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