Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

                Arguably one of the most essential Batman story in the comic world, Batman: Year One is a must-read. Fan of the dark knight or not, this story arc collecting all four comic issues (#404 to 407 published in 1987) from the comic series Batman tells the tale of Batman’s first attempt at wearing the dark cowl and cape. In fact, this trade paperback gives the readers the chance to live Gotham City through the eyes of Bruce Wayne (almost known as the man behind vigilante Batman) and James Gordon (Gotham City’s Police Department’s detective) as they seek their first baby steps in this city of corruption and evil.

                Personally, I was astonished by the artwork that got me engaged and hooked into the story line (big kudos to David Mazzucchelli’s and Richmond Lewis’s talents). With just a basic color pallet and an artwork typical of newspaper comics, this piece of art sustains greatness throughout all four issues. I’d have to say that the transitions between panels (from one scene to another) were brilliantly done on both an artistic and a storytelling level. SPOILER HERE: Hover over text to read.

                Batman: Year One is gold. It’s mind-baffling-awesomeness does not end there. I’d have to add that the story itself is as fine as wine and only gets better every re-reads. As godlike as Batman is portrayed in our modern society, this story arc shows you just why you always want a Batman in your neighborhood. Bruce Wayne doesn’t go through this adventure as the world’s greatest detective with no flaws. He has to learn the ropes and actually fails multiple times to Gotham’s wrath. He has to climb the ladders and find a way to show everyone he isn’t a villain among the criminals that inhabit the city. He might eat a bullet and still manage to kick down a wall, but even those moments seem completely realistic to the reader’s eyes. And that’s why Frank Miller’s work is praised so much. Although Batman might seem like the center of attention, James Gordon gets just as much attention or, might I add, even more throughout the story arc. In fact, Gordon arrives in Gotham City and has to climb his way to the top just as much as Batman has to, in order to survive and help his city. As a man who respects the law and follows a path exempt of corruption, Gordon has to face his partner detective Flass as well as commissioner Loeb who both take a much more particular path when it comes to justice… a more criminal touch to things. In the end, both Bruce Wayne and James Gordon fight the evil in Gotham, meet their first failures in their attempt to help and learn from their mistakes with open arms. After all, their journey only just begun.

                If there was a common beginning to every comic reader’s legacy, I’d have to say that Batman: Year One is a beautiful place to start at. This flawless masterpiece (at least to my eyes) has one of the most interesting story line, a beautiful narration, an amazing artwork and a captivating and remarkable superhero to follow till the end of time. A very very very big thank you to my girlfriend for giving this trade paperback as a gift on my birthday! I couldn’t be any more grateful for this beautiful gift (among other books that she kindly gave me for my anniversary). She’s definitely the best! What are you waiting for? Go give Year One a try! You can buy yourself a copy of Batman: Year One by clicking on this hyperlink.

My overall rating: ★★★★★/

Lashaan

15 thoughts on “Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

  1. John Lee says:

    Great review man! A huge fan of Batman here and I wanted to start the comics but I was too afraid of the enormous quantity. I’ll definitely buy this one. However can I ask hoe much was it? And where to buy the cheapest ones? Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Hey there ! Assuming you live in Montreal, I’d say the best place to get your hands on a fresh new copy of Batman: Year One would be on Amazon.ca. You could also try Ebay since the comic fanbase loves that virtual territory. If you want to find yourself a cheap new copy by physically going to a store, I’d suggest Comic Hunter (a little isolated but one of the best comic stores in Montreal, if not the best). Now if you live in the States, we wouldn’t be the best source for the cheapest comic stores out there. I think MidtownComics in a nice stop though. Hope this helps ! Glad you liked the review, it’s much appreciated! 🙂

      -Lashaan

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      • John Lee says:

        Yes I just ordered mine on Amazon thank you ! I live in Montreal and I saw that comic hunter was pretty nowhere..? But if you say that store is a must then I’ll go ! Thank you for taking your time to write a detailed reply much appreciated. What’s the next one you suggest me reading ?

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        • transhaan says:

          Hey there ! Yeh it is pretty much nowhere, but it’s also a goldmine if you ask me. You can always try other comic stores located pretty much everywhere in Montreal (there aren’t that many though) ! If you plan on reading Batman in order, there’s a really interesting list on wikipedia. The page is called “List of Batman comics”. Jump down to the “Modern comics” section (6.4) and you’ll have a pretty decent list to follow ! Otherwise, if you’re pretty familiar with Batman’s Universe, I’d say The Killing Joke (a graphic novel covering Joker’s origins) is A MUST-HAVE! I’ll be dropping a review of that pretty soon too, with some spoilers though, keep an eye out for that! Thanks again for your interest for our reviews! 🙂

          -Lashaan

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  2. Stephane says:

    Reading Miller makes me happy. Did you read any other from him ? Your take on the review is really interesting and I have to agree with you on the part that Batman is introduced as a man with flaws. That’s what matters. That’s what make the story relatable to the readers. TBH: Your Writing on point !

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Hiii ! Absolutely ! I’ve read his other masterpiece (I’ll probably end up putting up a review of it soon), The Dark Knight Returns. Absolutely loved it ! Frank Miller is definitely a legend in the comic world, I plan on reading Sin City some day too ! Right now, I’m only hooked to Batman’s Universe so I haven’t went on to touch a specific author’s whole arsenal (although I did read A LOT of Alan Moore’s work)! Thank you so much for giving your thoughts on the review ! The kind words are really appreciated ! 🙂

      -Lashaan

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      • Stephane says:

        Thanks for the reply man! The Dark Knight returns was a nice one too. altho Im gonna wait for you review to comment on it. Big DC comics fan here I understand completely your Alan Moore interest. I’m looking towards those future reviews from his materwork. I loved sin city the movie and the graphic novels..not gonna spoil anything here.. thats not cool lmao

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Chris Evans says:

    Glad to see one of my all-time favourite Batman stories get such a wonderfully insightful appraisal! Stands proudly with The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns as true comic masterpieces. Have you read Daredevil: Born Again? It’s written by Frank Miller, with art by David Mazzuccheli and well worth checking out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      I’ve crossed paths with it a couple of times but I didn’t get around to read it since I was and still am focused on everything related to Batman. We’ll definitely get our hands on a copy of Daredevil by Frank Miller and make sure to let everyone know our thoughts about it ! Thank you again for checking out our blog ! See you in our future posts ! 🙂

      -Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Batman 101 Guide

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