Through this column we plan to review and analyze every major event within DCU since COIE, in the hopes that this becomes a road map of sorts to the continuity laden streets of DCU.
If you are an old fan, come enjoy reminiscing with us through the good and the bad DC had to offer.
If you are an old fan getting back into comics , let us help you get upto date sequentially
If you are a new fan you will get our help in unraveling the mysteries of current DCU
If you are not reading DC comics, let us tell you why you should be.
– Article by Aalok joshi
-Edited by Manks
Previous editions of this column can be found at our Archive page
BATMAN: YEAR ONE
Writer: FRANK MILLER
Artist: DAVID MAZZUCHELLI
(Collects issues: BATMAN 404-407)
DC certainly put the Batman franchise in good hands. Frank Miller had earlier done RONIN & THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS! for DC and a sprawling run on Daredevil for Marvel, writing & illustrating the most part, with David Mazzuchelli fresh off an epic Daredevil run with Miller.
It’s a very basic story but it works. The story represents two points of view, and Gotham as seen through the eyes of James Gordon & Bruce Wayne. We begin at Bruce returning to Gotham after his training and Gordon getting transferred from Chicago to Gotham. Gordon learns the hard way that he can’t change the city alone as he meets Detective Flass & Commissioner Loeb. Bruce, meanwhile has the training but doesn’t know how & where to start. Detective Flass with others beats up Gordon who then retaliates, finally having learnt what it takes to survive in Gotham. While walking the seedy streets of old Gotham, Bruce runs into trouble with a bunch of goons, Holly Robinson & Selina Kyle. The police takes in a wounded Bruce Wayne, who to protect his identity swerves the patrolcar into the river and escapes. A wounded Bruce Wayne is looking for a sign when a bat flies in through the window.
Batman begins the crackdown on Gotham city crime in earnest, stopping a group of thieves and also takes down Flass taking a bribe. when he interrupts a dinner party attended by ganglords and politicians, Carmine Falcone, top crime lord brings the heat to the police department. Loeb orders Gordon to bring Batman in. Police authorities corner Batman whilst he is saving an old lady from a mugger and consign the neighbourhood to blazes. Batman escapes by outwitting the authorities, using his ultrasonic whistle to summon bats from the cave for the first time.
Gordon begins his romantic fling with Lt. Sarah Essen. Authorities suspect that Harvey Dent, District Attorney is the Batman, who is the Batman’s ally much before Gordon. Batman brings in a drug dealer who agrees to testify against Flass. Loeb blackmails Gordon saying that he will press charges against him for his affair with Essen. Finally Gordon himself confesses to his wife Barbara.
Inspired by the Batman, Selina Kyle takes on the identity of Catwoman and makes her first heist from Carmine Falcone, giving him the characteristic scar and interrupting Batman who overhears something about a plot against Gordon at Falcone’s Mansion. The ganglords arrange to have Gordon’s son kidnapped. Bruce Wayne stops the attempt and saves the child. Flass finally testifies against Loeb and Gordon is promoted to Captain. Essen gets transferred and Barbara divorces James Gordon. In the end, Gordon meets Batman on the rooptop discussing a character called the Joker who has threatened to poison the reservoir.
-Bruce’s parent’s murder is shown only in flashback. No murder, no vow.
-The series is more about James Gordon & Bruce Wayne. It presents the beginning of the long evolving relationship between Gordon & Batman
-We see the beginnings of Selina Kyle, Holly Robinson, Sarah Essen, Carmine Falcone & Harvey Dent.
-The Crisis didn’t change much about the Batman. We never see fresh takes on all the villains. Only the parts that have been changed have been touched upon in subsequent issues. Year One isn’t a new, completely different story, just a fresh take on the Dark Knight in the “grim n gritty” fashion.
-Since this storyline was so popular, there have been a number of series attempting to “fill in” the blank spots as most people dislike the idea of going back to the Pre Crisis stories.
-Though two titles were launched which would predominantly feature early storylines, LEGENDS OF THE DARK NIGHT & now BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL, many of these are called year one stories. The notable one shots, mini series and arcs from LOTDK & BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL are:
-THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1st JOKER)
-THE LONG HALLOWEEN (1ST TWO FACE)
-CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME
-PREY (1ST HUGO STRANGE)
-VENOM (1ST VENOM)
-THE MONSTER MEN (another variant on HUGO STRANGE)
-THE MAD MONK (1ST MONK)
-RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (1ST LUTHOR)
-LOVERS & MADMEN
– SNOW (1ST FREEZE)
-CLAY (1ST CLAYFACE) (collected in BATMAN: MONSTERS)
Rating: 9.0 on 10. It was a near perfect story in what it started to do and accomplished doing.
Contains full covers, 14.95$