From GEOFF JOHNS and GARY FRANK, the acclaimed team behind SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN and the SHAZAM! stories in JUSTICE LEAGUE! In the tradition of SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, this spectacular original graphic novel gives new insight into BRUCE WAYNE’S transformation into BATMAN and his first year as THE DARK KNIGHT
Story: 7/10 • Artwork: 9/10 • Overall 8/10
“Batman: Earth One” is a new take on an old tale. No, not really. It feels more like a reboot in the New 52 than a game changer of the “Earth One” universe. J. Michael Straczynski raised the bar with “Superman: Earth One.” In turn I hold DC Comics to a higher standard with the “Earth One” universe. I hope you do to.
Geoff Johns is a game changing writer, just look at the rainbow over in the Green Lantern titles. The Penguin as the mayor of Gotham City is not a game changing move, did Johns forget that Lex Luthor was president once. What “Batman: Earth One” was, is a very good Batman story with minor tweets to his origin. Bruce’s parents still get shot and die, and Bruce becomes Batman to fight the corrupt Gotham politicians. This sound like every other day for Batman, doesn’t it?
What John’s does will is develop supporting characters in the story. Alfred is a badass! Who doesn’t want to see Alfred running around with a shotgun? Also, John’s develops the characters just enough to where you want to see more of them by the end of the book. Harvey Bullock, James and Barbara Gordon are setup beautifully in this book. Johns even puts a twist on the Dents.
Gary Frank’s artwork is fluid in his storytelling and spectacular in his splash pages. Frank slows down the reader with his detail so that the reader can enjoy every panel. Frank draws action on level that only few have reached.
The problem with this book is that it’s not bold enough to be called an “Earth One” book. Johns needed to be bolder with Batman’s origin. You could have changed the meaning of the “no gun” rule or not killed his parents. That would have been bold or you could have killed them in a different way or killed someone else. If you killed Jim Gordon, that would have been bold.
The question that every person in a comic book shop should ask, is do I want to pay $22.99 for an average Batman story with great artwork? The answer is no, wait a month and buy a used copy for $10.
Follow Matthew Sardo on twitter @comicavult