Archive for April, 2015

  Batman Year One is Frank miller’s take on The Dark Knight’s rookie period, that’s told through a comparison of lieutenant James Gordon new arrival in Gotham as well.

In the sort of Miller-trilogy of books you could put this in first, then All-Star, and finally Dark Knight Returns, this one is definitely my favorite. David Mazzucchelli’s art is solid throughout the book, there aren’t a thousand panels of news casts like there are in Dark Knight, but you get all of the information you need, it’s certainly an evolution in Miller’s storytelling from the book about Batman’s end.

The story starts as both me arrive in Gotham, Gordon comes by train, thinking that is no way for him and his pregnant wife to get a good first impression of the city, they should have flown in, to see the lights and the skyline. Almost simultaneously Bruce Wayne is on a plain thinking he should have taken the train in to see Gotham as it is, like he needs to be on street level in his home city he hasn’t been in a dozen years. Throughout the book, it also has inner monologues from both Gordon and Batman. The future Gotham commissioner’s sound like a seasoned policeman, while Batman makes a bunch of rookie mistakes. However in their respective personal lives the opposite is true, James is never sure that bringing his wife was the right idea to bring to Gotham, and his affair with his partner Sara Eisen shows how rocky that life is for him at this point. While Bruce is determined to come into his city and clean it up from the ground up. And yes, his first night out he gets shot and injured, but technically he wasn’t Batman until that night when he was ready to die and give up, a bat flew through his window, fortifying his resolve to the city.

Which, if you think about, and I have, for a moment is strange. There Bruce was, bleeding out in a chair in one of the rooms of his mansion ready to give up and meet his parents in the after world, teetering on whether or not he should ring a bell to have Alfred come and save him. Then just on the moment of deciding Gotham can do it on its own, a disoriented bat crashes through his window, giving him just the right amount of inspiration to drive onward and make his parents proud. Lucky for him he still had enough conciseness left at that point to ring the bell.

After reading this for the first time, I have this forming opinion that, had there been told entirely from the perspective of James Gordon, and have Batman take a minor side story role might have been more interesting. Year One shows Gordon raising through the ranks of the Gotham Police Department, and Batman only shows up a handful of times. It would have shown a more Gordon sided perspective and kept The Dark Knight as an elusive entity, and you could play with the fact no one knows if this masked man is a beast or man, or good, or criminal.

All is good though, the two stories blend where they need to, and you see where James and Bruce are when they aren’t crossing paths, I never felt like there was ever a part where someone was in multiple places. There is an appearance of Selina Kyle, who starts out as a prostitute in a leather outfit, then becomes a jewel thief who dresses like a cat. Where one of if not only, minor complaint comes from. The decision of Selina to go from hooker to jewel thief was lost on me, especially the part where she thinks it is a good idea to dress up like a cat. Catwoman was just in it a few pages and maybe I missed something another reading would clear up.

Year One is well worth a read if you haven’t, it is an enjoyable time that show both the introduction of Batman to Gotham, and Gotham to its future police commissioner.

With that being said, this is the 52nd BatMonday post, making it a full year of Batman. Meaning, this is the last post for my year-long Batman project. I think I learned a few things for my next endeavor, whatever that is, like make things more clear where things are going. I would really like to write more Batman, there are tons of things I hadn’t gotten to, like A Long Halloween, or Arkham Asylum: A serious House on Serious Earth. A lot more characters to show a small spotlight on, I totally would have done Bat-Mite and Azrael if I had more time. I also had this idea of highlighting people who put on the cape and cowl, that werent’ Bruce Wayne. I still might, but I’m at least going to take a break beforehand.

If you have been here for the whole thing Thank You, hell, if this is your first time stumbling across my BAtman ramblings thanks for showing up there is plenty more if you liked what you read. I hope everyone liked anything I said, even in a small nondescript kind of way.

Good Luck and have Batman


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Batman of Zor-En-Arrh

Posted: April 6, 2015 in Character
Tags: , ,

  First appearing in Batman #113 in a story called “The Superman of Planet X” the alien Tlano takes up the mantle of the Bat on a far away planet. In the Silver Age, The Batman of Zor-En-Arrh was a combination of Superman and Batman. He has many of Superman’s powers and grew up on a farm on his home planet.

In the origin story, the alien Batman summons Earth Batman to help him fight invading robots. Due to the different elements of the planet Bruce Wayne has “enhanced abilities” as well, and conveniently the two team up to defeat the robot force.

Modern incarnation of Zur-En-Arrh’s Batman is less fantastical. Batman hired a psychologist to under see him in an experiment of isolation, where a connection of the word “Zur-En-Arrh” as a miss hearing of Thomas Wayne’s last words, “…they’d probably put someone like Zorro in Arkham.”  leads to an altered state Batman.

Personally, I like the more outlandish rendition of the character, which came back in an episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold, voiced by Kevin Conroy, I remember that being a fun episode, but that series is full of fun episodes.

If you were unfamiliar with this Batman,  you would notice the two Batmen have different taste in costumes. Bruce Wayne’s Batman wears dark colors, sneaks around in shadow and uses fear against his enemies. The off-Earth Batman uses a brightly colored costume of mainly red and yellow with a purple cape, and doesn’t use shadow like Bruce. Of course the mind-crazed version of Zor-En-Arrh uses the gaudy colors as well, because he wants to attract attention. Maybe the modern version likes the color of Robin’s costume and wants a little of his own.

In any case, this version of Batman shows up a handful of times in Batman’s history and every time something crazy happens, whether it’s Bruce being teleported to a far away planet by a snooping alien needing a hand to stop robots, or a hypnotized and drug induced Bruce Wayne.