Batman: Year One

batman year one cover trade paperback deluxe edition
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 9/10

A great origin for the Dark Knight


Comic Info

Comic Name: Batman (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Frank Miller

Artist: David Mazzucchelli

# of Issues: 4

Release Date:  2007

batman #404 cover year one david mazzucchelli frank miller

Batman (1) #404

Reprints Batman (1) #404-407 (February 1987-March 1987).  Bruce Wayne has returned to Gotham City, and now a Dark Knight is prowling the streets.  Every story has a beginning and this is it.  As Bruce tries to find his feet as a provider as vigilante justice, a prostitute named Selina Kyle is setting out on a new path as a thief and a new officer names James Gordon comes to Gotham City with goals to clean it up.

Written by Frank Miller, Batman:  Year One was a four issue storyline running within the DC Comic book series.  The story featured art by David Mazzucchelli and has been collected multiple times by DC Comics.  The story served as the basis for the 2011 DC Animated Feature Batman:  Year One.

Following Miller’s groundbreaking future story Batman:  The Dark Night Returns, Miller steps back and looks at Batman from the start.  The story is the definitive telling of Batman’s beginning and aspects of the story were borrowed for the big screen adaptation Batman Begins.  The storyline was critically acclaimed and is sometimes considered the greatest Batman story.

batman #405 cover year one frank miller david mazzucchelli art

Batman (1) #405

The story has a edgy 1980s comic feel.  It is dark and gritty and also features the first appearances of Carmine “The Roman” Falcone, Holly Robinson, and the future Mrs. Gordon Barbara Essen.  Bruce Wayne’s inexperience is a great subject for stories and is fun.  The character always seems so perfect (despite being human he can do anything) and here you see him failing.  Selina Kyle and James Gordon’s stories are also interesting, and it is nice to see how the three characters evolve together.

Year One also started a trend in comic books.  Multiple comics have now started using Year One format to go back and retell origin tales of favorite heroes.  Black Lightning, Batgirl, and Robin are among the few series to have Year One stories.  Even Marvel has jumped on the Year One trend…proving that the story device works.

This is a is a great addition to any comic fan.  If you aren’t a DC comic follower, the comic is very accessible and a good jump on point.  The series stands alone as one of the better comics of all time and a great example of ’80s comics.  Fans of the Bat shouldn’t miss it and either should comic fans in general.  It was followed by Batman:  Year Two and Year Three…not written by Miller or illustrated by Mazzucchelli, they just don’t live up to the original.

Related Links:

Batman:  Year One (2011)

Robin:  Year One

Batman:  The Dark Knight Returns

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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