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Batman Year One: Ra's Al Ghul Paperback – 24 Feb 2006

2.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 24 Feb 2006
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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (24 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845762541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845762544
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 0.5 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 520,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Devin Grayson is the regular writer of Nightwing, featuring Dick Grayson, the original Robin, and new series Matador which pits a jaded cop against a viscious serial-killer. Paul Gulacy has over twenty years experience drawing comics, with work appearing in Eerie, Superman: Action Comics and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a really confusing short Batman book. First the sub-title "Year One" - this book has nothing to do with Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's masterpiece. Apparently it relates to the first Chris Nolan Batman movie, "Batman Begins", but doesn't really as it has nothing to do with that either. The story makes no sense whatsoever. Ra's Al-Ghul is finally dead and Batman has destroyed all of the Lazarus Pits - except one remains which means no one in Gotham can die? My understanding of the Lazarus Pits were that whoever went into them were brought back from death or near-death; the very existence of them doesn't automatically mean people thousands of miles away are affected. Yet that seems to be the baffling premise sending Batman around the world fighting Ra's henchmen.

This is as brainless a book as the zombies that appear in the story and makes no sense whatsoever as a Batman story or as a companion to any of the Nolan films. It's both poorly conceived and written and is a complete bore to read despite its short page count. For readers looking to find out more about the mysterious Ra's Al-Ghul, try "Birth of the Demon" instead and ignore this strange aberration of the Batman mythos.
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Format: Paperback
Let's talk about Paul Gulacy, who started drawing comics at Marvel in the 1970s and, since then, has produced a substantial but curiously neglected body of high quality work. Gulacy is possibly the best comics artist too many comics fans have never heard of. His style is rooted in Steranko. He doesn't do Steranko's go-go pop art and graphic design effects, but his draughtsmanship is as far beyond Steranko as Neal Adams is beyond Ernie Bushmiller. His storytelling skills are formidable. His layouts are crisp and imaginative. He conveys moments of extreme psychological tension as well as Ditko, but in a very different way. There's also something faintly pervy about his work, but in a classy kinda way. In case it's not obvious, this guy can draw comics.

Gulacy, inked well by Jimmy Palmiotti, is the artist here. His work is absolutely splendid. If I was just reviewing the art, this would be a five-star review.

Unfortunately, the story stinks more than a dead mouse that's been stuck behind a radiator for a fortnight. It's hard to say which is the story's most dominant attribute - its tedium, its senselessness, or its incoherence. Oh, and as other reviewers have noted, the "Year One" in the book's title doesn't seem to have any bearing on the proceedings whatsoever.

The history of American mainstream comics is largely characterised by terrible stories told by means of outstanding artwork which they simply don't merit. This book is a particularly vivid and painful example of such, and should be avoided by anyone except completist Gulacy fans and hairy-handed Batman obsessives who long since lost any sense of perspective. Five star art, zero star writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well this isn't a bad Graphic novel, just not the best by a long shot. The bonuses are a bit more of Ra's History, it's well drawn and all but the story is basically a one trick pony, With all of the Lazarus Pits destroyed people stop dying in Gotham.
Death is being slowly reversed and people are re-composing. All of the Bad guys come after Batman and we are asked the question - how much worse off would the world be if people didn't die. Sort of forcing Batman to agree that sometimes death is a good thing.
it ends predictably - i won't spoil that bit but we are left with no resolution of the guys up and walking around as zombies. you see absolutely nothing about that after Batman solves he problem.
Ok for the collection but again i'd say low on the priority list.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YEAR ONE, THIS DOES NOT FOLLOW AFTER YEAR ONE AT ALL, this tells the story of batman fighting zombies while Ra's al ghul has a angsty monologues in a flashback. Not the best batman comic ever, but if you ever wanted to see batman fight zombies i guess you might like this.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this up kind of expecting more Ra's than i eventually got, but i like the ideas in it so much that i don't mind that, really.

Rather than a straightforward retelling of Ra's early origins, we have Batman taking on a case that leads him back to certain key moments in the life of possibly his most brilliant and deadly foe. I actually kind of like that idea; it's more ingenuitive and interesting than just copying and pasting other "year one" formats.

However, though the narrative voice (a letter written by Ra's before he died) does guide us through his philosophy and world-view very well, and is wonderfully and evocatively written, by the end of the book i felt a little short-changed on the Ra's front. We basically get two flashbacks (good ones, important ones) to Ra's past life and then the rest of the story is Bats doing what he does best. Now, that's fine, but not what i was expecting when i picked the book up, and in terms of seeing behind the scenes of Ra's personality, well, that doesn't really happen on a grand scale. We get told he's brilliant, ancient, ruthless and get a few momentary insights of this. That's fine as far as it goes, but i already knew that. I never doubted it. I would rather have found out why it was the case than just have it reiterated again.

I liked it. It's good stuff, and any batman fan will enjoy the story, i think. I did. It just might not be quite the story they were expecting, is all.
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