So, I have finally read batman: earth one. Both volumes. after so much praise these comics got, I got curious. heck, apparently the tv Series "gotham" took some inspiration from this, in their version of Alfred. but I read them both now...so...what are my thoughts? well, first lets have some background. You all know that once upon a time, Marvel released their ultimate comics. they were supposed to introduce their heroes again, in a new universe free of previous continuity, in order to attract newer readers. And not just that, but also re-imagine some of their heroes and villains, but keep it at their core, of what each hero was about. While I don't think it was perfect, I do admit that some of it were good, and with many of their heroes they managed to keep them at their core, like with spider-man for example. with great power comes great responsibility and all that.
Then DC thought they should do something similar, so they introduced the All star line. now one thing, All star superman is actually a good comic, you should check it out sometime. the problem was with all star batman and robin. written by miller after he went crazy. this batman was so out of character, people nicknamed him crazy steve, who was mean to little boys, laughed a lot, and he loved being the goddamn batman. (He's words, not mine.) DC learned that this thing was horrible, so they cancelled it, before the series was even finished. even tough they had given previews of future issues, they cancelled it, before it could happen.
years later, DC wanted to do this idea again, with a comic free of continuity with reimagined stuff. introducing the earth one line, which so far has three volumes for superman earth one, a volume for teen titans, and two for batman. difference here, is that each volume is in a graphic novel format, with a complete story inside. no issues. just the complete graphic novel, to give people an entire story then and there. honestly I like that idea, since that can be a good introduction to newer readers were they get the entire story from start to finish, and it can make the earth one series feel like a movie series in comic form. and here we have Batman: Earth one, volume 1 and 2. This time with a new writer and new artist. Geoff Johns as the writer, and Gary frank as the artist.
now one thing, I do like the work these two have done. Gary Frank is an excellent artist, and Geoff Johns, has done amazing work, on DC tv series, and they also both worked together on the comic Superman: Secret origin, which was sort of a re-imagining of the superman origin, from when he crashed on earth, became clark kent, and how he and Luthor became arch-enemies. you could literally read any superman comic after this one I felt and know who most of the characters were. But then...Frank miller did screw up this idea with batman. In fact he screwed it up so much, that I kinda doubt that another writer can fix this...I feel that Batman earth one is going to su-
(one read later)
-uuuu....OH MY GOSH!!! ...I...I didn't think it was possible at first but...I mean...Batman: Earth one has MANY differences from the more normal batman...but...my gosh...this is...actually really good..not just really good, but VERY good! I mean, yeah I still prefer ordinary batman, but this? I can see why this got such praise! this reimagined of the dark knight mythos..its so fascinating, and interesting I look forward to more! Its not perfect, there are stuff Im against here, but still...wow. well, lets start on shall we. Lets take a look at each volume.
the story here, is very simple. it retells the batman origin. You know the drill. parents get shot, and he swears to avenge their deaths, which makes him become batman. but a difference here? he doesn't get as much training as ordinary batman. I mean, he gets one hour of training you could say, then becomes batman, and during he's first run, he totally suck at it. it really shows. but as it goes along, he learns, and becomes better. you could he's years of training is happening at the same time, as he IS batman. this is actually very interesting to see, in contrast to the "Because Im batman" Stuff. other differences for example, is that he's mother...well, her relatives made Arkham and her full name here, is Martha Arkham, and it is said in the comics, that everyone in the arkham family at one point went insane....this actually supports a theory that batman himself is insane. Hm...and all harvey bullock isn't fat or anything, in fact, he and Gordon are kinda opposite. No, gordon isn't fat he looks the same, but he has lost he's fighting spirit, and lets the bad guys get away, while Bullock is a new hot shot cop, who has the right ideals to get the bad guys, and later as the story goes, Bullock inspires Gordon, and then Gordon gets he's fighting spirit, as we have seen in most versions, while with Bullock who learns how dark gotham is...he finds it so depressing he starts drinking, and it shows he might become at some point the ordinary fat bullock.
Alfred isn't as gentle as normal versions, but more of an badass, and he has sort of a hard love feelings for Bruce, He raised him as in most versions, but its real tough love, like with those parents, who "Them being a kid isn't an excuse." He is also actually against batman's no kill rule, and it shows as he in the first volume kills this world's version of the penguin. Thats something I don't like. Why kill the penguin so soon anyway? I would have preferred Penguin to stay alive, after this. if the villains die like this, well I doubt earth one will have a lengthy continuity, cause if this continues, they'll run out of villains.
speaking of the penguin. he is slightly different in terms of design, but he's personality is mostly intact. a difference here, is that not only is he a crime lord, but also the corrupt mayor of gotham. the idea of Penguin as a mayor isn't new, but its interesting to see where they go with it here.
The story of volume 2...Its batman VS the riddler, as batman learns just what it means to be batman, and he develops he's detective skills.
Now, This also has some weird and interesting changes. one I don't like is what its done to two face. Here, Harvey dent is a mean bully. not a good guy. a real jerk. but he has a twin sister, named jessica. who is nice and kind. later Harvey dies, Jessica's face gets slightly damaged. (not much, just very little) And Somehow Harvey's personality is somehow inside her head, giving her two personalities. That actually seemed to come out of nowhere, and It makes her into, a kinda gender bent two face. I know they did something similar to Lex Luthor in superman: earth one, and truth be told I dislike it there too. (which reminds me, I have to read those too at some point.)
But an interesting change is killer croc. Here he isn't a villain at all. he is more of an outcast who just wants to be alone, and he even helps batman find the riddler. I think its kinda nice to see a killer croc you can feel more sorry for, even tough I prefer him as a villain its interesting.
then we have the riddler. while he's design is vastly different from other versions, he is still very very smart, but a difference is that he doesn't look on crime as a game, as with most versions. I mean, sure he is still interested in batman, and he tells riddles, but they seem to be more of an mean to an end, instead of an obsession. why? because he says he will blow up a train unless batman answers a riddle correctly. batman answers the riddle correctly, and the riddler blows up the train anyway. Actually in the very early comics, the riddler was known to cheat so this does kinda keep in touch of the original source material, but I do prefer the riddler in the arkham games, who wants to prove how smart he is. what the riddler's game here is, the to kill some people who have taken over Penguin's criminal empire, so that he (The riddler) Can take over all of Penguin's operations. one thing I can defiantly say, is that I feel this riddler might be the closest thing we might get to a nolan version of the riddler.
and thats batman: Earth one.
But wait? What about the joker? Actually the joker didn't appear in either of these two. which I found weird, but according to the writer he isn't ignoring the joker. he is just waiting for the right moment for the joker to appear, so that in that time its time for Bruce to face this threat. There is even a slight reference to the joker in volume 2, as a writing on a wall says "Jack Napier" Which was the joker's real name in Batman (1989), so this might mean, the joker might be the main villain in volume 3, which will be out sometime next year. shall be interesting to see what The earth one of the clown prince of crime will be like.
and thats batman: earth one. There is still much I haven't revealed but I think you should read this thing for yourself in order to find out. If You like a realistic batman, or just want a fresh take on batman, I recommend you read these. you won't get disappointed.