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

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