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Review: Batman Year One by Frank Miller

Title: Batman Year One
Author: Frank Miller
Series: None
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Source:  Library
Pub. Year: 1987
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Amazon:
A deluxe trade paperback edition of one of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever, written by Frank Miller, author of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS!

In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman’s first year fighting crime, this collection includes reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, script pages, unseen David Mazzucchelli Batman art and more.


It is really hard to properly review any Batman-related item because I love Batman so I’m extremely biased. Extremely biased.

Miller reintroduces Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Catwoman, and Gotham City to the readers. Bruce Wayne still has the same background story of his parents being murdered. He tries to have the playboy personality. He shows his commitment to trying to clean up the city. I wasn’t expecting Catwoman to show up in the first book. Catwoman is pretty awesome (in general) and her history is changed. She doesn’t have a costume right at the beginning of the book. The most fascinating character to me was Jim Gordon. He has an interesting background that I didn’t expect or know. His wife is Barbara, not his daughter like in the animated series. I always knew he was a clean cop but Miller shows that clean doesn’t always mean a wimp because Gordon places his enemies in their place. Gordon appears to be the moving forward factor in this book.  Harvey Dent makes a quick appearance as well. Interestingly enough, he seems to be on the side of Batman instead of chastising him.

The villains, oh, I’m a huge fan of Batman villains and villains…mostly. Since it is at the beginning of Batman’s career, the well-known and crazy villains are not in the book. The villains are common people and the corrupt police officers. That’s an important feature because Batman hasn’t perfected his crafts and it makes sense to take on villains that are not as “out there.”

Artwork, I really love it. It is so different than manga artwork. For starters, there is a color. It’s amazing how much that changes the attitude of the work. The artwork appears to be more of a classic style of comic so there are more block-like shape characters but a little darker. There is a dark mood in Gotham City.

There are some extras features at the end of the book like a letter from Miller describing his thoughts on Batman. Extra sketches and rough drawn sketches. They are nice to see.

At the end of the book, Gordon mentions The Joker and his threat to the city just like in Batman Begins. That was great of Christopher Nolan to give a nod to this graphic novel.

5 BB- Total Keeper


74th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG