Posts Tagged ‘Year One’

What do you read after reading one Batman book? You read another Batman book 😁

Year One‘ is a 1986 graphic novel which describes how Bruce Wayne became Batman and what happened when Jim Gordon joined the Gotham City police. As the editor Denny O’Neill explains in his introduction, this is not a new version of the Batman myth, but it takes the original story by Bob Kane and fleshes it out and adds more details and makes it realistic to a contemporary audience. The story is told through the voices of Jim Gordon, who has newly moved into Gotham City with his pregnant wife, to work in the police department, and Bruce Wayne who comes back to Gotham City after living many years abroad and who wants to do something about the promise he made to his parents. What these two do to tackle the evil forces in the city, how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, and how Jim Gordon survives the challenges of a corrupt police department form the rest of the story. Selina Kyle plays a small but important part in the story, and Harvey Dent comes in a few scenes.

Year One‘ is an interesting story because it describes how it all started. When I discovered that David Mazzucchelli has done the illustrations, I was quite surprised. I read David Mazzucchelli’s graphic novel ‘Asterios Polyp‘ when it first came out and at that time I thought that he had sprung out of nowhere as a fully formed artist. So I was quite surprised when I saw his name here – it looks like he has been around for ages and his art has evolved in beautiful and interesting ways. The second thing I noticed about the book is that Selina Kyle is black. That is not the case in ‘The Long Halloween‘ or any of the film or TV adaptations of the Batman stories, as far as I know. I don’t know how it was in Bob Kane’s original version. It is interesting that in the ’80s, when no one was talking about diverse characters, Frank Miller did his bit to improve the presence of diverse characters in his story.

Selina Kyle

The third interesting thing in the book is that David Mazzucchelli says towards the end of the book that he used Gregory Peck’s image to sketch Bruce Wayne’s face. Isn’t that so cool! I was wondering how Bruce Wayne was so handsome ☺️ Now I know why. Gregory Peck would have made a great Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Gregory Peck morphing into Bruce Wayne

I loved ‘Year One‘. I must be the last person to read it. But if you are a Batman fan and have not read it yet, please do. You will like it. It is a must read for Batman fans. I have shared some of the pages from the book above and below to give you a flavour of the story and the artwork. Of particular interest to you might be the page which shows how Gregory Peck becomes Bruce Wayne.

First pages of the story

Sarah Essen


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