Geremy's Reviews > Batman: Earth One, Vol. 1

Batman by Geoff Johns
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's review
Jul 06, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

People have often said that DC don't take enough risks with their characters. Particularly with their staple two, Batman and Superman, that they are "over protective" of their personalities, relationships and settings. That every revelation is often met with a conservative re-tread. I for one think this an over generalisation. The new 52 has alone proved that much.

And Batman: Earth One continues to push the boundaries of DC storytelling of its staple characters to a new zenith. The tale that Johns and Frank construct (and I mean construct for they truly create something unique with no equal) is as a result of a process of shattering old mythology and re-slotting it in a way that has never been conceived. Staple character such as the Alfred the kind hearted Butler and Harvey the corrupt cop Bullock are completely re-jigged to the point where they no longer resemble their past personalities. And these are just a few of the example of how Johns and Frank turn existing mythology on its head.

The opening sequence alone, where Batman is chasing a bad guy (as most opening Batman stories go)and instead of catching him, falls flat on his face perfectly informs the reader to suspend all that you think you know about the Dark Knight and enjoy the ride.

Further, the art by Frank is pristine. This is a book that must be read in natural light to truly appreciate its efforts. The only fault I can find is that Frank draw faces perhaps too similar and for those that are familiar with his work on Superman: Secret Origin some faces may look too similar. But apart from that, Frank's handling of action sequences and facial expressions almost leave dialogue redundant.

Now understandably, most people have read or watched a Batman tale. And most people are familiar with Batman's origin to the point where an origin tale could be considered irrelevant. And I for one walked in with that exact same perception. However, its the execution, style and (re)construction of the characters and plot that make this tale a definitive Batman origin. Sure, it'll never rival Miller's Batman: Year One but that fact that it comes close to, is enough of a reason to own it.
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