Batman: Year One

Author: Frank Miller
Year: 1986
Genre: Mystery

This is my favorite Batman story. Unlike the frenetic, postmodern future-Batman of The Dark Knight Returns, Year One is the story of a young Bruce Wayne as he learns to be Batman. More Death Wish than Watchmen, it's simple, solid, and as spooky as a good Batman story should be.

Batman is a perfect Frank Miller hero: like Daredevil, Marv, and Martha Washington, he is a victim turned vigilante, seeking both personal redemption and social change through violence. Gotham, like Sin City or the Kingpin's New York, is corrupt from top to bottom; but, Miller tells us, one man can try to change all that with little more than his fists, his friends, and his righteous anger. Of course, the struggle is never-ending, and our hero is doomed to failure, but he will win some battles along the way and leave his city somewhat less disgustingly rotten in the end.

I read the new edition, which includes some really cool David Mazzuchelli sketchbooks as a bonus feature.

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