I love Batman: Year One.

im
age

While I didn’t really Read Comics growing up, I did read a few specific comic books and graphic novels.  Among them: Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.  This was (with the possible exception of the original Tim Burton film) my first direct exposure to Batman, and I loved it. 

Year One tells the story of the launching of Batman’s career, as it were—the transformation of a young, angry, obsessed Bruce Wayne from directionless seeker to directed, personified force.  It is, in parallel, a development of the character of future commissioner Jim Gordon, in the book a pushing-middle-age transplant to Gotham.  (The recent film Batman Begins is not based on, but does pay considerable homage to, this book.  Gary Oldman is, visually at least, a spitting image of Miller’s Gordon, and a few shots/moments, such as Gordon ascending the steps of a building while SWAT looks on, are clear references.) 

The writing is very good—this is the sort of book you can hand without embarassment to someone who doesn’t read comics—but the art is, as I see it, essential to the success of the book.

It doesn’t look like a superhero comic.

There’s a certain stylistic implausibility to superhero stories: these are people with catchy, cartoonish names who run around in tights.  They have superpowers and they have dating problems.  There’s a constant mix of world-shaking threats and interpersonal drama that doesn’t really make sense in the cold light of day.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that—they’re stories, and they’re operating in a tradition, an storytelling culture where these things are at least internally consistent.

But what Miller does in Year One is strip down as much of that as he can while still having an obsessed billionaire run around in a costume calling himself Batman.  The art is dirty and grim and unfantastic—Gotham isn’t a dystopia, it’s just a bad place to live, and the villains are corrupt politicians and crooked cops, not chortling fruitcakes with superweapons.  Batman himself is a fledgling vigilante, a lifeless, friendless, anti-social man who puts on a costume because, ultimately, he doesn’t know what else to do, because he can’t stand simply being himself.

And it’s all in dark lines, flat, broken faces, flickers of emotion in a heavy, pain-in-the-ass world.  No flashy stuff, no attention-getting flourishes, just stark, simple linework and wonderful muted colors that make you believe, if anything could, that there’s a good cop and a mad/sane costumed billionaire trying to make little things right in a city chock full of wrongness and badness.

Frank Miller’s other big Batman book, The Dark Knight Returns, covers the other bookend of the Batman saga—Bruce Wayne pushing sixty, retired and restless.  The art is still very Frank Miller, but the execution is more DC Comics, superheroes in classic form, than Year One.  It’s also very good, but where Year One has realist lines and an almost anti-comic feel, Dark Knight has larger-than-life characters in huge, dynamic superhero poses, and a whole cavalcade of men in tights.  Great art, but not the same sort: I don’t love it.  I don’t want to emulate it.

[Update!  Attentive reader layne points out that Year One was illustrated by David Mazzuchelli, with Miller writing, something I had half-forgotten and wholly failed to emphasize in the writeup.  It's Frank's Batman, but not his pen.]

There are no comments on this post

Leave a Reply

buy super viagra canada and generic viagra viagra soft tabs viagra online pharmacy viagra usage tips viagra overdose viagra price australia generic viagra australia viagra sale walmart pharmacy viagra buy viagra amsterdam viagra from canada legitimate viagra message board order viagra online australia viagra and diabetes viagra jacket buy viagra europe viagra india viagra generic viagra japan viagra pills buy viagra pills viagra loest prise generic viagra price buy viagra cvs ireland manufacturer viagra generic viagra offers buy viagra online buy viagra thailand viagra jamaica viagra under tongue buy viagra cheap chip viagra viagra aust buy viagra locally generic viagra walgreens viagra pro cheap viagra does generic viagra work viagra price thailand viagra with dapoxetine overnight viagra headache viagra quebec viagra walmart generic viagra photos viagra canada cheap viagra overnight delivery usa viagra voucher 200mg viagra buy viagra ebay viagra commercial viagra effects buy viagra super force pfizer viagra instructions viagra buy online viagra dose size viagra in australia viagra information generic viagra fake viagra uk shipping viagra to canada viagra available in toronto buy viagra montreal viagra windsor canada pfizer viagra patent generic viagra buy australian viagra viagra young people generic viagra vs viagra viagra patent expiration date viagra canada buy viagra in toronto generic viagra us viagra 50mg cost viagra gel uk viagra professional australia viagra viagra nz viagra paypal checkout canada viagra buy generic viagra information generic viagra legal generic viagra when cheap viagra viagra online viagra online toronto canada viagra no prescrition buy viagra bangkok viagra soft tabs viagra professional review viagra deals viagra tablets generic viagra from canada buy viagra toronto generic viagra available viagra 50mg tablets viagra generic viagra premature ejaculation viagra professional buy viagra sildenafil viagra 100mg effects generic viagra joke viagra cheap australia in sale viagra order viagra canada viagra sale canada viagra pro online generic viagra effectiveness viagra price malaysia viagra 100mg generic cialis viagra canada viagra sildenafil buy viagra gel ggeneric viagra for sale buy viagra sample viagra from canada viagra price uk generic viagra capsules discount viagra canada alternatives to viagra buy viagra jelly online pharmacy viagra viagra nitroglycerin order viagra sample viagra prices walmart discrete viagra australia buy viagra pakistan buy viagra safely viagra by mail canada purchase viagra from canada revatio vs viagra buy viagra nz generic viagra 50 mg viagra alternatives india order viagra from canada viagra professional scam generic viagra names viagra espanol buy viagra online ireland pfizer viagra generic viagra pro reviews buy viagra australia pfizer viagra india free viagra sample pack viagra 100mg tablets generic viagra buy viagra young man viagra online viagra (sildenafil) viagra uk purchase generic viagra generic viagra sample next day shipping viagra indo viagral viagra melbourne generic viagra alternatives viagra gum viagra douglas pharmaceuticals australia viagra directions canada free sample viagra viagra american express canada viagra alternatives australia viagra quantity limits viagra from tijuana viagra women effects buy wholesale viagra viagra women use viagra prices generic viagra walmart nonprescription viagra australia viagra for boys generic viagra austrailia viagra blindness purchasing viagra in canada cost of viagra australian viagra online buy viagra from germany viagra online in usa ganeric viagra canada generic viagra viagra soft tablets viagra prices buy strong viagra brand viagra offers viagra rrp australia viagra jet lag cheap viagra online canada viagra natural alternative buy viagra melbourne buy viagra montreal generic viagra toronto viagra gel caps pharmacy online viagra amazon viagra generic viagra canada viagra gel online viagra onlnine online viagra in australia generic viagra generic viagra price viagra products australia herbal viagra alternative australia viagra otc viagra vancouver canada generic in viagra generic viagra risks viagra side effects viagra online sell viagra for sale best viagra online toronto viagra free samples generic viagra 50mg free viagra canada pfizer viagra coupons where to buy viagra real viagra viagra insurance coverage viagra generic equivalent get viagra in canada viagra 100 tablets viagra canada online viagra prices generic viagra mastercard viagra oklahoma city pfizer viagra uk generic viagra for sale viagra india viagra junk email generic viagra manufacturers cheep viagra bying viagra uk viagra suppliers canada generic viagra 100mg sildenafil viagra youth viagra usa overnight shipping order viagra uk viagra sale cheap viagra online low cost viagra viagra yahoo viagra in uk viagra jokes viagra online australia buy viagra usa canada viagra paypal pfizer viagra buy buy viagra pfizer viagra canada online pharmacy viagra coupons order viagra viagra 100mg price viagra 4 pack viagra online in canada viagra sales viagra cost walmart canada viagra mail buy viagra sydney viagra price compare viagra costs walmart generic viagra cipla viagra for sale generic viagra in canada viagra knock offs viagra in hong kong viagra user reviews sildenafil vs viagra viagra blood pressure viagra gel thailand dsicount viagra online viagra canada viagra junk mail viagra online generic viagra real generic viagra sildenafil viagra maximum dose buy viagra online canada buy viagra shanghai herbal viagra samples genaric viagra pfizer viagra online viagra ring viagra cost generic viagra viagra in sacramento ca viagra generic review viagra joint pain canada viagra prescription viagra distributors viagra tips viagra quick tabs viagra mail order liquid viagra to buy viagra online sale canada viagra meaning pfizer viagra cheap viagra on line viagra recreational use viagra price cvs pfizer viagra online genuine viagra in australia viagra single tabs discount viagra viagra dose viagra online nz viagra super force viagra online canada pfizer viagra pills order viagra canada viagra benefits buy viagra online mixing cocaine and viagra viagra pills for sale viagra nitric oxide cheap viagra viagra samples free viagra for women aftermarket viagra viagra nitrates viagra canada cost coverage generic viagra cost overnight generic viagra generic viagra india viagra canada pharmacies generic viagra professional viagra pro ingredients viagra canada review buy viagra canada discount viagra viagra canada pharmacy viagra australia information stories buy generic viagra pfizer viagra tablets generic viagra gel viagra empty stomach buy viagra dubai viagra shelf life viagra 50mg canada viagra young adults generic viagra pfizer viagra sales viagra canada samples viagra coupons and discounts buy viagra london cost of viagra canada buy viagra mastercard generic viagra overnight viagra super active generic viagra jelly canada pharmacy viagra viagra mailing list viagra nasal congestion viagra interactions viagra professional generic viagra canada free sample generic viagra buy viagra philippines erectile dysfunction viagra pfizer viagra packaging viagra cost in canada street value for viagra viagra trial original viagra for sale best viagra source viagra best price canadian generic viagra generic viagra brands viagra ireland buy viagra perth buy viagra now viagra soft pills generic viagra scam viagra cheap prices genuine viagra australia canada from generic viagra viagra in canada viagra teenney stones viagra online netherlands viagra prices australia prescription free viagra australia buy viagra online buy viagra professional viagra express viagra and women generic viagra pharmacy viagra prescription canada viagra coupons viagra au canada viagra low cost cheap viagra 100mg viagra 50mg pills viagra online 365 viagra price viagra history viagra super active australia viagra yahoo answers pfizer viagra price buy viagra using paypal guarenteed generic viagra viagra for sale online viagra generic canada viagra toronto viagra quit working viagra 100mg cost cheap viagra online overnight viagra viagra hearing loss buy viagra tablets viagra patent viagra 100mg dosage generic viagra 100mg viagra vision loss viagra gel sachets canada pharmacy chewable viagra viagra questions viagra price walmart caustion funny viagra viagra and canada canada medication viagra brand name viagra canada viagra quick delivery viagra on line viagra australia information generic viagra paypal buy viagra japan buy viagra paypal buy viagra legally best price viagra australia reasons to use viagra viagra from canada generic viagra viagra 100mg buy viagra generic viagra for sale australia canada free viagra cheapest viagra prices canada sex shop viagra viagra over night viagra tolerance buy viagra canada viagra by mail viagra twitter viagra ketoconazole viagra for sale uk paypal viagra generic viagra image viagra facts viagra soft flavoured viagra profesionals viagra australia generic viagra dosage viagra stories brand viagra cheap viagra instructions buyimg viagra in australia viagra warnings walmartprices for viagra viagra gold viagra young men redtube viagra viagra canada prescription herbal viagra in australia viagra headache cure viagra last longer cheap generic viagra 100mg viagra store in canada generic viagra problems buying viagra canada viagra austrialia pfizer viagra canada canada online pharmacy viagra viagra youtube generic viagra soft viagra alternatives pfizer viagra 100mg generic viagra cvs viagra samples generic viagra ingredients viagra refractory period viagra dosing viagra 30 tablets generic viagra discount pfizer viagra price generic viagra from india generic viagra dangers viagra paypal payment canada viagra tabs viagra experiences generic viagra safe buy viagra uk viagra price in india viagra alcohol effects buy viagra malaysia generic viagra work buy viagra manchester viagra by mail viagra recommended dosage generic viagra soft tabs viagra purchase canada viagra rrp australia cost buy viagra online viagra at walmart viagra and dapoxetine shipping viagra to australia buy viagra online sydney buy viagra from canada viagra without prescription australia viagra chemist prices australia viagra expiration date viagra half life viagra professional canada viagra online viagra and alcohol ordering viagra online canadian pharmacy viagra cheap viagra canada viagra for sell buy viagra usa canada super viagra pills viagra canada viagra coupons printable viagra grapefruit order viagra generic viagra buy oral viagra online viagra free trial offer viagra pro online viagra 100mg instructions buy viagra in canada viagra price walgreens viagra and pregancy pfizer viagra review viagra women viagra walgreens viagra price nz real viagra paypal viagra gel sale buy viagra singapore supreme suppliers viagra pfizer viagra sample online pharmacy canada viagra sildenafil viagra generic viagra safety generic viagra buy viagra pharmacy australia viagra how much viagra cheap canada toronto viagra buy viagra spray viagra super force online drug similiar to viagra viagra use generic viagra illegal viagra 100mg pfizer super viagra uk viagra trial pack canada generic viagra pictures generic viagra cheap viagra quiz buy viagra gel generic viagra discussion buy viagra fast viagra australia online viagra canada deliver viagra results photos viagra price canada generic viagra paypal generic viagra patent viagra in women buy viagra canada review viagra in usa brand viagra online cheapest viagra viagra price increase pfizer viagra eservice viagra price viagra cheap generic viagra online viagra like drugs viagra jelly sachet pfizer viagra cost viagra trial sample viagra teenney viagra canada satisfaction guarantee viagra price costco viagra pills for sale viagra buy viagra order canada generic viagra online australian online viagra generic viagra reviews viagra dependency order viagra discreetly buy canada viagra viagra 100mg reviews viagra versus generic viagra generic viagra vs viagra mail order generic viagra canadian viagra medicare viagra drug interactions viagra online from canada viagra canada free online viagra generic viagra kamagra order viagra online generic viagra complaints viagra recreational generic toronto viagra cheap viagra 50 mg viagra market share canada viagra upset stomach viagra gel tabs viagra ingredients viagra pfizer buy viagra viagra from canada cnn viagra professional online pfizer viagra 100mg viagra price comparison viagra 50mg price pfizer viagra liquid viagra triangle generic viagra uk generic viagra fraud buy viagra viagra canada sales cheap generic viagra pills viagra grapefruit interaction viagra for sale viagra contraindications viagra results viagra dosage recommended viagra risks generic viagra testimonials buy viagra brand viagra usa buy viagra in canada viagra canada viagra price pfizer viagra sales canada order viagra overnight viagra quotes viagra in usa order viagra australia order viagra online viagra softtabs viagra usa viagra dosage instructions buy viagra australia viagra substitute viagra jelly viagra super active viagra dosage canada viagra testimonials viagra uk viagra effectiveness viagra coupon viagra us pharmacy canada viagra cheap viagra altitude sickness buy viagra delhi viagra generic name order viagra now viagra with alcohol generic viagra australia viagra 100mg pills generic viagra canada buy viagra india order viagra cheap canada viagra non prescription viagra australia 100mg viagra canadian pharmacies selling viagra viagra generic canada generic viagra usa canada viagra overnight viagra in united states viagra reviews viagra pro scam brand viagra canada viagra manufacturer buy viagra australia viagra greate britain viagra price comparison cheap viagra sildenafil generic viagra order viagra paypal 100mg viagra generic viagra 50mg viagra blue vision