Batman Earth One: Reinventing the Origin of the Bat

There are reviews that are made with more pleasure than others for a very simple reason: the work deserves it. In this case we are facing one that deserves a review with great detail and, most, if not all, are very positive. Today we bring you to our comics section in Libertad Digital the bat of Gotham, that is, Batman and we do it with the famous Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. This trilogy of stories that reinvented the origin of the Dark Knight has been converted into an integral by the ECC publishing house and is a true spectacle in script, drawing, color and editing.

Before visiting Gotham we analyze the technical section of this integral: it contains Batman: Earth One nos. 1-3 USA, script by Geoff Johns, drawing by Gary Frank, hardcover cardboard, 472 pages and a price of 45 euros.

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Now yes, we’re heading to Gotham

New formula for an origin that, well told, never tires

Bruce Wayne, a boy who sees his parents murdered right in front of him outside a movie theater. The killer breaking Martha Wayne’s pearl necklace. The towering figure of her father, billionaire Thomas, lying on the ground next to his mother. Bruce is marked and the figure of one or several bats, depending on the version, show him the way to go as a masked vigilante. Alfred, his butler. Wayne Manor. Enemies like the Joker, Two-Face, the Penguin, Enigma… The Batmobile. The Batcave. Robin. Batgirl. Commissioner Gordon. Catwoman. Gotham City.

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Everything mentioned above is part of the thousand times told and revised essence of the Batman universe, both in its origin and in its subsequent expansion over many decades. This story, this origin, are well known and have been told many times in comics and movies. For that reason, is it necessary to retell the origin of the Dark Knight again? Is it worth re-entering a story that has been told ad nauseam and that still in the present and in the near future is and will be told again? In my opinion, if done right, tell me the origin of Batman 32,000 more times. 33,000, if you want. Fill my bookshelf with the origin of Batman, because when a story is good, there is never enough. That said, the question with this comic is clear: is Batman Earth One a good story? Clear question and forceful answer: go to your trusted bookstore and get it.

I am blunt in my opinion about Tierra Uno because I consider that it is a work that meets all the requirements to be valued as an indispensable comic. First, because it has a very important duality in the world of cartoons and that is none other than its adaptability to the reader. Batman Earth One is worth entering the Dark Knight comics for the first time and also for those who do not remember his life without a Batman comic in hand. Other than that, their authors. Geoff Johns to the script and Gary Frank to the drawing, make up an outstanding work in both aspects. Geoff always guarantees entertainment and Gary joins the cause with a drawing that completes what I like to call a blockbuster comic.

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Precisely I want to continue with that blockbuster term because we are facing a very cinematographic script. It works with the same formulas that are used in cinema and it does so in the three stories that are told. In the first, a young Batman will face off against a terrifying birthday fan. In the second, more grown up, he will face Enigma. And in the third, already close to completion, a reformulated Two-Face will test Batman’s evolution as a hero. “Evolution”, a very important word in this comic since we are used to seeing an overwhelming Batman. Almost pristine. He is an expert in martial arts, a great detective, strong in his convictions, perfect in surprising his enemies and in general, with very few faults to his credit. Not here, because here, Bruce is a complete rookie.

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In this Earth One, Johns warns us as soon as it begins of what we are going to see when we find in the first vignettes Batman falling from a building and giving himself a sovereign slap against the ground while chasing his prey. Because he is a rookie! Here Bruce Wayne is green. He is half done. He is missing a boil. And that is why his weapons will fail him, he will end up on the ground many times and he will have to pull Alfred so as not to end up dying at the first change. Speaking of Alfred, we are going to talk about the characters that, being in the shadow of Batman, here, in this comic, take on a much larger role than usual.

Secondaries reinvented with depth

In those reinvented secondary that I mention in this heading, the level of this comic also grows and the best example is Alfred Pennyworth. In the case of Alfred, we will not see the butler that everyone knows, but rather an ex-military man who works side by side with Batman and who also has an obvious dark side. He is so different from the previously known that he will even goad Bruce on more than one occasion to use firearms and also to kill if necessary to send a message to his enemies. He is an Alfred with many more layers of depth than usual and for that alone, for that elaborate and well-thought-out work of character construction, this new origin is already worth it.

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They will also have that rebuilding secondary like agents James Gordon and Bullock. Their relationship, initially one of hate and then companionship, will be affected by the rawness and savagery of Gotham. In fact, one of the most shocking moments in the comic has Bullock as the protagonist as he goes from being a jovial, Hollywood cop to falling into alcoholism due to the horrors he witnesses during the first arc of this trilogy. Together with them we will find more subplots such as the history of the madness of the Arkham family, a surname that Bruce wears behind Wayne because of his mother Martha, and that will show us another approach to the Asylum that everyone knows. Along the way, the Dent brothers, Jessica and Harvey, will appear, and they will be another innovative element to radically change the character of Dos Caras in a very original way with a script twist that will surprise more than one. Catwoman will not miss her appointment. Neither is a fun and interesting Killer Croc or Mayor Copperpot. We will know the origin of the batcave and the batmobile and also the role of Lucius Fox in the R&D of Batman. Anything else? I know, you want to know if the Joker comes out. I get it. Well… I’m sorry, but you’ll have to get hold of this integral to find out.

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To finish, I focus on the drawing. Gary Frank is very successful in his way of reflecting what Geoff wants to show in his script. Both in the action scenes and in the close-ups of the protagonists, Frank shows all his artistic ability through a dark and voracious Gotham that changes the faces of the characters, filling them with rage, fear and anger. Gary nails the characters, settings, and spectacularity that the fights need and the symbology of elements such as the Batcave, the Batmobile, Wayne Manor, or Arkham Asylum. It is yet another reason to repeat the term blockbuster comic.

Conclusion: it serves both as an entrance to the character and to reformulate it and that in itself is a nod towards all kinds of readers. The script is entertaining and the drawing is spectacular, apart from the great depth of its secondary characters, the fact that it is not afraid to show a rookie Batman who fails at the beginning and the inclusion of several plot twists that raise the level of the narrative. . That said, an essential if you like Batman or if you want to visit Gotham for the first time. Enjoy the reading.

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Batman Earth One: Reinventing the Origin of the Bat


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