Batman earth one is a retelling of the origins of the superhero, who is just about the most recognisable character in history. We have all heard or seen or read different origin stories. This can be the cause of many arguments amongst Bat-fans. Now with Geoff Johns and Gary Frank taking the caped crusader down a different path, this will only add to the legendary mythology that already surrounds the dark knight.
Our story begins on the roof tops of Gotham, and a chase through the dark shadows. Batman chasing down a man he is trying to apprehend, which doesn’t exactly go to plan. This takes us back to the time of Thomas and Martha Wayne, which introduces Alfred Pennyworth, only not as we know him. He is an ex-marine, and friend to Dr. Wayne and also a former patient. He is asked to work security for the family as they go on the mayoral campaign trail, not only for them but their young son Bruce. After the tragedy of the loss of his parents (some things can’t change) Alfred is named as Bruce’s legal guardian, and so ensues the young boys training to becoming the caped crusader. The story shows a completely different side to the relationship shared by Alfred and Bruce. Although not so far from the original origin story, is enough to give you a completely different aspect on the whole history between them.
After the funeral we meet Detective Jim Gordon, and even for a brief moment Barbara too. This brings in the introduction of Officer Harvey Bullock as Jim’s new partner. Both Jim and Harvey go out onto the streets of Gotham as they make their way to security detail for the corrupt criminal mastermind that is the mayor. Who is none other than Mayor Oswald Cobblepot. This is where the paths of the two main focuses of the story first cross, only little do they know they will become close allies in the war on crime in Gotham City.
The development of the relationships in this story are so perfectly written, and give a real in depth look at the ways that both Batman and Jim Gordon help each other along their own paths to the legends they will one day become, although not always knowing they are destined to become closer than they ever would expect in the most dangerous city in the world. Also the story shows all the people in their lives around them, that all adds a familiarity to this epic retelling of the story the world knows in many different ways. Geoff Johns writing throughout is of such a high standard, he is absolutely written a perfect Batman story. He has created a reimagining of the story that has been done many times before, only adding his own spin to it.
The art of Gary Frank is incredible, it really has a dark gritty feel that only portrays the elements of danger throughout the city, and its entire criminal underworld. Every single panel is a masterpiece of comic art. The lines, the backgrounds, even the serial killer “The birthday boy” although may have a humorous look is still menacing.
With both Geoff and Gary doing such amazing work, I can see this book making many top 10 lists, as it has mine.
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