Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gotta tell you, I've been waiting impatiently for this hardcover since I first heard it was in the works. Sure, I know Batman's origin, WELL. And these continuous re-tellings can get a bit stale, especially if absolutely nothing gets added to what has already been told. This one though, is special for a few reasons.

First up, it's a year one Batman story, which I love. It isn't just about his parents being murdered in an alley way. That's in there, but this is also a story set in his first year as Batman, before all the training, before all the gadgets, before any of the experience. There's a great scene in the first few pages, when Batman pulls out a grappling hook to fire at a guy he's chasing, and it breaks in his had when he fires it, cable shooting out everywhere. He then attempts to jump from a rooftop across an alley to an adjacent rooftop, misses, and falls into a pile of trash. As much as I love the character for the badass he is, it's still fun sometimes to see him  screw up. The book is still an origin tale though, although a bit of a modern take on it, showing us the origin of "new 52 Batman". Not a lot has changed necessarily, just little things like the mention of a bluray set, or the internet. Stuff like that. Again, being that it's a year one story, we obviously get looks at the characters much younger than we know them to be now. My favorite was Detective Bullock, who normally appears as a morbidly obese, unshaven, slob of a character, but appears in this book on his first day at the Gotham PD young, clean shaven, and with what had to be about 1% body fat. Fun contrasts like this are what makes these stories so great.

Earth One is written by Geoff Johns, who DC fans will better know by the name "God". He's the man who fixed Flash's convoluted continuity, fixed Hawkman's even MORE convoluted continuity, brought back Hal Jordan as the true Green Lantern of Earth and absolved him of the blasphemy that was Emerald Twilight, then went on to write some of the greatest Green Lantern stories ever written, Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night. His crowning achievement has to be what he's currently working on though, he has managed to do the unthinkable, what no writer has ever been able to do before, he's made Aquaman cool. Seriously, Aquaman is one of my most looked forward to comics every month. Aquaman.

The supremely talented, and personal favorite of mine, Gary Frank wonderfully illustrates the book. While he's primarily a superhero artist, his style is anything but. He uses a very realistic looking style to all of his characters, which I honestly dig the hell out of. For example, he did a run on Action Comics with Geoff Johns, and drew Superman almost exactly as he looked in the Richard Donner films. He even made Clark look like Christopher Reeve. It was the absolute perfect Superman book for me, believable looking characters, instead of everybody running around looking like He-Man action figures wearing spandex. I will buy anything, and I mean anything Gary Frank works on. Books, toys based on his art, statues based on his art, anything. Earth One is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous piece of work.

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