Kereesa's Reviews > Batman: Year One

Batman by Frank Miller
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Dec 08, 11

bookshelves: manga-and-graphic-novels-class, own, 2011, superheroes, graphic-novels, fangirling, own-softcovers, own-graphic-novels
Recommended for: New and Old to Batman
Read from October 20 to 23, 2011 — I own a copy

Batman Year One is a retelling of the Batman and Gordon's origin stories told against the backdrop of Bruce Wayne's first year as a vigilante in the criminally corrupt Gotham City. Focusing on Wayne's return to the City as well as his beginnings as the feared Bat, Miller parallels Batman's beginnings with that of Gordon, only a detective, but slowly moving up and taking over the corrupted police force. Together they will become an unstoppable force, but for now their stories are distinct entities in this origin story focused graphical novel.

Considering this is my first ever Batman comic, I really enjoyed it. The art, the way Miller writes his piece, all of it really got me quickly into the story and the world of Gotham City. I loved the fact that both Gordon and Batman were parallel to one another, and how Miller easily wove in other characters, Cat Woman, Harvey Dent, into the overall story. It made me wonder about his other works, The Dark Knight for instance, and if I would enjoy them as much.

The story isn't much to speak of since it's mostly training for both Gordon and Batman as they start to set-up their place in Gotham, but the way Miller writes his characters, their inner thoughts, and just the narrative in itself easily indicates his talent and provides depth to the piece. The way he paralleled Gordon and Batman's progression was my favorite part of this graphic novel, and it was interesting to see how they intersected at some points.

The art is fantastic. I really can't say anymore than that. It's perfect for the fighting scenes as it is for the more mundane ones. It integrates itself well into the plot, and is visually wonderful to look at.

I do have one negative aspect to talk about in relation to this graphic novel: Batman. I know, totally weird, but I felt that there just wasn't enough of a character to Batman..in his own comic. For me Batman was nearly two-dimensional, and didn't have the personality, the life to him that Gordon, Catwoman and even Harvey Dent did. Don't get me wrong, Batman is freaking bad ass, and I was totally engrossed in his training, but he just wasn't enough of a character for me to relate to. Especially in comparison to Gordon who you see and feel for throughout the graphic novel as he struggles with marriage and the corrupted police force.

All in all, this was stunning, and a great introduction, for me at least, to Batman in the graphic novel world. It brings in a lot of origin stories for a lot of characters, and essentially sets up the stage for Miller's The Dark Knight while still being a visually beautiful piece. While Batman doesn't have too much character development for him, Gordon is easily a man to relate to and brings humanity to the piece. 4-4.5/5
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