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Author Topic: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)  (Read 118 times)

Offline Deffinition

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Im trying to read through all of the Batman Graphic novels considered canon (even though some have been wiped due to rebirth etc).

So far I'm working through the pre crisis stuff and have a done about 28 so far.

Here's my review of Year One.

I'd love to know whether people agree or not as I've always found the book slightly overrated.

You can check out my thoughts below

Batman Year One Review

Cheers

Offline The Laughing Fish

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 04:42 »
Welcome, and nice review.

Even though Year One is supposed to focus Batman's first year in crimefighting, I regard it as my favourite Gordon story.

As you say, the book focuses with morally questionable people, and Gordon is definitely one of them: from exhibiting his own brand of violence against Flass, to infidelity and at odds about Batman's presence in the city. It definitely doesn't shy away from the complexity for a idealistic cop to find himself stuck and somewhat broken by such a corrupt city.


Quote
Jonathan Nolan: He [Batman] has this one rule, as the Joker says in The Dark Knight. But he does wind up breaking it. Does he break it in the third film?

Christopher Nolan: He breaks it in...

Jonathan Nolan: ...the first two.

Source: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=uwV8rddtKRgC&pg=PR8&dq=But+he+does+wind+up+breaking+it.&hl=en&sa=X&ei

Offline Deffinition

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 05:09 »
thanks for checking it out! Yeah I love the way everyone is kind of having the break the rules in order to do good overall

Offline The Dark Knight

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 05:17 »
I never really got into Year One. I know it's an important Batman comic and it's good. But there's something about it that bores me. I may be crazy, but that's just my gut instinct. I feel the same way about the animated movie adaption. I always got the impression people always said Year One was the best Batman comic ever because they were expected to say that. I know people could say the same thing about TDK Returns, but I just think there's better stories out there with better action and plot beats. Year One isn't bad. I just find it dull. And I generally prefer endings over beginnings. It's more dramatic.

Online thecolorsblend

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 11:37 »
I never really got into Year One. I know it's an important Batman comic and it's good. But there's something about it that bores me. I may be crazy, but that's just my gut instinct. I feel the same way about the animated movie adaption. I always got the impression people always said Year One was the best Batman comic ever because they were expected to say that. I know people could say the same thing about TDK Returns, but I just think there's better stories out there with better action and plot beats. Year One isn't bad. I just find it dull. And I generally prefer endings over beginnings. It's more dramatic.
There's a decent foundation being built with Year One. I think of Year One as more of a mission statement than an actual story. "This is the type of stuff we'll be doing from now on. Pretty cool, huh?"

The thing that always bothered me about Year One is a little bit pedestrian in nature, really. It doesn't have a lot of Batman in it. TDKR has lots of Batman running around and kicking everything that even looks like an ass. But Year One has a lot of subplots and intrigue about issues frankly I don't care about. Meanwhile, Mazuchelli's art doesn't feature as much Batman as it should.

As a story, it's a bit disjointed. Bruce is a rube who disguises himself as a crazy war vet and gets the crap beaten out of him. Later, he's a rube dressed in a Batman outfit and gets the crap beaten out of him by burglars. Later, he's BATMAN, he bombs that mansion and scares the fertilizer out of Gotham's 1%.

In retrospect, I kind of wish Year One had been more of a starting point than a general framework. The issues which followed Year One more or less picked up where the issues prior to Year One left off.

But suppose the next issues told the story about Batman's first encounter with the Joker and then organically built Batman's universe from there? What if, rather than having Batman be "up to speed" following Year One, some time was invested on properly building out his world? What if Year One had been a proper reboot rather than a kind of sloppy retcon?

I enjoy Year One as much as the next guy, I guess, but I doubt it's even in my top 10 of Batman stories. Or, if it is, it's as part of that Year One/Long Halloween/Dark Victory oeuvre rather than standing on its own.

Offline The Laughing Fish

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 17:51 »
Once Bruce finally decides what disguise and identity to adopt, the point of Year One is to focus on people's reaction to Batman making his presence felt in Gotham City, rather than having the story revolve only around him. I don't mind it too much personally. If the book didn't do that, Gordon wouldn't get such a fascinating arc.


Quote
Jonathan Nolan: He [Batman] has this one rule, as the Joker says in The Dark Knight. But he does wind up breaking it. Does he break it in the third film?

Christopher Nolan: He breaks it in...

Jonathan Nolan: ...the first two.

Source: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=uwV8rddtKRgC&pg=PR8&dq=But+he+does+wind+up+breaking+it.&hl=en&sa=X&ei

Online thecolorsblend

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Re: Batman Year One Graphic Novel Review (Canon Read Through #1)
« Reply #6 on: Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 21:46 »
Once Bruce finally decides what disguise and identity to adopt, the point of Year One is to focus on people's reaction to Batman making his presence felt in Gotham City, rather than having the story revolve only around him. I don't mind it too much personally. If the book didn't do that, Gordon wouldn't get such a fascinating arc.
Understandable.

But the narrative gets used by things that don't really matter.

Catwoman is in the story. Why? Nothing much comes out of that. She doesn't contribute much to the other characters, to the rising action or to the conclusion. At best she illustrates the effect Batman is starting to have on Gotham City. That's interesting... but not especially relevant to Year One.

The pacing of the story is awkward. We get snatches of scene that advance the narrative but not always with enough character development (or action or something, ANYthing) for my taste. Phone rings, Barbara answers, says she knows about Essen, end scene. Gee, thanks a lot, Mr. Miller. Wanna buy a vowel?

I'd probably get more into Year One if it wasn't so scattershot. If we saw the actual beginning, middle and ending of scenes, and with fewer extraneous elements and probably another issue or two to spread its wings, I think the material would benefit.

It seems safe to say we wouldn't have gotten things like Legends of the Dark Knight, DC's 1995 Year One annuals, the Long Halloween and other stuff without Year One. Miller created a bit of a cottage industry for Batman with Year One. And those are things I value... and I value them a lot more than I value Year One itself, oddly enough.

Now, clearly I'm in the minority opinion since this is one of the most popular Batman stories of all time. I'm just saying that I'm less enamored by the Year One story than I am the Year One concept and the related stories that came out of it.

 

    
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