Batman Year One : Batman 404

The magic of Year One is this : This is not a comic - the Batman is real

The Year One series is a retelling of the origin of Batman from 1940, or was it 1939? As the work itself puts it, this tale is "Adapted from the works of Bob Kane, Bill Finger, and Jerry Robinson"; the "fathers" of the Batman.

Like you, I'm aware of the origin of Batman, from its many retellings in media and in other Batman comics - there's even a Batman Year One animated movie coming out, you can view the trailer below.

Still, I've never read Detective Comics 27, never read the original tale. One day I'm going to get a copy of DC Archives and read that, or, who knows? Maybe one day I'll become extremely rich and have the millions to buy an original. What? It's crazy to spend that kind of money on a comic? What if you or I became Bill Gates kind of rich? One can dream.

The first issue of Batman Year One opens with the arrival in Gotham of both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon. Bruce is fully trained by this time, he is twenty-five years old, but he is not yet the Batman. He goes out "undercover". During this first attempt to stop crime Bruce gets stabbed in the leg and shot in the shoulder. He gets into his Porsche 928, crashes the car into Alfred's car in front of Wayne Manor and promptly passes out.

And therein lies the magic of Year One.

Year One brings home the fact that the Batman is a man. A man who can be stabbed; a man who can be shot. He's about to do something dangerous and he can die. No superhero immunity here. Being the Batman is real, and dangerous. And exciting.

I don't think there's a better recommendation of the series than the fact that I've reread it several times already, and each rereading is as rich and exciting as the first. It just doesn't grow old, the same as that other Miller/Mazzucchelli work, Daredevil Born Again.

In this first issue, Batman 404, Jim Gordon is as compelling as Bruce Wayne. Jim, an out-of-town lieutenant has just walked into the GCPD's culture of corruption. This culture of corruption isn't just a phrase, it comes alive in Year One. It embraces Gordon, seduces and threatens him and we get how lonely and dangerous it really feels like to be a straight cop in a crooked police system. Jim Gordon, you'll see, can match courage with Bruce Wayne.

What makes Bruce special, and endearing, is that Bruce Wayne is crazy. He is an obsessed, manic, ultra-focused lunatic; and, quite frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by  Pete Albano - February 19, 2012

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batman 404 cover

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Batman: Year One

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Batman Year One HC

Here's the Batman Year One animated movie trailer :

Other YEAR ONE issues

404 : Who I Am How I Come To Be

405 : War Is Declared

406 : Black Dawn

407 : Friend In Need

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