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Batman: Earth One Review

July 26, 2012

In 2010 DC Comics released a new take on there already established superheroes, the title is called Earth One. Dc Comics answer to Marvel Comics Ultimate universe, what’s awesome about this new interpretation on heroes like Superman and now Batman is placing their already known origins and placing them in a  new “modern” setting. This new era of graphic novel storytelling started with J. Michael Straczynski’s Superman, with art done by Shane Davis, retold Superman’s origins, but also retold Krypton’s destruction. Even though that Earth One title met with acclaim, there still was criticism amongst fans. So when it was acknowledged that DC comics C.F.O. Geoff Johns and his Superman: Origins collaborator artist Gary Frank will be supplying the art to this new take on an already know character that is Batman, I was overwhelmed with excitement on this potentially ambitious and creative project from DC comics. Will it live up to the hype it deserves or fail like Aquaman’s marriage? Let’s find out….

{WARNING!!! Potential Spoilers, I REPEAT!!! Potential Spoilers}

With a summer that already feels like the “Summer of The Batman” it is quite refreshing to read Geoff Johns take on the Batman, but we already know his rich kid goes to the picture show with his family, they leave said picture show and end up in the alley where Thomas and Martha Wayne get shot and killed. What Johns do is establish little hints and changes the Wayne family and Alfred Pennyworth’s character persona’s completely, to purists this is uncalled for while those embrace change love the fact that Martha Wayne is (Remember I mention spoilers?) related to the Arkham’s! Now if you’ve been playing Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games then you already know who is the Arkham’s are. Also what’s interesting to note is that and I wish it had a little more focus on that, the Martha Arkham-Wayne have a dark family secret, to which maybe get explained down the line in future Batman: Earth One novels.  

Now every interpretation of Batman always mention that Alfred was with the British Royal Navy, but we never got to see what he can really do in a straight up fight and it doesn’t even matter how old he is either. When reading through this Alfred is this straight up bad to the arse fighter, who just so happen to have trained Bruce Wayne/Batman, but it was still Bruce’s idea to be an image that people would fear if they hurt the innocent. Like other iterations of Bruce and Alfred this relationship between the both of them seems more like a student/master relationship, than the usual parental figure who just so happens to be the butler. What I find just so great is that he’s still teaching Bruce how to be better, how to  in a way unpredictable in a fight, use the enemies’ weakness against them, and always use what you got to have the leg up in the fight.

As for Batman himself, it’s cool to see him struggling to be the hero, that we already know he is and yes it would be cheating if he already was the arse kicker we all know and love. Though my only gripes with the OGN (Original Graphic Novel) is that Jim Gordon is still a Detective, now I know with the circumstances that Gordon is in he can’t really be the James Gordon we all know a love, I just feel story wise he’s being cheated and that we have to wait somewhat going towards the end of the story he finally gains a freaking backbone. Detective Bullock is one of those Batman: GCPD characters that you love to hate and hate to love (well I do, can say the same for any of you.) Though Johns really did a number to Bullock through out this novel, that I really would love to see where Det. Bullock is going to end up mentally.

With surprising twists like a certain umbrella carrying bird as the Mayor of Gotham City and the appearance of Barbra (Babs) Gordon, plus her hints to becoming Batgirl. Now on that, look I love Babs just as much as anyone, but I totally dislike the fact that Batgirl always get mention or hinted at before Dick Grayson/Robin does, though that’s just a small annoyance plus it great to see more Barbra Gordon/Batgirl (Step a side Stephanie Brown/Batgirl!)

 Batman: Earth One is absolutely one of Geoff Johns best’s, right next to his Brightest Day, Blackest Night Green Lantern event. This OGN is really worth putting in your summer reading list, it’s  that damn good. Even if you’re getting tired of Avengers Vs. X-Men.

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