book review – BATMAN: EARTH ONE

I pretty much gave up on DC Comics last year when the launched their “New 52” imitative. In fact, I swore that I would not buy any more new DC comics, and with two exceptions, I’ve kept to that oath. But I had decided that I wanted the Batman: Earth One original graphic novel by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank when it was first announced, long before the whole New 52 soured me on all things DC. So, I bought Batman: Earth One, and quickly realized it was a waste of my money. “How quickly?” you ask. It took me all of about thirty minutes—the time it took me to read the entire book—to realize I hadn’t gotten much bang for my buck. This is merely another retelling of the origin of Batman, which has been told in various mediums about a thousand times. And it’s been told better. Sure, Frank’s art is amazing—he’s an amazing artist. But Johns’s story is hackneyed at best. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know it’s kind of difficult to inject some originality in a story that is more than seventy years old, but there’s something to be said for giving it that extra effort, which Johns doesn’t seem to be interested in doing. Batman: Year One, by Frank Miller and David Mazzuccelli, is a far superior execution of the Batman origin. And the fact that all four issues of the original Batman: Year One mini-series cost me all of $3.00 when they came out, and that the original trade paperback collection was only $9.95, makes the Batman: Earth One price tag of $22.99 all the more insulting. Even with the ridiculous discount I got on Earth One, it still wasn’t worth the price.

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