Batman: Earth One
July 11th, 2018 by Proprietor
I have to sing the praises of the local library first. I rediscovered the library system when I moved into my house. I was paying taxes to support it, so I might as well use it. In going to the local library, I rediscovered the childhood joy of sorts. In this case, Nostalgia was a rewarding experience. I immediately began checking out books and CDs. Yes CDs. That media that replaced records for music. I read the books, and copied the CDs to my iTunes. My book reading span science fiction, fantasy, biographies, political science, anything I was interested in, I checked out and read. The Milwaukee County Library system is extensive. Any book at any location within the library system could be sent to my primary library or I could go to the library and check out the book.
One of the things I never really perused at my library was the graphic novel and trade paperback section. Most of the stuff I saw, I was not very interested in, and if I found something interesting on the computer card catalog, it was checked out or I actually owned it. So, I never really gave that section a second glance. Then one day, I gave it a glance. On the shelf containing Batman related trades and novels, I saw a Batman story I had been debating buying, Batman: Earth One. Batman is not my favorite hero, but he is second, a close second. To confess, I own more Batman related trades than Superman. I had heard great things about Earth One and Geoff Johns writing and Gary Franks drawing, it was a guaranteed good story. Just the format was expensive.
Both Volume One and Two were on the shelf, so I picked them both up, checked them out with two CDs in a music series I have been collecting, and came home. I immediately began reading Volume One. It was great.
Batman: Earth One leans more toward how Gotham, the television series developed Batman. Bruce Wayne lost his parents, Alfred became his guardian, except, the divergence is Thomas Wayne was running to become Mayor. Oswald Cobblepot was the corrupt mayor of Gotham, and intent on eliminating his rival. Except Oswald had nothing to do with the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Batman finds this out near the end of the novel.
Bruce does not go off to train with Ras Al Ghul, but is trained by Alfred, whom served in the special forces, and became the butler only after he became Bruce’s guardian. Earth One shows Batman in his infancy of sorts. His gadgets fail, and he seems to poor of a fighter to actually win. Batman does no surveillance and blunders about to a point where he is almost killed.
James Gordon was not a good guy. It is hinted he started out as an idealistic police officer intent on changing things, but failed, and caved. James Bulloch is a brash young idealist who is seeking fame from his career, and moved to Gotham from LA to start fresh.
Batman: Earth One takes place in the modern era, and updates a lot of Batman’s mythos to conform. What is obvious is Johns’ love for the character. Geoff Johns is probably one of the finest writers in comics currently. Johns has a gift to revise, and update tired old characters or turn characters whom were considered jokes, into the serious characters they should have been, Aquaman, is an example. Johns even did one of my favorite Superman stories, Superman & the Legion of Superheroes.
Both Volumes of Batman: Earth One have moved to my must buy list. The reason being, I tend to reread really good stories. Since I am on a time limit with the check out on the books, once I finish them, I can turn them back in. Because the library might not have the books when I decide to reread them, purchasing them is worthwhile. Since I can then reread them on a whim or at my leisure.
Batman: Earth One reminds me more of Batman: Hush, which I reread on occasion, both volumes back to back. There are plans for a Batman: Earth One Vol. 3, and so I will pick this up as well.
The Earth One concept introduced by DC a few years ago was intent on telling more dynamic stories in a different format. A shift in publishing concept. It is far easier to invest time and money into producing books, and the profit margin, as well as sales potential is much higher in books, than comic books.
Reading Batman: Earth One has shifted my opinion a bit, and I may also move into reading other Earth One books. First I would like to find them at my library. Since it is an investment, but comic book reading has always been an investment of time and money.
Thanks for stopping by.