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"Batman: Year One" Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'DC Comics and Collectibles' started by James Harvey, Apr 12, 2005.

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Rate "Batman: Year One"

  1. *****

    60.9%
  2. ****1/2

    21.7%
  3. ****

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  4. ***1/2

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  5. ***

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  6. **1/2

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  7. **

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  8. *1/2

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  9. *

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  10. 1/2

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  1. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    Discuss this classic Batman story!

    BATMAN: YEAR ONE

    [​IMG]

    Written by: Frank Miller
    Art and Cover by: David Mazzuchelli

    One of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever — written by Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) with art by David Mazzuchelli (Daredevil) — returns! A young Bruce Wayne has spent his adolescence and early adulthood, traveling the world so he could hone his body and mind into the perfect fighting and investigative machine. But now as he returns to Gotham City, he must find a way to focus his passion and bring justice to his city. Retracing Batman's first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante, we watch as he chooses a guise of a giant bat, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon, inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a corrupt political system that infests Gotham.

    Comments? What are your thoughts?

    Related Discussion:
    Batman: Year Two Graphic Novel Talkback (Spoilers)
    Nightwing: Year One Graphic Novel Talkback (Spoilers)
    Batgirl: Year One Graphic Novel Talkback (Spoilers)
    Robin: Year One Graphic Novel Talkback (Spoilers)
     
  2. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know there was a talkback for this story! Excellent!

    I purchased the Batman: Year One - Deluxe Edition collection pictured above and it's one of my favorite purchases this year. I read the story years ago but I've reread it a dozen times since Batman Begins came out. This story is such a genuine classic!

    Oneof the best things about this comic is that you don't even need any familiarity with Batman. All you need to know is presented here under some great artwork and the concisive dual narrative of Bruce Wayne and Lt. James Gordon. Gordon's description of how corrupt Gotham is and what Batman puts himself through is amazing. I can't believe this is the same writer working on All Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder. Miller produced possibly his best-ever DC work in this book.

    I really liked David Mazzucchelli's artwork in Daredevil: Born Again but it is just perfect here. I think it may actually be flawless! The subdued yet beautiful colouring of Lewis tops it off really well.

    The extras for this edition are pretty interesting as well. Mazzucchelli's little extra comic with all those different styles of Batmen was really well done. I love how it told a solid tale and provided a look at Batman through the ages. The script work, write-ups and extra art is really nice to look at. This is probably my favorite DC comic! Whether or not you like Batman this is a must have!
     
  3. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Howdy,

    I have more to say about Batman: Year One someday (hopefully soon), but for now I just wanted to say that Chip Kidd should be forbidden to make those half-cut dust jackets from now on. They were (and still are) kind of cool on Vertical's Buddha reprints. The one on the deluxe HC is crappy, though -- nothing like going to buy Batma Year One, and it's a lot easier to get shredded going in and out of the bookcase.

    That is the only thing that I dislike about the HC edition, though. and would be even if all it did was restore the full-sized comic book covers that the original TPBs hacked up. It's quite the sweet package, and I didn't mind double-dipping for it one bit.

    -- Ed/Ace
     
  4. Jor-El

    Jor-El Krypton is doomed.

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    I will not attempt to say it better myself.

    Whoever considers him- or herself a Batman fan who has not read this story is NOT a Batman fan at all. Consider the act of reading this story an "entrance exam" unto itself.
     
  5. MultiMEDEA

    MultiMEDEA Butt-kicking for Goodness!

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    It's been ages since I read it in its entirety but I remember enjoying it greatly for showing that not all heroes are born; some are made. A Batman-in-process made for strong storytelling and was definitely the basis for Batman Begins.

    The only thing I truly dislike about this book is the 'reimagineering' of Selina Kyle's origins and characterization. Why do writers think making a woman a prostitute is some kind of intriguing or enobling aspect to her character? It lays down zero foundation for her becoming one of the premier cat-burglars in the world. Or for being the sassy crusader-in-spite-of-herself that we know she can be at times. I'd say it was an aberration for this one paticular book but he committed the same retroactive character assassination in The Dark Knight Returns. And now DC writers seem to take this orgin for gospel. Chris Dee has a wickedly funny megafanfic on her Cat-Tales website that takes on this presumption about Selina and blows it out the water. It also predicts by years the burgeoning Bruce/Selina relationship now being played out in books like Hush. Highly recommended!
     
  6. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    To call this tale "essentially an original story," would be true, but also a vast understatement. As said above, "Batman: Year One" is a must read for anyone who even has a modest interest in The Caped Crusader (or even no interest at all). Miller’s compelling story handles the myths of Batman with a level of maturity that is rarely seen in comic books, even today. True, there are many mature comics out there, but this one had a feel all it's own.

    The artwork in this book is pitch perfect, and some of the finest I've seen put to page. Mazzuccelli’s artwork really compliments Miller's story. It's not over the top or gaudy, and doesn't draw away from the script. There's really no one else I could see illustrating this. Can you picture Miller's current creative companion Jim Lee doing this? Me neither.

    The artwork is simply another part of the overall story, like the writing and the coloring and just about every other facet of the story. Each member of the creative team fits into their particular place perfectly, bring the hostile greed and corruption to life with subtle perfection. This is as good as it gets, and easily reigns as my favorite mainstream Batman story.

    Also, check out these related talkbacks below for more of Frank Miller's Batman:

    -Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    -Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Back
     
  7. JTolliver

    JTolliver Member

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    Related discussion should also include "Catwoman:Year One" since it further fleshes out the Selina/Catwoman presented in "Batman:Year One".
     
  8. JLU Dude

    JLU Dude Active Member

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    Hey. With Batman Begins coming out on Tuesday. I know a lot of the characters in it (Like Falcone and Flass) were introduced in Year One. This may seem trivial, but I was just wondering with the character of Flass had a first name.
     
    #8 JLU Dude, Oct 16, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2005
  9. randomguy

    randomguy Came, liked Ike, and left.

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    I'm pretty sure Flass's first name is Arnold.

    It's worth noting that the Batman Begins version of Flass is pretty different from the comics one. In "Year One" Flash was a pretty tall, muscular dude and clearly very tough and physically intimidating. The Begins Flass kind of seems like a lazy fat guy.
     
  10. Silly McGooses

    Silly McGooses Active Member

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    Yeah, at first I thought Flass in BB was Bullock because he's so different from in Year One. And he was more of a real villain in YO, not just a jerk.
     
  11. JLU Dude

    JLU Dude Active Member

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    Thanks.:) I had skimmed though a YO TPB and read summaries of YO, so I was aware of the physical deference and how villainous he was in the story. Anyway, thanks again.
     
  12. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    With the Batman: Year One-themed movie Batman Begins (movie / DVD) hitting shelves today, it’s an appropriate time to look back at the story that inspired it! Any new thoughts on this classic Batman tale?
     
  13. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
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    I know Miller gets a lot of flak from a lot of peoplem, but when he's on form, he's practically untouchable as a writer.

    I'm eternally greatful Miller decided not to draw this, I think David Mazzuchelli's artwork is such a refreshing look on the character. No bulging muscles, no super boobs or ridicolous use of shadows, it's a cool, clean look at the dirty streets of Gotham City.

    I haven't bought the new edition, I've still got an old TPB, but it's one of those stories I constantly re-read. If you've not read this yet, well, when you pick up Batman Begins later today, stop by your comic shop and see if they have this.

    Everytime I read this now, I get the Batman Begins music playing in my head. I'm glad they didn't do a direct translation in the film, but used it as an inspiration more than anything else. I love Batman's early days much more than the mess is he now, and this is probably the very finest Batman story ever wrote.

    An easy *****. For anyone who's not yet done so, I'd also recommend checking out Daredevil: Born Again by the same creative team. I actually think that story surpasses this one, if only by a small margin.
     
  14. James Harvey

    James Harvey The World's Finest
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    Actually, if you’re looking for a suitable Catwoman: Year One story, hunt down the Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper collection. It expands upon Catwoman’s brief appearance during Batman: Year One. The collection is currently out of print, as far as I can tell, but should be retrievable through some auction and order sites. A Google search should bring up the cover art, and a search on Amazon might get you started on obtaining a copy if interested.
     
  15. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    I would have to disagree! There's something about Mazzuchelli's in Batman: Year One that feels more natural than what he did in Daredevil: Born Again. His artwork is more moody and realistic here and just adds to the tone of the whole story. The coloring really helps to sell it all too. I don't think this story would have looked as great as it did if they applied traditional coloring methods to it.
     
  16. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Two of the best scenes from Batman Begins comes from this book. I love the scene where Batman calls for "back-up," although the pacing is much better in the comic book. The little talk between Gordon and Batman in the movie at his apartment just feels so "Year One" to me. Sometimes not going for a direct translation, but taking great moments, can work much better than a straight word for word adaption.
     
  17. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Howdy,

    I know what you mean, but the funny thing is that such a moment never happens in Year One. In fact, if I remember right, there are only three encounters between Gordon and Batman in the whole thing. Of the 3, only one of them happens in costume, and that one results in Batman getting shot and firebombed :p.

    I do think that the portrayal of Gordon from the movie is largely lifted from Year One, and that this Gordon is probably the book's biggest contribution to the Batman canon. It was the first comic I remember reading that took Gordon seriously as a cop, and didn't just treat him as the guy who turned on the Bat signal when someone jaywalked.

    -- Ed/Ace
     
  18. Robin

    Robin Guest

    That's weird, isn't it? That's just how well they nailed Gordon in the movie. You can just really tell how influenced Gordon's character was by Year One. Like you, I share some horrible memories of Gordon and just how one-note and useless he was for quite sometime. It was great to see him charge in, guns pulled instead of calling Batman for back-up to help.

    You know, the sequel would be a great place to throw in that great sequence where Bruce saves Gordon's child.
     
  19. Mike Spartz

    Mike Spartz Underrated Performer

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    *****

    "Yes Father I shall become a bat..." - Bruce Wayne (Batman: Year One)

    There have been many incarnations of the Batman through the decades but the most popular one remains the original created by Bob Kane for DC comics in 1939. Bruce Wayne was the son of a wealthy couple who were gunned down in front of his eyes as a young child. Growing up, Bruce swore on his parents grave that he'd never let what happened to him happen to anyone else. As such he dedicated himself to his lifes work and became Batman, a dark defender of the citizens of Gotham City. This was a good story, but by the 1980's it was in need of a revamp. The 70's had already started the tread in comics of a meaner and darker Caped Crusader, and now it was time for that change to become permenant. The man who did it was named Frank Miller.

    Miller's Batman was largely indifferent from Kane's Batman. The only thing that really separated the two was the change in attitude. Unlike the Golden Age version of the character, Miller's Batman was dark, brooding, and violent toward criminals. Even Gotham was unrecognizable except by name as a city infested with gang-bangers, pimps, hookers, and crooked cops. It was clear after the release of Year One that DC was taking their heros in a whole new direction. They were grounding them into reality, forcing them to live in miserable environments and appealing to a new socially-aware generation of comic book readers.

    Whatever people want to say about Frank Miller, no one can deny that his work was revoluntionary for its time. Batman: Year One, along with The Crisis of Infinate Earths and The Dark Knight Returns, helped to pave the path for many interpretations of the character throughout the 1990's and up to today. In twenty years, the public's opinon of Batman may change yet again, but what won't change is that just like everything that came before it, Batman: Year One will forever remain in comic book lore as a major driving force behind Batman's evolution through the 1980s and 90s.

    5/5 STARS
     
  20. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    There is no denying that! I like your comment on this series firmly placing Batman in a sort of realistic world. I've read alot of stories that came before this one was printed and your right how this one really marks a change in tone. There are tonnes of Batman comics that I love before Batman: Year One was printed but this one really firmly places Batman in a reality we can relate to and I like that. And Robin you're right about how Batman Begins just feels like this comic book even though there's not alot of scenes both versions share.
     

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