Batman Year One: The Film - The Graphic Novel
He's tired. He's confused. And whilst he is sitting on his pregnant wife's bed, Police Lieutenant, James Gordon, doesn't know what he should do about this new vigilantly in town that's dressed-up as a bat.
Still, I suppose Jim knew that life in
was going to be a strange one for him, when
he first came to this 'burg' all those many months ago. First he had to cope with
his brash partner, Detective Flass. Then he had to come to terms with the
dubious antics of his fellow police officers. Plus, to top it all off, he can't
seem to see eye to eye with the Police Commissioner, Gillian Loeb, either. Gotham
However, after a brash beating is inflicting onto him by Flass and his gang, Jim has a baptism of sorts. A baptism that makes' him see how things are played in this God forsaken city full of gangsters, pimps, and crooks. Furthermore, once the 'Batman' shows his face too -- well -- what should he do next?
Should he track him down with his sexy-partner, Sarah Essen? Should he allow the swat team to shoot at Batman a couple of moments after he saves an old lady from getting squashed? Or should he just wait and see what direction fate steers him in? Huh?
Well, that's what Bruce Wayne did when he came to
at the same time as Jim!
Hold on! You do know who Bruce Wayne is, right? He's the rich orphan who traveled the globe to perfect his body and mind, so that he could one day avenge his parent's deaths. Granted, he doesn't really know how to accomplish this mammoth task at first. No. I'm afraid not. All he gets for his troubles is a kick in the nuts by the prostitute, Selina Kyle. Or a couple of bullets in the stomach care of the G.C.P.D.
Thankfully, though, just like Jim, Bruce also has a baptism of fire. A baptism strangely shaped as a flying bat.
Oh! But then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all comes around when the city is flooded by winged rodents. As a cat comes out to play - a millionaire has to keep a lieutenant at bay - an affair is turned into a rebirth - and look out
, please prepare yourself for the
greatest team on Earth. Gotham
Now what can I say about 'Batman - Year One' that many other critiques before me haven't? I mean, it's a brilliant cartoon. And pays a lot of respect to the original source material, without really diluting the essence of the prime narrative.
The art was spot on. I thought that it juggled about with the dual story-line fairly well. And all in all I have to say that all the voice-over artists really did enhance the overall package more than normal.
Granted, on the reverse side of this equation, I would have preferred a little bit more of the internal monologue myself. Moreover, I did find it slightly disappointing when certain scenes from the original book were omitted, inadvertently bestowing this piece with a more fractured feel to it.
OK, so where was I? Oh, yes. 'Batman - Year One'. A great tale if ever I saw one.
Admittedly, when I first saw it on the racks all those many-many years ago, I wasn't very keen on it to begin with. I thought the art-work was very bleak. I thought the story was less about Batman and more about Gordon. And by in large I was like 'Yeah! Whatever', because I was a silly little sod who didn't know any better.
However, once I grew up, and my appreciation for this type of 'urban adventure' grew and grew, I could see it for what it truly was. A masterpiece. A masterpiece that pays homage to 'The Dark Knight Returns', 'Serpico', and over great classics that came out in the sixties, seventies, and eighties media driven society. Also, from then on in, I became enamored with all the Bat-Book's by default.
For instance, I was very-very pleased when Sarah Essen was reintroduced in the Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle era. I was overwhelmed when Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale gave some clarification on the Falcone crime empire with their 'Halloween' tales. Plus I even won't tell you how I felt when all of this dipped in the hands of Tony Daniels.
Still, enough of the past, huh? Today I am one happy man. I've seen a great Batman cartoon. So let's leave it at that, shall we?
Class cartoon. One for the fans and those people who love adventure.