Carolyn's Reviews > Batman: Year One

Batman by Frank Miller
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Jan 08, 09


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 that Oldman "is so skilled that he makes virtue exciting," and it can certainly be said of the complex, flawed Gordon portrayed here--his virtue is exciting. Don't get me wrong, I love Batman, but I've always been a sucker for working-class heroes and this book makes Gordon as much a hero, in his everyday way, as Batman is in his grandiose and theatrical way.

I also like the way that, like the films, this tale addresses the issue of escalation among the criminals of Gotham. Batman doesn't create himself to fight off the Jokers and Riddlers and Penguins of the city. He starts by fighting run-of-the-mill thugs and organized crime families. These heightened criminal elements are, in a way, a result of Batman's existence.

But, yeah, mostly it's about Jim Gordon for me.
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