05 August 2015

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Gotham, Part I: Batman: Year One: Deluxe Edition

So, rather than run three "Faster than a DC Bullet" entries in one week periodically, instead I'll be running one every single (when else?) Wednesday until I catch up. Which won't be for a long, long time, I suspect. Today marks the start of a new project for me: "Project Gotham," a journey through the early days of Batman in chronological order (or as near as I can manage), beginning with, of course,

Comic hardcover, 96 pages
Published 2012 (contents: 1986-87)

Borrowed from the library
Read September 2014
Batman: Year One: Deluxe Edition

Writer: Frank Miller
Artist: David Mazzucchelli
Colorist: Richmond Lewis
Letterer: Todd Klein

Year One, January - December
Since the Crisis on Infinite Earths, many a writer has gone back to Batman's early days and worked and reworked them, building up an improbably crammed timeline. That all began here, and it's easy to see why Batman: Year One has so many imitators. It works. This is Batman stripped down to his essential core-- one man in the night against the forces of crime. I've previously reviewed it at length, and rereading that review at length, I don't think I have much to add to it, other than that the contribution of David Mazzucchelli cannot be understated. I know people (including him, I believe) like to dismiss his contributions to the superhero genre in favor of stuff like City of Glass, but this is really really good. Mazzucchelli has a beautiful simplicity of style, and an economy of storytelling. Sometime I think artists interpret "gritty" as adding a lot of grimy details, but for Mazzucchelli it's about going to the basics to make you feel it like you're there. This is one of those cases where the oversized pages of the "deluxe edition" are definitely worth it.

Next Week: Batman faces his first supervillain in Batman and the Monster Men!

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