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Batman: Earth One Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Series: Batman (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401232086
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401232085
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 3.9 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: An Omnivoracious Interview with Geoff Johns
In the world of superhero comics, there remains one origin above all others, no matter how many times it is retold: an alley, a family, a gun, and a criminal, Batman's origin is as terrifying as they come. Today, Geoff Johns, superstar scribe and DC's Chief Creative Officer, leaves a notable mark on the character by taking it in a new direction in Batman: Earth One, a re-imagining of the Batman mythos from the ground floor. To celebrate the book's release day, Geoff Johns answered a few questions about his version of Batman's origin, and he provided two exclusive pages to the new graphic novel (available after the jump). Batman: Earth One puts a modern-day spin on Batman's origin. What facets of Batman (and Bruce Wayne) did you focus on modernizing?

Geoff Johns: I think the image on the cover says it all--we wanted to see his eyes. Most of the time, Batman's eyes are white in the comics. We wanted to make this more about a flawed, vulnerable, troubled young guy who is on an arguably insane mission of revenge. So I'm not sure it's modernizing so much as humanizing. Gary and I pulled everything back. He's not the Batman who can tear about 30 S.W.A.T. team members without breaking a sweat. He's not the Batman who has invented a Batmobile. There is no Batmobile. He's got a car with tinted windows. He hasn't even thought of the idea of a Batmobile yet. You see in the very first pages what he carries in his utility belt.

It's more about Bruce than Batman. And his journey parallels a lot of the other main characters in the series—once you survive a tragedy someone else hasn’t, where does your life go? How does that affect you? One character in particular has given up. This is about learning to never give up.

Omni: What sets Batman: Earth One apart from any other "early" Bat-tales, such as Year One and The Long Halloween?

Geoff Johns: Batman's not the best as what he does. Alfred's relationship with Bruce, Bruce's mother, Bruce's mission, the cops, Gotham's streets, the secret in the basement, the red dirt and the police man from Los Angeles. It's just a different take on the character.

Omni: What Batman characters were you particularly excited about modernizing?

Geoff Johns: Alfred and the police. Their stories will speak for themselves, I think.

Omni: While you've written Batman in Justice League, this is your first time writing him in a solo story. What would you say is the most important part to understanding the Dark Knight?

Geoff Johns: Understanding Bruce. I think, unfortunately, we all understand loss. And this is loss at its very core. A boy and his parents. How you fill that bottomless pit inside you is a bit of a fruitless journey. But Bruce comes to a very big revelation within the story that ultimately changes what Batman is to him and, I think, us.

Omni: What differed in writing a solo Batman story as opposed to writing him as part of an ensemble?

Geoff Johns: I absolutely loved working with Gary on this because of the singular universe. We built everything from the ground up without having to worry about other stories or other takes on the characters. It could be all ours to re-imagine. And with the page count. We were able to tell our whole story, dive deeper into the characters and create a stand alone graphic novel series starring an entirely new Batman.

Omni: You've worked with Gary Frank before on Superman: Secret Origin and Superman: Brainiac, amongst other superhero-centric graphic novels. What is it about his style that continues this working relationship?

Geoff Johns: Gary does emotion like no one else can. The subtleties in what Gary's art conveys, along with the power, mystery, strength and drama, it's unmatched. Our styles mesh very well together. Every single project we've ever worked on together has turned out greater than I could've imagined. Gary Frank is a true master of his craft, graphic storytelling and character. He brings as much soul to the story as he does to the art and Batman: Earth One would not have worked without him. 

From Booklist

Johns, writer of DC’s flagship title, Justice League, and current creative spearhead of their entire universe, is no stranger to collecting vast mythologies into focused narratives. He and Frank did a superlative job of just that in the recent Superman: Secret Origins. Here, Johns strategically remixes elements of the Batman mythos, laying out his quest for vengeance against a corrupt system in a way that narrows the spotlight on the character’s obsession. The Penguin is recast as Gotham City’s crooked mayor, Alfred is reinvented as a tough-as-nails ex-Royal Marine, and Bruce Wayne is tied to the city in deeper, more gothically psychological ways. Like the first in DC’s line of beautifully bound, more realistic reimaginings, Superman: Earth One (2010), however, this one falls short of a revelatory reexamination of what makes its hero resonant, settling instead for a tweaked but comfortably familiar retelling. If anything, it is Frank’s gorgeously lush art that stands out here, putting genuine emotion on faces, conveying the impact of fist against body, and supplying a palpable texture for costumes and environments. --Jesse Karp

More About the Author

Geoff Johns originally hails from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University, where he earned a degree in Media Arts and Film. He began his comics career creating and writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. for DC Comics.

His first comic assignment led to a critically acclaimed run on the The Flash and JSA for DC Comics. Since then, he has quickly become one of the most popular and imaginative writers in comic books today, working on titles including a highly successful re-imagining of Green Lantern, The Flash: Rebirth, Superman: Secret Origin, Action Comics, Adventure Comics, Teen Titans, Justice Society of America, Infinite Crisis and the experimental breakout hit series 52 for DC with Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid. Geoff received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as the CBG Writer of the Year 2003 thru 2005 and 2007 and 2008 and CBG Best Comic Book Series for JSA 2001 thru 2005. Geoff penned the acclaimed "Legion" episode of SMALLVILLE. He also served as a writer for the fourth season of ROBOT CHICKEN. Geoff is currently working on film projects with Warner Brothers to be announced soon.

Geoff recently became a New York Times Bestselling author with the graphic novel Superman: Brainiac with art by Gary Frank among many others.

Customer Reviews

Still, I recommend this for all Batman fans to read.
J. Mahathath
Geoff reveals not only Bruce in new complexity, but Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock and even good old Alfred as well.
D. B. Levenstam
Vivid artwork by Gary Frank and written by Geoff Johns.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Dana Sciandra on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The origin story of Batman has been told countless times. In "Batman: Earth One," superstar writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank take a stab at telling an entirely new and unique take on the Dark Knight's beginning...and the result is stellar.

The Batman that we all know and love from the movies and comics is already a fully-fledged badass, taking on the worst that Gotham has to offer and always coming out on top...but was he always this way? Surely Batman must have had a few setbacks on his climb from hero to super-hero...right? This is the story that Johns and Frank set out to tell, reminiscent of Frank Miller's wildly popular and best-selling, "Batman: Year One."

Now, before any Bruce Wayne / Batman purists get all up-in-arms over the tinkering with the widely-known and cemented origin story of the Caped Crusader, know that Earth One is intended as an alternate story-line to the Batman mythos...similar to the best-selling, "Superman: Earth One," told by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis.

In fact, Johns has stated that he hopes to continue with this alternate story in future - self-contained - graphic novels, outside of the main story arcs presented by the monthly issues published by DC Comics.

What is immediately striking about Johns' and Frank's version of the Bat's origin story, is the sheer number of liberties taken with the established mythos and characters in that universe. Yes, Bruce Wayne's parents are still killed and his journey begins with a desire to hunt down the murderer(s)...
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Quattrocchi on August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an old fan of comic books who hasn't been keeping up with them for a long time, I know how hard it is to jump into an ongoing story when there is so much history and backstory to slog through. DC's Earth One fixes that. Akin to Marvel's Ultimate Universe (which I am admittedly not much of a fan of) Earth One reboots and retells the Batman story in a new way.

This story of Batman is familiar yet fresh, characters such as Alfred and others have been tweaked and changed and we get to see a rash, hard-headed, Batman who has yet to become the hero he one day will be. I felt this book drew obvious inspiration from the Christopher Nolan movies with certain design and story-telling choices, and James Gordon in this book is a dead ringer for Gary Oldman.

If I understand what DC is planning to do with these Earth One stories is keep them as self-contained graphic novels, instead of releasing them as single issues and then later collecting them as trades. And for me that's a plus.

I rated this book four out of five stars though because I felt for my taste it was just a hair on the short side. Since this a re-telling of Batman's origin it felt as though some more of the time between the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne and Bruce donning the bat-cowl could have been a bit more fleshed out.

Solid read and solid purchase, looking forward to vol. 2.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julian Pope on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm really loving the 'Earth One' graphic novel series DC is doing. After reading both the 1st and 2nd volumes of the Superman Earth One series, I decided to try the Earth One book for the world's greatest detective and my personal favorite superhero. It's a little hard for me to say this, but I think Superman Earth One is significantly better. If you weren't around to read Batman's origins in the late 30's you've probably read (or at least heard of) Batman Year One. Year One is a great read, both written and illustrated by Frank Miller and even decades after it's release is still the gold standard for the Dark Knights origins. The writing in Batman Earth One is done by the magnificent Geoff Johns and the true to form comic book art by a lesser known name in Gary Frank. While the actual writing is good, there are a few things that throw you off path a bit in the story. Everyone has their own idea of what the Batman origin story is, it feels a little weird to me seeing certain characters out of place after all this time including moving Alfred from a liability to an asset by making him a more physical character. One thing I definitely miss is the blank white eyes through the mask as well as the more modern bat symbol, if not the spandex underwear. Definitely worth a read, judge for yourself. I rented this book at my local library.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Batman is one of the most popular characters in the modern mythos, and his origin story is frequently retold. The gold standard for Batman's origin is, of course, Batman: Year One by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli. In their 2012 effort Batman: Earth One, writer Geoff Johns and penciller Gary Frank try a new spin on the story, but it's only partially successful.

The main angle Johns and Frank attempt to take is to depict Batman as more human. He can fail, you can see his eyes, he's only interested in solving his parents' murder and not ridding Gotham of crime in general. All of that is fine. But to set this story apart from established continuity, Johns changes pretty much everything at least a little, and sometimes a lot.

Bruce / Batman seems shallow. Not just "Bruce pretending to be a playboy" shallow, but just not developed. Other than effectively depicting him as a spoiled kid, he just doesn't seem fleshed out as a character. Perhaps it's that there's so little dialogue in the book, and that he's on screen as Bruce so little. There's an emphasis on action, and you'll frequently go several pages of big action shots with hardly a dozen words. I'm all for action, but when trying to tell an origin and establish how this take on the character is different, you need more words.

The changes in the supporting cast are hit and miss. I liked this take on Jim Gordon, and thought it did a good job of adding human depth to the character in a way different than in Year One. Giving a larger role in Gotham for Thomas and Martha Wayne is great. Barbara Gordon is fun.

Alfred, on the other hand, just didn't work for me.
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