Batman: Year One by Frank Miller
I have a lot to say about this graphic novel. So much in fact that it depresses me to not be able to say it all. If I were to tell you all the things I love about this book, it would absolutely ruin the story, and make it completely pointless for you to read. Every word is poetry, every panel magnificent. It's dark, it's gritty, and most of all it's Batman. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Batman? Okay, I'll admit, I'm quite biased. He happens to be one of my favorite comic book characters, and I don't think that is going to change any time soon. Regardless of our history together, this book is great, and I will do my best to tell you more without spoiling the plot.
We begin with Bruce Wayne. Yes, that's right, Bruce Wayne and not Batman. If you hadn't guessed already, this is a bit of an origin story. The great thing is, it does not presume the audience is completely uninformed. Batman is an orphan and so on. We're not reaching that far back into history. Couple of flashback panels is all your going to get, and it's really all you need. This story encompasses his first few adventures as the Caped Crusader, and his ties to the characters that are most important. For example, Commissioner Gordon, only he's not the police commissioner yet. I think you're starting to get the picture, so i will press on...
Another really cool aspect is Frank Miller's re-imagining of Catwoman. I won't spoil this for anyone, but yes, she is in there too. We get to see her humble beginnings just like everyone else. There is honestly a lot going on in this comic, and it never feels overwhelming in the least. The artwork is easy to follow, and it perfectly depicts the feel of the story. Internal dialogue is separated nicely, and you are never left wondering who is thinking what. My only real complaint is that the story wasn't longer, because I was truly getting pretty pumped up reading this one.
In case you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone who is literate. You don't have to like comics, you don't have to like Batman, you just have to be ready for a good story. It's never cheesy or dull. It's not poorly written or unoriginal. It's awesome on every page from first to last, and I mean that with complete sincerity.