Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Batman Year One

I've been on a bit of a "Batman classics" run lately with Hush, The Long Halloween, and now Miller and Mazzucchelli's Batman Year One (still got The Killing Joke on my list). After reading Hush and The Long Halloween (both of which i loved BTW), and stoking the Batman fan-boy i didn't know i had in me, i was anxious to get a hold of Year One.

Frank Miller is a straight beast IMO, and he uses this book to add welcome detail to Batman's first year as... well... Batman. We get a look at Bruce Wayne as a bit of a troubled, awkward, "getting his feet wet" crime fighter (far from the polished Batman we're used to), and read Miller's take on the origin of his relationship with James Gordon. Gordon transfers to Gotham from Chicago as a low-level Detective, and Miller does a GREAT job of paralleling his and Batman's paths to the same goal (and eventual partnership).

I'm most impressed w/ Miller's decision to keep this Batman story in the trenches. There's no Joker, no Riddler, no Penguin. Hell there's NO named bad guy here at all (unless you count brief appearances by Falcone and Roman, who's characters i'm well fond of after The Long Halloween). The strength of the story isn't the adventure here - it's the tale of two up-and-coming crime fighters (Gordon and Wayne), trying to clean up a troubled city from opposite angles, and their eventual (inevitable) partnership.

Miller's narration and dialogue is what makes Batman Year One memorable. The story has a gritty, "real" feel to it, and Miller's iterations of these famous Batman characters (Gordon, Wayne, and Selina especially) is about as down-to-earth as any i've read. Each is dealing with very real obstacles (on personal and professional levels) and feel downright human.

Great book. Nostalgic, intelligent, and in the end highly recommended (along w/ Hush and The Long Halloween for any comics fan. A.


29 March, 2006 14:40, Blogger Ryan X said...

Now that you are some sort of Batman "expert" :), what order would you recommend reading these if for the first time? Thanks.

29 March, 2006 14:53, Blogger zilla said...

ha - it's funny but i never really liked Batman all that much before these 3 books. I'd def read Year One first, then Long Halloween, then Hush. They're all pretty different but all very good IMO.


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel