Batman Year One Cover Some people call him mad. While other people call him crazy. But what would you call a man that dresses up as a giant bat, and then beat's the living sh*t out of any evildoers who crosses his path? Me: I'll call him Batman. As seen in this 64 minute animated adventure created in 2011. Trust me. It's one hell of a ripping yarn.

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 Gotham City 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.

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 Gotham 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 Gotham City, please prepare yourself for the greatest team on Earth.

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.

Batman Year One Jim Gordon

Batman Year Two
Still, apart from those two slight gripes, I can't fault this flick one little bit. In fact, all I can muster are these related facts. (1) 'Warner Home Video' released this $3,500,000 dollar production on the 18th of October, 2011, and initially clawed back $2,335,000 dollars at the box office. (2) 'The Wrestler' director, Darren Aronofsky, almost adapted this story into a live action feature film. However, when Christopher Nolan proposed his 'trilogy idea', Warner Brothers eventually decided to go with him instead. (3) This tale first appeared from February to May, 1987, in issues #404 to #407 of the Batman comic book. It was devised by the pre-existing Daredevil creative team of writer, Frank Miller, and artist, David Mazzucchelli. (4) One of the main reasons why 'Year One' was created in the first place; was because DC Comics wanted to 'reboot' Batman after the 'Crisis on Infinite Earth' crossover event, just to redefine his character in the aftermath of this Earth shattering adventure. (5) Excluding 'Batman: Full Circle', plus Jeph Loeb's and Tim Sale's two 12 maxi-series, this yarn spawned two direct sequels. In 1987 there was 'Batman Year Two': written by Mike W. Barr and pencilled by Alan Davis, Paul Neary, Alfredo Alcala, Mark Farmer, and Todd McFarlane. Plus in 1989 there was 'Batman Year Three': written by Marv Wolfman, and pencilled by Pat Broderick. (6) When Joel Schumacher took over the directorial reigns from Tim Burton, he wanted to go the 'Year One' route with 'Batman Forever'. But alas, the studio had other plans in mind. No comment. (7) In the wake of Batman's 'Year One' exploits, DC Comic's devised an anthology series called 'Legends of The Dark Knight'; which ran from 1989 to 2007, totaling 225 issues, including annuals and specials. (8) Not only did this tale directly inspire Christopher Nolan's 'Dark Knight Trilogy, but it also inspired 'Batman: Mask of the Phantasm', 'The Batman' cartoon, and the aforementioned 'Batman Forever' feature film.

Batman Year Three Batman Year One Comic Book Batman Year One Movie 2011

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.

Batman Year One Film Still

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.