KNOW pain. Sometimes I share it. With someone like you.” 23 likes
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