7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eerily Familiar Story told in an Entirely New Way
Batman: Earth One is a graphic novel written by Geoff Johns and brought to life by Gary Frank. It tells the origin story of an alternate version of Batman from the Earth One universe (for those not familiar with the DC multiverse, Earth-One is the name given to a different universe; not the universe where the current series of DC Comics is set). As a result of this being...
Published 12 months ago by T. J. Woodhead
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely makes two stars...
Geoff Johns writes some of the best comic books I have read thoughtout my comic life. The green lantern series is one, if not my favourite superheroes series ever. So I had high hopes for this title when it was announced, especially off the back of the superman earth one title, which was amazing.
Sadly, it felt this was lacking in quite a few areas, mainly the...
Published 16 months ago by James Stark
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Eerily Familiar Story told in an Entirely New Way,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)Batman: Earth One is a graphic novel written by Geoff Johns and brought to life by Gary Frank. It tells the origin story of an alternate version of Batman from the Earth One universe (for those not familiar with the DC multiverse, Earth-One is the name given to a different universe; not the universe where the current series of DC Comics is set). As a result of this being a different universe, there is a fantastic opportunity for Jones and Frank to put a unique spin on the familiar story of Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming Batman. And it is this that makes Batman: Earth One such a successful graphic novel.
In this version of Gotham City, Bruce Wayne was the spoilt child of the soon-to-be Mayor of Gotham City, Thomas Wayne, and heir to the Arkham estate, Martha. During a trip to the cinema, which is cut short due to a power outage, Thomas and Martha are murdered and Bruce is orphaned, left in the care of his father's friend, Alfred Pennyworth, whom he served alongside in Vietnam. Bruce grows up, convinced that his parents' murder was planned by Thomas Wayne's rival and current Mayor of Gotham: Oswald Cobblepot.
This description should give you a very good idea of what Earth One is all about. It's the same story that Batman fans have been ready for decades now, but every subtle detail is changed, turned on its head and designed to surprise the reader, leaving them feeling exhilarated by the story that is being told, but at the same time, creating a strange, unnerving feeling, as though something isn't quite right with the world. The Bruce Wayne of this universe isn't the well-trained, emotionless, professional vigilante that you've seen before, whether that's on the big screen, the small screen or in other comic books. This Bruce Wayne is mentally unstable, highly emotional, reckless and for most of the book, rather incompetent at fighting crimes. This is highlighted by the fact that for the first time in decades outside of films and video games, Batman's eyes are visible beneath his cowl. This creates an altogether more emotional character, but at the same time, seems to amplify the "man dressed in a silly bat-costume" feeling. This is a Batman before he became the icon we all know him to be.
But Batman himself isn't the only difference here. It seems that every character has been completely turned on his or her head. From Alfred, who instead of being the kindly butler that we know him as, is a kind but responsibility-fearing ex-serviceman, to Commissioner Gordon (who has only risen to the rank of detective in this version), who, in striking contrast to Frank Miller's Year One, is as bent and crooked as the rest of Gotham's Police Force. Harvey Bullock, the sometimes bumbling, always alcoholic detective is an ex-Hollywood police star in this version. It seems that in bringing the origin story up to date, every person in Bruce's life has undergone an extreme change of character; one that only makes the universe even more chilling.
But enough about what's different; essentially, the story is the same. But behind the carefully constructed origin story is a classic tale of kidnap and murder, a classic villain in a new role, and a brand new villain that shares some characteristic with some of the more familiar villains. And that's what's so great about Earth One; it's a brand new, very gritty story, able to capture the things that have always made Batman great without having to rely too heavily on old villains. There's no Joker here, and I'm quite convinced that Jones and Frank will avoid introducing him any time soon, simply because this version of Batman is weak enough on his own. He doesn't need a nemesis to bring him to his knees just yet.
This is a fantastic novel for anyone who is wanting to be introduced to Batman, even if this is a variation on the classic tale. But it's the long-term fans who will get the most out of this. The references and subtle hints are a-plenty, but they never distract from the seriousness of the narrative. This is, after all, a brand new, much grittier Gotham City.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It's everything you could want for in an Earth One book; an altogether familiar tale, told in a brand new, darker and more realistic fashion. It was an absolute joy to read, and I am thoroughly looking forward to reading it again in a few weeks time.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life During Noir Time,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)You have to feel bad for Alfred Pennyworth. A one-legged ex-soldier saddled with the guardianship of his late friend's traumatized son, he hadn't signed up for surrogate parenthood on a visit to Gotham City. Likewise, Detective Jim Gordon had long ago learned to look the other way while the city went about the business of eating its young. He didn't need a gung-ho new partner -- former reality TV cop Harvey Bullock -- to start shaking things up and turning over stones that were better left ignored. Not in Mayor Oswald Cobblepot's city.
This neo-noir reboot of Batman's origin story is as dazzling a feat of reimaginative virtuosity as any comic I've read this year, more radical even than the various "Before Watchmen" miniseries. Bruce Wayne's Batman is sloppy, angry, almost out of control, but obsessed with bringing down the man who ordered the killings of mayoral candidate Thomas Wayne and his wife, and putting Gotham right. But his mother's family home, the crumbling, mazelike Arkham house, haunts Gotham like a hungry ghost, and now shelters a serial killer with a taste for adolescent girls.
Noir is the imaginative territory where our hopes and dreams go to get the crap kicked out of them, and in true noir even the winners have nothing to show for their efforts but another day of survival. While today's Batman stories are (and have been for a generation or two) urban cowboy fantasies with neo-noir trappings, our emotions take a beating in this story, especially when we learn the extent of the ongoing atrocities in the Arkham house. Geoff Johns's lean, hard, time-hopping narrative will be easier to follow the second time through, and that gives us another opportunity to savor Gary Frank's heavily Brian Bolland-influenced pencils (abetted by sensitive inks and colors from, respectively, Jonathan Sibal and Brad Anderson).
The book ends with a wonderful splash page teaser ad for volume two. Which I'm eagerly, eagerly awaiting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just another Elseworlds, but...,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)This does look like just another Elseworlds story, but... it is very good; and far superior, for example, to the Batman films' origin story. There are no superheroics, or super-athleticism, no supreme mastery of the martial arts, or even a rubber/Kevlar costume. This is a man in a skin-tight costume trying to find out what happened to his murdered parents. There are no widescreen action sequences, though there is a bit of falling off buildings and swinging about with an accident-prone grappling-gun. The action is close and claustrophobic, just the way The Batman should be handled. This story could just walk off the page and on to a film or even television screen without loss of resolution or the need for an astronomical budget. The cast includes Detectives James Gordon, and Harvey Bullock, Barbara Gordon, Harvey Dent and his twin sister, Mayor Cobblepot, Lucius Fox the gadgeteer, an Alfred the S.A.S. butler. Gotham is in the grip of a crime syndicate, the police are in the pocket of the mayor, even Gordon, and Harvey Bullock is the only clean cop. The legend of the Batman begins here, in an excellent story, with superb script and art. I hope there is room in the New 52 for a sequel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read,
5.0 out of 5 stars Best G/N I've read in a while,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)Wasn't sure what to expect, but was not disappointed. Sat down and intended to have a casual flip through to see what I'd bought, but ended reading the whole thing in one hit as I couldn't put it down. Very satisfying story, good twists on accepted origin story, different enough to Year One, though it draws upon that heavily in places (no bad thing) and really nice art. Also, this is a *very* nice hardcover to handle, feels very solid and high quality and the contents warrant it. This one will get re-read. It's not Year One or The Killing Joke or TDKR, but it stands up pretty well in their company.
5.0 out of 5 stars A graphic novel to remember.,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)The dream team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank blow me away yet again. After being impressed by 'Superman: Earth One', when I found out they were developing a 'Batman: Earth One', I was excited, even more so when I found out that Geoff and Gary were the people doing it and saw some of the character designs. I was a bit skeptical about Alfred's design, but I totally changed my mind once I finished reading it.
The story really shows Batman learning and struggling to become a superhero, making it that bit more realistic. It also plays with characters we all know and love in interesting and smart ways, brings in a new supporting character (who I believe is from the 'Bruce Wayne' pilot that never got made) and a brand-new villain. It teases at things to come, and the ending is one of the best cliffhangers I've ever seen. It was smart, cool and definitely makes me want to read a 'Volume 2' which I hope they make. Although I didn't like what they did to one of the main antagonists at the end of the story, all in all, this is one of the best Batman origin stories I've ever read (it's way better than Batman: Year One, in my opinion).
If you've never read a Batman graphic novel or standard Batman comic book before and you don't want to worry about continuity, history and canon, I recommend this to you 100%, as it is a completely new interpretation that is not set in the mainstream DC Universe. Prepare to be blown away by Geoff Johns' amazing storytelling and Gary Frank's breath-taking art.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story,
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed it, just was over too quick,
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant classic,
This review is from: Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) (Hardcover)What can you say to flaw any of the new age batman comics? Nothing! This is well written and an amazing new take on the origin of the dark knight! Great for new and old fans of comics and the work of the DC universe. The artwork alone is enough to blow you away and in hardcover it looks amazing to sit on your shelf knowing you now own a piece of history!
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Earth One,
This review is from: Batman - Earth One (Hardcover)Batman Earth One if you want to have a new origin for Batman then this is the story for you
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Batman Earth One HC (Batman (DC Comics)) by Gary Frank (Hardcover - 4 July 2012)