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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a new origin, just an enhanced one, 28 Jun 2013
This review is from: Batman Year One Deluxe SC (Paperback)
This story - `Batman: Year One' - was published in Batman issues #404-407 in 1986, where I first read it, back in the day. It is not a `new' origin story, but an expansion on the events surrounding the beginning of the Bat-Man's career, as on January 4 (as date-stamped on the first panel), we meet Lieutenant James Gordon on the train into Gotham, wishing he's taken the plane, just as Bruce Wayne is flying in to Gotham, thinking that he should have taken the train... The final panel is date-stamped December 3, closing off the first year, and the establishing of the Batman in Gotham. The story flows smoothly, and apparently continuously through the four issues, so you don't feel the passage of time, as the date-stamping means that we can skip over the `down time', keeping up the impetus, avoiding the sitting around waiting for wounds to heal, gathering intelligence, having a bat fly through the window, the wearing of a costume, and building up the Batman's street cred. We just see the key points, as it were. Overt the year, James Gordon takes on the corrupt police, Harvey Dent takes on the crooks, and Bruce Wayne learns the lessons that help him build up the Batman myth, aiding the other two as he goes along, and eventually establishing the lasting relationships with those two characters. We also see Selina Kyle establish the Catwoman identity in imitation of the Batman, and the last panel has Captain James Gordon, on the roof of Police HQ, waiting for `a friend' to help out with somebody who has threatened to poison Gotham's reservoir - "calls himself the Joker" (which, by the way, leads into Ed Brubaker's `Year Two' story, Batman The Man Who Laughs TP (Joker).

THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE
THE SPOILER ZONE

Batman #404: "Who I am. How I come to be" shows us Lt. Gordon discovering the corruption in the police force, Bruce Wayne making his first `reconnaissance' in disguise on to the streets of Gotham, and engaging in his first vigilante act, only to discover that, as with carnival folk, an outsider who interferes is an enemy to all - including Selena Kyle, who gets her first punch in the mouth from Bruce in the altercation. Bruce also gets his first bullet from the police, who are operating a `shoot first and you don't need to ask any questions' policy. Bruce makes his way home, passing Gordon on his way to his first vigilante act against his fellow officers... Bruce sits at home in the dark, bleeding out and waiting for a sign, which comes through the window just in time...

Batman #405: "War is Declared" - one month later, and Gordon becomes a public hero by freeing a hostage from a loony escaped from Arkham, before the SWAT team can be unleashed and kill everyone. The `powers that be' start to become concerned... especially when a `giant bat' starts a vigilante campaign, ending in an attack on the mayor's mansion and threat to the assembled power brokers. Gordon is tasked with bringing the Bat in; he thinks someone is tipping the Bat off about his plans; we meet Harvey Dent, Assistant DA ... Eventually, Gordon and the Bat's paths cross as they both try to prevent an accident. The SWAT team track the wounded Batman into a building and prepare to attack...

Batman #406: "Black Dawn" sees then SWAT team unleash mayhem on the abandoned building in which the Batman has been driven, killing anyone who gets in the way. Eventually, batman uses a high-tech device to summon a flock of bats to cover his escape. After trying to following up on the event, Gordon starts to realise just who the bad guys are...

Batman #407: "Friend in Need" - Harvey Dent and Batman concoct a scheme to flush out the crooked cops; Gordon suspects something is going on, but is threatened with blackmail over his affair with his sergeant - a female detective, I hasten to add, just in case Dr Wertham is looking down on us. Selina Kyle, who has donned the Catwoman costume, is becoming annoyed that the media is blaming her exploits on the Batman. They run into each other when they both raid `Roman' Falcone's home. Batman manages to overhear the Falcone's plotting something before Selina disturbs them, and eventually works out that Gordon's family might be in danger, just as Gordon reaches the same conclusion... Bruce in civilian guise - "Shall I fetch your tights?" - "Never during the day, Alfred" - rescues Gordon's son while Gordon tackled the kidnapper: "you know, I'm practically blind without my glasses"... Dent takes down the Commissioner, Gordon gets promoted,and the last panel has Captain James Gordon, on the roof of Police HQ, waiting for `a friend' to help out with somebody who has threatened to poison Gotham's reservoir - "calls himself the Joker"...
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