Batman: Year One review

Okay, so I typically don’t review things on this blog. There’s a certain logic of, well, what gives me the right? My stuff isn’t perfect, so it seems the height of hubris to judge others.

That said, I’ve recently watched a new direct-to-home film that I decided I should comment on. It’s one you’re all likely familiar with: Batman – Year One.

Batman Year OneThis is the latest of the DC animated movies, and so far I’ve enjoyed them all. Sometimes I have to squint my eyes and pretend they’re a part of the old DCAU (a la Crisis on Two Earths), but otherwise they’re great fun. And I enjoy that there’s no finite continuity to them, they are each their own entity unless otherwise specified.

Which brings us to this. Thing. Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery, Batman Year One adapts the seminal Frank Miller storyarc from Batman #404-407 almost verbatim.

The film, much like the comic, is less the story of Batman as it is the story of James Gordon. This isn’t a bad thing, just a bit of a mislead. I think kids watching would be disappointed in that… But then, kids shouldn’t be watching this. It’s bloody and violent and realistic, and in some ways is an even grittier representation of Gotham than the live action movie.

Batman #407The story follows James Gordon through his first year in Gotham, which is also Batman’s first year in Gotham. He’s been assigned there after being drummed out of his old precinct for outing a dirty cop, and now he’s been exiled to Gotham: city without hope. What’s worse, his wife is pregnant with their first son.

You see Gordon’s struggle with his lot in life, even having an affair and finally rising to take on the corrupt cops of Gotham City. There are no super villains here, just an awesome story.

The only thing I didn’t like was the art. It was done in that slow-moving, we’re anime but wading through water style that Spawn the Animated series was known for. Still, it doesn’t detract too much.

Great film, great story, and a must for any writer looking to bring some realism to science-fiction… Which is what we’re all about here.

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