Review: Batman Earth One
It’s another wednesday which means more new books comic fans! One book in particular has come out this week, and as your resident Batmanologist I felt obliged to review this release for you. Batman Earth One is the second book to be released under the Earth One title, the first being Superman Earth One. The Earth One series can be likened to Marvel’s Ultimate Universe. These books are contained stories in a contained universe without the burden of continuity. What you’re getting from these is the early stories of Superman and Batman, though slightly altered. For example, these characters are shown to be younger than when we’re first introduced to them, and much more inexperienced. But enough about the concept behind Earth One, let’s dig into Batman Earth One.
As I stated before, this follows Batman at the beginning of his career. You’d expect this to be your standard fair of Thomas and Martha Wayne being shot in an alley, young Bruce witnessing this, and then dedicating his life to ridding Gotham, and the world, of crime. And while the basic framework of Batman’s backstory can be found in this book, some things have been altered slightly. I won’t get into too much detail because I believe that seeing the new interpretations by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank allow for a unique reading experience that other Batman titles can’t give a reader. But trust me, most of the changes are great ones, with the odd one out every now and then. In fact, most of the changes aren’t so much changes as they are different ways of interpreting existing continuity. For example, Wayne Enterprises specializes specifically in medical technology, rather than all fields of science or engineering. Or as another example, the defining moment when Bruce sees a bat crash through his study window, or stumbles into a giant cave of bats is altered so that a group of bats swarm out of his parents’ mausoleum when he visits them. There are more drastic changes that I don’t want to give away because they really do affect your reaction to the book. I will say though the greatest change is Alfred. His character gets quite a redesign and the result is pretty badass.
Overall, it is a solid Batman book with changes that make sense and actually make for an entertaining reading experience. This is the beauty of the Earth One line, everyone knows the origin stories of these characters, especially comic book readers, so the fun and exciting part of Earth One is seeing how the writer can make the origin interesting and dynamic once again. Batman Earth One does this, and in what I think is a great way. Hopefully Geoff Johns is already working on a sequel because I can’t wait to see where this goes! You can find this book in my Staff Pick or in the New Graphic Novels section, here at The 4th Wall!