Friday, August 18, 2017
Home  >  Features  >  BATWEEK: BATMAN: EARTH ONE - The MightyVille Review

 Batman Punch!

 

... or "I've Been Waiting for a Bat Like You".

So, I'm watching Batman Begins as I type this. It felt appropriate. With the last chapter in Christopher Nolan's Bat-Saga set to debut this Thursday at midnight (keep your eyes out for our coverage), and it being BATWEEK here at MightyVille and all, I think it's just about time y'all were exposed to my thoughts regarding the recently-released (and highly-anticipated in the Kach household) Batman: Earth One. So, if you give a hoot, keep on reading!

As anyone who knows me is painfully aware, I have read many a Batman story in my lifetime. A majority of them sit on my bookshelves. Some in drawers. One on the floor. In any case, yes, I've been there for all the ups and downs in Bruce Wayne's life. It takes a lot to get me genuinely excited for the release of a comic these days, and Batman: Earth One is one of the few that made my list. Geoff Johns is no slouch in the storytelling department, with a solid grasp on almost every character in the DCU; and Gary Frank is one of the finest comic draftsmen out there. The two have already had multiple successes in their joint outings and I am happy to say this is no different.


Right from the start, you know you've got a different Batman. And not just by the fact that you can see his eyes (a little nuance which I surprisingly enjoyed). He's brash; he makes mistakes; his gear doesn't work; he's just not quite there. But we've seen all this before. What sets this story apart are the new back-stories for pretty much the whole cast. Things are changed to such a degree that attempting to list the differences would be pointless. But, through it all, the bat at the heart of it all remains. Many will balk at the pretty drastic re-directions, but I found them refreshing. Bruce's connection to Gotham is enhanced in more ways than one, as are his connections to his small-but-surely-growing rogues gallery. He even says "ow." I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one out there who would read the adventures of Alfred: Earth One, and y'know, it looks like that little Barbara Gordon is up to something...

Batman says

While I was enthusiastic towards the changes, especially the origins of Harvey Bullock, I wasn't terribly excited about some insertions. Mainly the inclusion of Birthday Boy, a new addition to Batman's colorful world. While I guess he filled a need for something genuinely creepy, his presence felt a bit out of place and unnecessary to the story. The same concept could have been handled differently, similar to  the inclusion of Scarecrow in Batman Begins. Scarecrow filled that need for a ghoulish costumed villain, without deviating away for the "playing-it-straight" storyline. Didn't work out quite as well here. Throwing in a ridiculously overgrown man-child wearing a potato sack over his head and carrying around a cake with lit candles just didn't fit into the world established here. At least not yet.

I also was a bit put off by the reversal of Bullock's character on what is sure to be a road to the Bullock we have all seen before. The new take on Harvey was great! Why set him back on the cliched path of the drunken slob so soon after establishing the effective Hollywood TV Hero Cop? Johns' initial changes were pretty ballsy, & the about face cheapens it a bit. Jim Gordon's reluctance towards being an effective officer also bothered me at first, but it fit with the direction that the story took his character in.

Birthday Boy says

Batman: Earth One is a fantastic story, just a few missteps shy of being perfect. I haven't been this excited about reading Batman since the Hush storyline: 2012 is a good year for Batman, with Scott Snyder's relaunched Batman on the comic shelves and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises, and now this original graphic novel. It has everything you'll love in a Batman tale: an eerie darkness, unrelenting action, deep tragedy, classic mystery, and one Hell of an ending. Also: Batman vs the Police, which always works out great for the reader, if not for the cops! Almost every single classic Batman story that I can think of pits the Dark Knight against a team of corrupt or misguided police, in both comics and film, and those moments are filled with the classic Batman eye-candy action we all love. Johns even gives a small nod to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman and the director's take on one Oswald Cobblepot. Batman: Earth One gives us a brutal Batman, more defined by his adult actions than childhood drama and supporting cast.

MightyVille would wholeheartedly recommend Batman: Earth One to just about anyone. (Editor's Note: We loved Superman: Earth One, too.) I personally can't wait for the sequel. And action figure.

Earth One Jim Gordon & Batman

Batman: Earth One:

4.5 out of 5

Anyone else out there read this graphic novel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

More BATWEEK on MightyVille:

CONTEST: Dark Knight Giveaway!

CONTEST: Catwoman Giveaway!

"The Dark Knight Rises" - The MightyVille Review

BATWEEK: MightyVille's Favorite Batman Action Figures

BATWEEK: The CW's "Batmobile Special"

QUIZ: Catwoman's Cool Cat Quiz!

BATWEEK: Featured Movie Trailer: "The Dark Knight Rises"

 

Comments (2)
  • bjmorga
    I haven't picked this up yet, but I may get it soon. I enjoyed the Superman book. I wish they would put these out a little more regularly. It feels like it was forever ago that DC announced these titles and we've only had two released. I'm not saying they should crank them out, but the quantity seems lacking given the amount of time.
  • Joe_Kach
    Gary Frank agrees with you! "But DC held the release until July, presumably because of this week's release of The Dark Knight Rises. 'It's very, very frustrating because you want people to see it,' Frank said of the lengthy lead-time. 'You want something there to show for all the toil. But we got there in the end...'"

    --J.
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