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Batman: Earth One Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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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).
Omnivoracious.com: 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.
Top Customer Reviews
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)...Read more ›
Story is darker, batman is not as experienced, and it feels much more realistic.
Also, Vol. 2 finally came out, and it's just as good. All in all a 10/10 read. With incredible artwork.
As I've stated recently in my reviews for New 52 Green Lantern, I'm just starting to read stuff written by Geoff Johns. Until GL volume 1, I wasn't familiar with his work at all. Three of the last four things I've read have all been written by him. I'm really fond of what I'm seeing so far. I liked seeing a different version of Batman for a little while. I don't think I'd enjoy the story as much if it was told in our universe, but for an Elseworlds story it works great. Story gets 4 stars.
Overall rating would be 4.5 stars.
This isn't something I'd recommend to a lot of people. If you're only a casual comic reader and are wanting a title to pick up because you're interested in reading some of Batman's adventures, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you're a Batman fan and want to see Bruce and the rest of his supporting cast in a different light , by all means, pick this up. You will not be disappointed
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic graphic novel !!! If your on the fence about this book I would recommend you pick it up. You wont be disappointed.Published 9 days ago by Pkelley
Short and sweet. Enjoyed a different take to a classic . Art work was fantastic. Can't wait to read the next one .Published 23 days ago by PhoBoy
I hate this storyline and it pains me to say this. Geoff Johns great, batman amazing, Geoff Johns + batman = one big steaming pile of crap. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Bruce Wayne makes mistakes. The idea of going around beating up bad guys in expensive equipment during your spare time seems just as ridiculous in this telling of the story as it... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
“Failure to Prepare is Preparing to Fail”
the character Geoff Johns has written in this book is not Batman. Read more
Came in the mail very quickly. The book was in great shape, pages are nice and crisp. The sorry was awesome!Published 3 months ago by Waylon
It didnt jump out at me like, this comic is awesome, it had a couple dull parts and was just missing that spark.Published 3 months ago by Brad Meder