M's Reviews > Batman: Earth One, Volume 1

Batman by Geoff Johns
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Jul 16, 2012

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Geoff Johns and Gary Frank unite for yet another origin story for Bruce Wayne in this Earth One retelling. This time Thomas Wayne is running for mayor of Gotham City, and refuses to let his old war compatriot and bodyguard Alfred Pennyworth dissuade him from a family night out at the movies. When the power to the theater is cut, an angry young Bruce bolts for the exit - leading to the inevitable deaths of both Thomas and Martha. Left in the care of the grizzled Pennyworth, Bruce demands to be taught how to fight. Determined to discern the truth behind his parents' murders, Bruce hits the streets in search of answers. With faulty weapons, no knowledge of forensics, and only a ratty homemade costume, this Batman stumbles and fumbles his way into the heart of a conspiracy. Earth One also takes some liberties with classic characters, altering them in new and different ways. Harvey Bullock is a former TV host out to make a name for himself by solving the Wayne murders, James Gordon is a defeated cop forced to play the political game in order to keep his daughter safe, Alfred is a gruff war veteran tasked with caring for an orphaned boy, and Mayor Cobblepot is a more than a little fishy. Geoff Johns seems concerned with planting the seeds for a believable vigilante tale, but doing so robs the titular Batman of his classic mystique; even the new Birthday Boy killer fails to up the ante. The art from Gary Frank is suitably engaging, helping make the book easier on the eyes. Batman: Earth One is yet another modern retread of the Batman origin, but it needs work to live up to its heroic legacy.
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