From time to time we'll review new and not-so-new graphic novels on this blog. First up is Batman Earth One, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank's new take on the Caped Crusader, following on the heels of 2010's Superman Earth One (previously reviewed here). As with the earlier work, Batman EO offers a rebooted version of the hero's origin, motivation and supporting cast. (Click here to reserve our copy.)
Similar in tone and feel to Christopher Nolan's recent Batman films, we once again relive the tale of how Bruce Wayne as a young boy witnessed the shocking muder of his parents and his vow to avenge them. Devoting his life training himself in body and mind, the adult Bruce becomes the dreaded, Gotham City-based vigilante known as The Batman. So far so good.
But Johns and Frank revise a lot of things. Everybody in Gotham is on the take. Bruce as a boy is a spolled brat. Alfred Pennyworth, previously the loyal Wayne family butler, is now an ex-mercenary pal (with a mysterious past) of Bruce's father who becomes Bruce's guardian. James Gordon is a defeated, harassed detective. And wait till you see who the corrupt mayor of Gotham City is!
Toss in a pedophile serial killer, Gordon's daughter Barbara, gloryhound detective Harvey Bullock, and Batman's first bumbling, nearly fatal outings, and you've got an exciting, suspenseful and dark tale, with terrific scripting and art, that'll keep you glued from beginning to end. Like me, you'll want to read the next installment sooner than later! Check out Batman Earth One!
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