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3.9 out of 5 stars19
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2008
Batman has represented dozens of things over his various incarnations, and this take, which presents him as the last unknown entity in a world where nothing is private, will (I strongly doubt) ever be considered the definitive interpretation but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun.

Characterisation is light, we know who the characters are and it allows the story to hit the ground running. A pace which the comic maintains as the authorities become delightfully frustrated and batman becomes beaten, bloodied, and exhauseted but just keeps going.

Not only does Paul Pope maintain the grit and grime of his black and white artwork but also the character and presence, there isn't a panel that could be mistaken for another artist, it's lush, dark and dynamic. I'd also venture there's something from hong kong action and gangster flims mixed in, but the author makes every influence into something that's so much his own that it's hard to tell.

In summary, this is a brilliant realisation of the character and after DKR/Batman Gothic probably my favourtie Batman TPB.

There's even the Berlin Batman story included as an extra!
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Set in 2039 (100 years after Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27 in 1939), Gotham has become a police state and the overbearing authorities know everything about everyone. A cop is killed and Batman is suspected as he was at the scene - an obvious frame job. It's also the first appearance he has made in public for years and people have forgotten his existence - is the mythological Batman real? He is nonetheless hunted by psychic cops, robot dogs, and other futuristic crime-fighting tools. In the course of finding the real killer, Batman discovers that there's a doomsday weapon being sold on the black market by the (clearly corrupt) cops in charge. Will he stop them in time...?

Year 100 is a very uneven book that I really wanted to like. There's the dystopian future angle, and the attention-grabbing title adding to the mystery of whether Batman is still Bruce Wayne (it couldn't be - could it?), both of which I liked, but while this is an initially exciting story, as it goes on Paul Pope keeps readers at a distance from the characters and this world by revealing very little information about them.

How did things get to this point - Gotham as a police state? What event triggered such an extreme reaction? If this is Bruce Wayne as Batman, how is that possible - Wayne would be somewhere around 120-150 years old, so who is Batman? What happened to his fortune? What of the rogues like the Joker? What happened to the Justice League? We're never told the answers to any of these questions.

So it's quite a limited view of the future. On the one hand that's great because we don't need someone there literally explaining the history of this Gotham, but on the other hand a hint as to the origins of this dystopian future would've been appreciated for a more satisfactory reading experience. As such, Pope's narrative deftness makes the book feel that much easier to forget and become less involved with because we're never given the chance to inhabit this world.

Also, I found that the plot ended up becoming more of a hindrance than an enjoyable story. At first it's a fast-paced, exciting story of Batman on the run and then after about 100 pages, Pope decides to explain the plot by having the reader follow Batman figure out what's going on, step by tedious step. It's an overlong sequence where for nearly 40 interminable pages Batman sits in a room and talks with Robin and Oracle. Exposition, exposition, exposition - it really puts the brakes on the story while also being really boring to read. I get that the reader needed to be caught up to the point of the book, but what a clunky way of doing it.

Some people have complained about Pope's art but I loved it. It's different, it's fluid (which is an excellent quality to have when it comes to the action), and he somehow manages to make machinery feel organic! The Batmobile in this book is an awesome tricked-out motorcycle that, when not being used, hangs in such a way (dripping oil like sweat) as to look like a giant sleeping bat - it's a really cool effect. Pope also has Batman live up to his name, making him look animalistic in fight scenes, wearing sharp false teeth, and also on the cover where he looks almost rodent-like perched atop a pair of chimneys. I also liked that his mask is similar to the original Bob Kane design while also looking like something a luchadore would wear, and the fact that the cops of the future look like hockey players with colourful uniforms instead of boring black kevlar.

I would've liked Pope to have at least hinted at Batman's identity, but I'm fine that he didn't. I get that it's not so much about the identity behind the mask as the mask itself as a symbol of justice and hope for the disenfranchised and that it doesn't matter who wears the cowl, just that someone wears it and exemplifies the ideals of Batman. The book is basically about Batman fighting the Man in a futuristic setting - dystopian future meets Hong Kong action movie - and that's fine as far as it goes.

I did find the ending a bit silly with Pope using the kind of ending that's been used too many times - Batman tells the baddies that he knows all about their plan and then the Bad Guy says: "How did you know?" to which Batman grins and says "I didn't but you just confirmed it for me". Ugh. It's that smarmy playground-ish kind of ending that doesn't befit the World's Greatest Detective - though it does add credence to the idea that this isn't Bruce Wayne after all as I think Bruce would've figured it out himself rather than guessed.

Overall, Year 100 isn't a great Batman book but it's not a bad one. It has enough in it to make it worth picking up but it felt overlong by half, the ending was disappointing, and there were simply too many unanswered questions that stopped it from being a satisfactory read. It's got some great art and is an interesting Elseworlds concept, but it's not an essential Batman book to read.

Also included is the 18 page short Pope wrote/drew back in 1997 featuring a German Jewish Baruch Wane/Batman in 1939 Berlin, fighting against Nazi oppression in the lead up to the war's outbreak.
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Set in 2039 (100 years after Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27 in 1939), Gotham has become a police state and the overbearing authorities know everything about everyone. A cop is killed and Batman is suspected as he was at the scene - an obvious frame job. It's also the first appearance he has made in public for years and people have forgotten his existence - is the mythological Batman real? He is nonetheless hunted by psychic cops, robot dogs, and other futuristic crime-fighting tools. In the course of finding the real killer, Batman discovers that there's a doomsday weapon being sold on the black market by the (clearly corrupt) cops in charge. Will he stop them in time...?

Year 100 is a very uneven book that I really wanted to like. There's the dystopian future angle, and the attention-grabbing title adding to the mystery of whether Batman is still Bruce Wayne (it couldn't be - could it?), both of which I liked, but while this is an initially exciting story, as it goes on Paul Pope keeps readers at a distance from the characters and this world by revealing very little information about them.

How did things get to this point - Gotham as a police state? What event triggered such an extreme reaction? If this is Bruce Wayne as Batman, how is that possible - Wayne would be somewhere around 120-150 years old, so who is Batman? What happened to his fortune? What of the rogues like the Joker? What happened to the Justice League? We're never told the answers to any of these questions.

So it's quite a limited view of the future. On the one hand that's great because we don't need someone there literally explaining the history of this Gotham, but on the other hand a hint as to the origins of this dystopian future would've been appreciated for a more satisfactory reading experience. As such, Pope's narrative deftness makes the book feel that much easier to forget and become less involved with because we're never given the chance to inhabit this world.

Also, I found that the plot ended up becoming more of a hindrance than an enjoyable story. At first it's a fast-paced, exciting story of Batman on the run and then after about 100 pages, Pope decides to explain the plot by having the reader follow Batman figure out what's going on, step by tedious step. It's an overlong sequence where for nearly 40 interminable pages Batman sits in a room and talks with Robin and Oracle. Exposition, exposition, exposition - it really puts the brakes on the story while also being really boring to read. I get that the reader needed to be caught up to the point of the book, but what a clunky way of doing it.

Some people have complained about Pope's art but I loved it. It's different, it's fluid (which is an excellent quality to have when it comes to the action), and he somehow manages to make machinery feel organic! The Batmobile in this book is an awesome tricked-out motorcycle that, when not being used, hangs in such a way (dripping oil like sweat) as to look like a giant sleeping bat - it's a really cool effect. Pope also has Batman live up to his name, making him look animalistic in fight scenes, wearing sharp false teeth, and also on the cover where he looks almost rodent-like perched atop a pair of chimneys. I also liked that his mask is similar to the original Bob Kane design while also looking like something a luchadore would wear, and the fact that the cops of the future look like hockey players with colourful uniforms instead of boring black kevlar.

I would've liked Pope to have at least hinted at Batman's identity, but I'm fine that he didn't. I get that it's not so much about the identity behind the mask as the mask itself as a symbol of justice and hope for the disenfranchised and that it doesn't matter who wears the cowl, just that someone wears it and exemplifies the ideals of Batman. The book is basically about Batman fighting the Man in a futuristic setting - dystopian future meets Hong Kong action movie - and that's fine as far as it goes.

I did find the ending a bit silly with Pope using the kind of ending that's been used too many times - Batman tells the baddies that he knows all about their plan and then the Bad Guy says: "How did you know?" to which Batman grins and says "I didn't but you just confirmed it for me". Ugh. It's that smarmy playground-ish kind of ending that doesn't befit the World's Greatest Detective - though it does add credence to the idea that this isn't Bruce Wayne after all as I think Bruce would've figured it out himself rather than guessed.

Overall, Year 100 isn't a great Batman book but it's not a bad one. It has enough in it to make it worth picking up but it felt overlong by half, the ending was disappointing, and there were simply too many unanswered questions that stopped it from being a satisfactory read. It's got some great art and is an interesting Elseworlds concept, but it's not an essential Batman book to read.

Also included is the 18 page short Pope wrote/drew back in 1997 featuring a German Jewish Baruch Wane/Batman in 1939 Berlin, fighting against Nazi oppression in the lead up to the war's outbreak.
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on 18 December 2009
I have been a fan of the dark knight since i was a kid and have read many incarnations of the character over the years - i think this is one of the best. Paul Pope really knows what it's all about with his version of the brooding and intense Batman.

The story is action-packed and very exciting, the brush work is classic Pope which suits the material brilliantly, full of the grit and grime of a realistic city of the future. The story had me instantly hooked and i finished it all in one sitting.

Also worth mentioning, the trade paperback is very well printed which helps to show off Pope's intricate artwork to the max and the vibrant colouring by José Villarrubia is truly great, really complimenting the art rather than detracting from it.

If you love Batman and/or Paul Pope, do yourself a favour and order the book, it's a fresh and edgy version of a classic much-loved character. A+
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on 20 October 2011
Firstly i just want to point out i only occasionly buy and read graphic novels...

I found this to be a thrilling and inventive take the Batman legend, putting the caped crusader into a future dystopian Gotham. The artwork is loose but flows in a way that gives the action scenes great vitality and each page is packed with interesting ideas, robot dogs, telepathic fbi agents, and a batman without the hightech gadgets.

What i liked the most is you dont really find out who or what this batman is, at first anyway, so he is creepy and allusive.
A great read worthy of second visits
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on 8 September 2014
I did a dissertation on Batman's evolution over his 75 years of existence a while back and this absolutely my favourite version of the character. Author/artist Paul Pope skillfully sidesteps common flaws with Batman and his world that bely his plausibility; creating a dark and oppressive atmosphere in which a masked vigilante with a mythical name is truly the only hope left.

Pope's Batman is grounded, wounds he suffers in the story's opening stages are carried throughout the entire saga, and his utility belt carries things someone in his line with of work would actually carry, like smoke bombs and a phone; as opposed to being reduced to a big yellow deus ex machina Batman's so often becomes.

This is Batman book many will overlook because of Pope's unconventional art style. But to do so is to do yourself a disservice.
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on 7 November 2013
This book plays brilliantly with the Batman legend by weaving the changing styles, costumes, characters and key canon storylines into the fabric of its elseworlds Gotham. While the book is undoubtedly for the fans (and you will get the most out of it if you know a lot about the characters and can spot the references), the story is still compelling enough without these knowing winks. At its heart Year One Hundred is a great detective adventure story.

While Paul Pope's artwork may not be everyone's cup of tea, personally I think his style is a perfect for Batman. It feels dangerous, weird and scary; exactly as Gotham should. Happy to recommend it.
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on 25 March 2014
This is a great comic outside the traditional Batrman Universe. The artwork is bold, and probably not to everyones taste, but I find very attracting, The story is set in a futuristic Gotham, were the cops and government is the bad guys. Batmans cape has been picked up by a new hero, and the story follows the journey of trying to free Gotham from it self.
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on 25 April 2016
My favourite Batman storyline so far. I'm new to Paul Pope's work, but was intrigued by the art style and the premise of Batman Year 100. This is a fast moving story set in the near future, with exciting artwork and characterisations. You should buy this, no question.
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on 12 January 2015
It's good but gave me a headache trying to ccomprehend some of its reasons behind the characters. Still good though and it's less comical.
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