In the tradition of the critically acclaimed 2010 reimagining of Superman writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank recreate the Dark Knight in our modern world with Batman Earth One.
Although there probably isn’t a person under the sun that doesn’t know Batman’s origins, Johns and Frank create a political conspiracy that ties Bruce Wayne closer to the city, giving the timeless origin a fresh perspective.
Similar to Frank Miller’s Batman Year One, Earth one takes a look at Dark Knight’s origin and his early days fighting crime in Gotham. Early days that were filled with a lot of mistakes and set backs. Everything from his grapple gun breaking when he tries to fire it, getting beat down by hired security to nearly dying at the hands of the penguin truly humanizes Batman and is a welcomed departure from the god like portrayal he normally receives in comics.
Although there are some slight changes to the history and continuity, the biggest change would have to be Alfred Pennyworth. Johns portrays Bruce’s loyal butler as more of a bodyguard who takes a much bigger active role in Batman’s mission. Filled with battle scars, both physical and mental, and the spitting image of actor Sam Elliot, Earth One Alfred is the voice of realism that pushes Bruce to do what must be done and to cover for him when he can’t do it himself.
The book is beautifully drawn. Frank gives the characters weight and sense of realism that sells the more realistic tone this story is trying to achieve. The Gotham landscapes are rich and feel like a real place. Frank’s use of splash pages gives the story a cinematic look and feeling.
Although it took two years, Batman Earth One is a great follow up to JMS’ Earth One Superman and completely worth the wait.