Published: February-May, 1987
Written by: Frank Miller
Art by: David Mazzucchelli
DC Comics, 136 Pages
Year One was a Batman tale written by Frank Miller, back in the late 80s when he was doing a lot of cool Batman tales. It originally appeared in Batman issues 404, 405, 406 and 407.
Before the modern era of DC Comics, Year One was considered canon but has since been retconned, as comic book companies feel the need to reboot things all the damn time. It’s still canon to me, as are all the tales I grew up with.
Like many of the comics created by Frank Miller, this one truly is noir, at its heart. And also like Frank Miller’s Batman stories, this is considered to be one of the best.
It actually isn’t one of my favorites, even though I like it a great deal. It’s very short, when compared to longer Batman sagas and even though it spans a year, it’s missing some meat and potatoes.
It starts with both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon arriving in Gotham City. It shows their stories parallel to one another, as Gordon moves up the ranks within the crooked Gotham City Police Department and as Bruce Wayne first dons the cape and cowl of Batman. It leads up to the two coming together and establishing a working relationship, just in time for the appearance of the Joker in Gotham City. The Joker doesn’t actually appear, however. In fact, the only real Batman villain in this is Catwoman with a few mentions of Harvey Dent, before he becomes Two-Face.
If you are a fan of Frank Miller, this will definitely be your cup of tea. Also, the art by David Mazzucchelli is some of the most iconic in Batman history. It’s gritty and it matches the noir vibe of the story.
Batman: Year One is a must own for any true Batman fan.
Pairs well with: Other major Batman stories of the era: The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, Death In the Family.