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Batman: Earth One, Volume 1

Da Geoff Johns Gary Frank, Jon Sibal, Brad Anderson, Rob Leigh,
Recensioni: 27 | Valutazione complessiva: Media
A #1 New York Times bestsellerBatman is not a hero. He is just a man: fallible, vulnerable, and angry.In a Gotham City where friend and foe are indistinguishable, Bruce Wayne's path toward becoming the Dark Knight is riddled with more obstacles than ever before. Focused on punishing his parents true killers, and the corrupt police that allowed them to go free, Bruce


Hinckley Aharoni

It's not your Daddy's Batman …


We all know Batman’s origin story – Joe Chill, the string of clutched pearls falling to the sidewalk, a young boy witnessing his parents murders … We all know this is the beginning of the Batman. Geoff John’s Batman: Earth One remixes, remakes and remolds the Bat’s mythos, and, for the most part, he is largely successful.

Genealogies are changed. Backstories are thrown out. Alfred is embittered, Gordon is almost unrecognizable, Bullock is a heartthrob. And let’s not even attempt to describe Cobblepot.
These changes are unsettling at first, but they shake things up enough to throw the reader for a loop. Martha Wayne’s life is of particular interest and has a lasting impact on not only Bruce, but on Gotham City as well.


Geoff John’s Bruce is soft, weak, and unprepared. We rarely see Bruce as a failure, but he fails spectacularly here. Here he is foolhardy, stubborn, and impulsive. He lands in trash bins rather than on rooftops. Bruce is bound and determined, but he’s hardly the smartest Batman we’ve seen.

What is refreshing about this volume of Earth One, is not seeing the costumed crazies that populate the pages of other takes on this story. There is no mention of Joker or the Catwoman. Madhatter, Killer Croc and Two Face are not even blimps on the radar. What we get is a straight forward Batman versus a serial killer story – and it is creepy. But the biggest villain Batman faces is Gotham City herself.


Is this a perfect story? No. But, there is greatness here. Earth One is an edgier, grittier, more contemporary take on Batman’s origin. John’s Batman is the angriest Batman I have read to date.

The real star here is artist Gary Frank. He draws and amazing Batman. His Gotham is spectacularly drawn; he brings every detail of this tragic city to life. The details in his drawings are rich. Frank may be my favorite of the contemporary artists now drawing the Bat. Frank brings this Gotham City to life like only he can.


Not everyone will approve of this take on Batman. But as an alternate universe Batman story, it’s very good.

Eleph Meucci

Holy great book, Batman!

This is the first volume in a DC Comics Elseworlds series, setting Batman in a different “Earth” than the used for its main storyline. Instead of being a monthly comic book title, it’s published as a graphic novel per volumes with non-determined publishing schedule.

Team creativo:

Scrittore: Geoff Johns

Illustrator: Gary Frank


I think that the best thing about Batman character, his origin, his interesting cast of supporting characters, and the rest of his dark world, is that it can be not only being updated and/or addapted for each generation, but also it can always being added delicious details, here and there, keeping the pretty same basic tale presented at the end of the 1930’s, but each time more powerful, more intriguing, more twisted.

I loved this new take of Batman's origin, doing bold and brave changes, adding new characters, adding new angles for known characters, developing new graphic designs to the characters and elements, but at the bottom, it’s still Batman as it was too when the comic book title began in 1939.

The graphic novel acomplishes to show a very human Batman, where he is on his very first days as the Caped Crusader, making mistakes, needing help to perfectionate his gadgets and…

…even focused only into avenging his parents' murders and not looking to fight a war on crime in general.


You think that you knew all the needed stuff about the Wayne Family, but once you read more and more about the twisting background of the Waynes, in special Martha Wayne and her own family side, you know when you’re into a treat for this book.

An interesting detail in this version is that Wayne Enterprise is focused on medical technology, that I think is quite logical since Thomas Wayne studied Medicine, but in the past versions, you only know that Wayne Enterprises was a profitable company but always it was blurred about the specified fields of industrial development.

And even it’s logically explained how an Alfred Pennyworth, so skillful in military training, could be ended as a butler in a rich family manor.


One of the most powerful elements in Batman books has been the quite well established gallery of support characters, not only the villains but also the regular people living at Gotham City.

And in this impressive graphic novel is no exception but even exceptional…

…in the way to exploit in logical needed roles for known villains, but also the twisting but logical addition of new characters that you have to think “How the heck this wasn’t thought before?! It’s so logical and perfect!”.

Definitely a masterpiece.

Yukio Saites

Nowadays portraying Batman as anything less than a total badass is not de rigueur; therefore, Geoff John’s back-to-the-drawing-board Batman as candy-assed greenhorn crime fighter shows a bit of game.

Bruce Wayne’s new at the pummeling-ne’er-do-wells-into-unconsciousness thing, so he’s bat-grappling by the seat of his pants; therefore, coming-to behind the Gotham City Waffle House takes some adjusting too.

Note to Batman: At least you’re still wearing pants.

He’s single-minded in his attempt to take revenge on those responsible for his parents’ death…

..and even has to prove himself to a less quippy, more bad-ass Alfred.

Batman’s got a long way to go before the bat-spark plugs are firing on the metaphorical bat-mobile…

Alright. Okay. He’s still Batman.

And he's headed in the right direction.

Linea di fondo: Unlike some of my friends (read: Anne), I’ve never been much of a fan of Geoff Johns – he’s put out decent stuff but never anything to really wow me. Super hero origin stories are always ripe for a re-boot and it’s curious to see how much the creator is willing to rework the original tale and how inventive they can be with the character elements that have been around for decades.

John’s does a decent job, but just how many times can these iconic characters’ origin stories get a shiny paint job?

An$wer: the $ky’$ the limit.

spero che Geoff Johns was this good all the time.
Bronk Louisius

Starting with the positives the art work is great, the plot is strong, and villains are truly despicable. You see the more cold blooded side of the Penguin. I am all for modernising characters, to make them more realistic and relatable, but I don't feel they got Batman right at the core. I understand that he is young, inexperienced, emotional (angry) and sloppy. This take on Batman is Bruce dressing up in a bat costume and deciding to take on the Gotham underworld. When the thing about Batman is that "Batman" is the true personality and Bruce is the disguise.

This batman is not the consummate planner, he does not care about tactics, he see an opportunity and jumps in head first and more often than not falls face first. I also did not like the fact they there is not kind of emotional bonding between Bruce and Alfred. This Alfred is colder, then the dapper Mr Pennyworth we are used to, more at home in comfortable jeans or function clothes then the black suited butler. All we are told about Bruce's training is Alfred is a former Royal Marine and he trained him, and aged the one legged Alfred whips the 21 year old Bruce in a fist fight because he fights too emotionally. The person who shows the most development is Detective Gordan from a scared broken down cop to gruff tough cop we all know. All in this entire book felt more like a filler then strong stand alone story. As much as I hate to admit it Superman: Earth One (Superman Limited Gns (DC Comics R)) was a lot better.
Frasco Paparo

3.5 stelle!

Soooooooooooo Earth one, by Geoff.

Not bad, not bad indeed. You get to see young little Bruce be a little shit then his parents get killed because he was being a little shit. Slight exaggeration, but it gives better prospective to his guilt.

I wasn't hot on the artwork for the characterisations, apart from maybe cobblepot. I liked that it was more adult themed and I enjoyed the fact that they themed and framed it about the death of his parents, almost like a year one.

The way bullock was portrayed was excellent, I even felt sorry for him.

One question though, does Geoff not get bored of writing for DC only?
Trin Otukolo

Batman is just a man, his legend unbuilt. Bruce Wayne, young and arrogant, makes mistakes, takes bullets, and falls from buildings to discover the truth. And with the help of Alfred, ex-mercenary, he finds it.
Halland Dipilato

Back in the day Earth 2 was where the Justice Society of America lived separately from the Justice League of America on Earth 2 but then that all changed after FINAL CRISIS and a number of other graphic novels too long to list here.

Tale focuses upon a very new Batman who is trying to find out if his parents were murdered by a Mayor Cobblepot (yeah, The Penguin but he's thinner in the artwork). He's still learning to use gadgets he designed himself and the tale opens with him making a big mistake as a superhero.
Alfred is ex-military and trains Bruce with some reluctance. He isn't much of a stodgy butler.

The best part about this tale is that it flips a lot of typical Batman elements around yet keeps things we know well enough to stabilize the tale and not force a huge information dump upon the reader.

Vivid artwork by Gary Frank and written by Geoff Johns.

Armbruster Podolski

Not really my favorite Batman cycle. Just OK. But them, I read it in French so perhaps the original English would bump it up a star or two.
Lia Giesel

Puoi trovare la mia recensione sul mio blog facendo clic qui.

Let’s get something out of the way. Sometimes, you just got to dive into a book without having expectations. Expectations are destructive and prone to send you reeling down deception and disappointment. It is true that one out a thousand times, expectations has you jittering, at the edge of your seat and ready to jump out of the comfort of your bed and sky-rocket through the concrete ceiling. This isn’t due to the fact that the author conveyed a story that met your expectations. It’s because they managed to surpass what you wished would happen and have you explode in happiness to the big surprise the book has gave you. Do you see what I see? The secret to a splendid read? It’s in having none to little expectations. Now friends from far lands on the world, be very wary about your level of expectations. It’s for your own good.

It might come as a surprise, but we’re about to enter uncharted territories. A revamp of Batman’s debut story that however doesn’t score very high in my books is what we have with Batman Earth One (Volume 1). What we have in this story is a Bruce Wayne blinded by a unquenchable thirst for revenge. Revenge for the tragic story around his parents. Looked over by the great Alfred Pennyworth, Batman hunts for the individual responsible to tragedy while lending a helping hand in the apprehension of a villain that coincidentally stirs Bruce’s past. This series was written by the great Geoff Johns and the help of artist Gary Frank back in 2012. Only the beginning to plenty of volumes to come, Earth One knows as much praise as hate as it ventures in ideas that have created and set the foundation to the one and only man in the dark cowl and cape.

Here’s the thing. I opened this book with a lot excitement. My body was drenched with joy and I couldn’t wait to find out what Geoff Johns had in store for me. Taking on the origins of Batman and making it modern seemed like an absolutely brilliant idea. After all, comics have went a long way and so many things could be added and changed after the extraordinary storytelling avenues that other authors have managed to explore and exploit through the comic medium. However, what happened with Batman Earth One (Volume 1) was something along the lines of a slippery slope down rock-bottom. It had me questioning the very minds of the writers, then wondering if readers who enjoyed this volume had defective taste buds, only to then realize that I jumped into this book with the wrong mindset.

Geoff Johns remains an amazing writer and could definitely add this series to his list of great works. The plot hovers around Bruce Wayne’s thirst for vengeance and his first missions as Batman. He’s on a tough learning curve as he lets his emotions steer his actions and has yet to understand how to deal with the scumbags in the streets of Gotham without putting himself and others in harm’s way. As he slowly tries to uncover the secrets behind the tragedy around his parents, the story also explores the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth. In fact, Alfred has been truly reimagined in this story as he portrays a character a lot more bad-ass than one would imagine of the tall, skinny and wise man we all love and enjoy seeing Batman getting lectured by. Although Alfred is embodied in a more physically strong and war-molded body, he keeps his wisdom and straight-forwardness. Batman Earth One (Volume 1) also investigates Bruce Wayne’s mother’s story a lot more than any other writer has ever done. This is truly appreciable since the mothers story has been more often than not scarcely mentioned. Fans know a lot more about the father, his surgeon history and his impact on Bruce Wayne.

Several other characters are also developed and, some, had their personas changed drastically. Harvey Bullock knows his introduction in this volume and, boy, must I say that he was one character that shouldn’t have known this much change. In this volume, Bullock is poster face boy, starred in a TV show and has the personality of a rookie cop who’s never seen the real deal before. He plays the role of the innocent, yet dumb, character who learns the harsh realities of Gotham the hard way. On the other hand, you have James Gordon telling Bullock all his faults and lack of restraint in trying to rid Gotham of evil. Gordon plays the cop who’s been under the pressure of criminals thumbs and doesn’t dare to lift a finger on them. Until his values are challenged, push comes to shove and desperate times has him going for desperate measures. These two characters have interesting character development and Geoff Johns does a great job in exploring their chemistry. Yet, I felt that the original characters conveyed better messages than these revamped versions of them. Harvey Bullock was never admirable and enjoyable to hear or see. His attitude prompted more disgust than anything else from my part. What Gordon brought to Gotham city was far more remarkable in his initial origin story than in Batman Earth One. In fact, this brings me to realize that the foundation to Batman’s legacy was far more interesting and genuine than Earth One was able to look into. Although, I’ll still give credit to Geoff Johns and friends for their interesting approach to the Dark Knight. One thing I found unforgivable and despicable is Penguin’s progression in the story. His role in the story (in Gotham city) was quite interesting. However, the ending of the volume left me disgusted. You just can’t do something like that with a character that has so much background and potential in the Bat-verse.

Absolutely beautiful and engaging. That fully characterizes the artwork in this volume. Gary Frank’s talents can be easily observed throughout the story. Gotham city has never looked like the deepest rock-bottom. Dark, shallow, depressing and hopeless. The artwork adds more thick and heavy layers to the greed, corruption and crime that roams the streets of Batman’s neighborhood. In fact, Bruce Wayne’s blinded fury and need to complete his vendetta are impressively accentuated by the artwork. The colors and the finesse in the penciling manages to put emphasis on the rage that consumes our beloved hero. The artwork also manages to portray every character uniquely and somehow easily represents the characters through their body language. I have to say that Harvey Bullock and Penguin were probably the two characters that conveyed mixed feelings in me. Bullock had a more cliche representation and irritated me in the type of character he was to be in this revamp story. While Penguin’s looks weren’t really satisfying. It felt like he was half of what he looked like in most storylines and half human. Yes, penguin never really looked human to me. That made him pretty scary and fascinating. Although the artwork still captures a good essence of the character through facial expression. Finally, some people have problems with Batman’s cowl and armor. I actually found it original and thought it added a little more realism to the superhero. In fact, another element noticed by a lot of readers is Batman’s eyes. As banal as that is, the change is quickly observable. I didn’t find too much problem in it, but I do believe it takes away some elements of fear in the character. Guess sometimes the answer isn’t always in the eyes. Have to show some kind of humanity in the man dressed in black.

Batman Earth One (Volume 1) is a robust attempt in transforming Batman’s origin story. Although Frank Miller’s origin story of Batman in Batman Year One was a magnificent story, Geoff Johns revamp story has its own set of innovations. It’s not easy to challenge a fairly well-anchored origin story in society and bring new perspectives to a superhero loved worldwide. One thing’s for sure, this volume is sure to entertain any newcomers to Batman’s universe and might however be controversial to some heights for other readers. What really marked me is that it didn’t have enough originality for what it was trying to bring to the table. Cliches were implemented here and there and that was sort of a turn-off (from the badass-ness of Alfred to Bullock’s personality).Poignant, startling, dark and beautiful, Batman Earth One (Volume 1) still deserves to be read. It definitely has my attention. I do plan on checking out the following volume and see where Earth One leads Batman. Earth One however doesn’t limit itself to Batman. The idea behind it is to revamp major DC Universe characters and reboot their origins stories; giving readers a new take on our favorite superheroes. If you haven’t already checked it, you should definitely read Superman Earth One as it’s first volume does a brilliant reimagination of the Man of Steel and his origin. Geoff Johns sure does know what he’s doing. At least for some comics.


Lashaan | Blogger e revisore dei libri
Blog ufficiale: https://bookidote.com/
Medea Bearup

This had strong writing and great art. I have no major complaints. My Batman critical meter is high and I felt that while it did revisit the genesis of Batman with some unique tweaks, it really concentrates what makes Bruce Wayne/Batman who he is. You see Bruce as a raw vigilante, making plenty of mistakes, with a worried Alfred looking on and discouraging his kamikaze approach. I liked how prominent Alfred's role is in the story. It almost seems to go closer in the direction of "Gotham", but still with Bruce as the focus. Alfred truly is an incredible man. The older I get and the more I explore Batmanverse, the more I appreciate him. The sidestory of Gordon and Bulloch's meeting and becoming partners was more interesting that I thought. A different view on both characters. And the whole concept of the Penguin as Mayor with a serial killer on his payroll was utterly chilling. When I watch the tv show "Gotham", I have this visceral feeling of Gotham City as a pit of twisted. slimy misery. That is the vibe I get from Gotham City in this novel. You often wonder how Gotham City could be Gotham City without Bruce Wayne/Batman and you certainly know that GC has made Bruce into the man he is.

I can't ever get enough of good Batman stories in my life. This is one I'd recommend.
Frisse Ludwig

A "real" world take on Batman. I love how Alfred has been changed to be a bad-ass. Gary Frank's art is phenomenal. I'm been a big fan of his since his early Marvel UK days. This series should be the basis of the next Batman trilogy.
Eisele Llyod

Batman: Earth One is essentially a reworking of Batman’s origin with enough tweaks to recognize it, but with enough differences to make it quite different than the origin we’ve all read hundreds of times. It seems to combine elements from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, adding more material to make the story unique. At the start of his crime fighting career, this Batman is far less experienced; he’s quite human and gets hurt, alot. This makes the character much more interesting, and makes the stories much more tense. Geoff Johns’ Batman is fallible and that makes this volume very compelling.

Placing Earth One out of continuity allows the authors to do pretty much whatever they want with the characters and settings. Obviously, Johns can’t kill Batman, but other characters aren’t necessarily safe. He also has the flexibility to alter characters as he sees fit, with the biggest change making Alfred a former Royal Marine. Oswald Cobblepot is definitely inspired by Tim Burton’s revolting Danny Devito-Penguin who ran for Mayor of Gotham City.

Gary Frank’s artwork was very consistent throughout this volume; Batman, in particular, looks great. Overall, I enjoyed this volume and look forward to the second one.
Claudio Meshell

I haven't read a lot of Batman stuff, so I can't really judge how this one is compared to the others, but what I can say is that, I absolutely enjoyed this!

Batman: Earth One is Bruce Wayne's origin story.


Origin stories have been done multiple times, and I get it if you're going to roll your eyes and say, "Shit. Not again." But hear me out, this is not like any Batman origin story I have seen yet. But you also keep in mind that my knowledge of Batman's origins depended solely on what the movies have shown me so far. I haven't read a lot of DC, but I'm getting really curious after my accidental infatuation with The Flash, I realized that I need to give the other Justice League members a try.

I have read Hush though. When I read that the first time, I thought I really enjoyed it, but after reading it again this year, I realized how shitty the story was, so I decided to grab another Batman comic book - so I got Batman: Earth One. I'm actually pretty happy I did because this was fantastic.

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I really liked how his origin was shown on this one. You don't get to see the entirety of his childhood, but you do get to see the important ones, like the death of his parents, how he ended up in Alfred's care (which was so cool by the way! one of my favorite parts), how and when he decided to be the Dark Knight, how he got beaten up and almost died a couple of times. It really fleshed out Bruce's character so much. His origin was very familiar, but also new at the same time.

I really liked about this was how Batman seemed like a real human being. He was vulnerable and breakable, so unlike how he was, often, portrayed - at least to the ones I have read. He falls and get beaten up a couple of times, but you'll see his unwavering determination in finding out who killed his parents. It was just so good to read about and see.

Also, I don't want to forget to mention how absolutely hot Bruce Wayne is in this incarnation. Haha. Yeah. He's really drool-worthy. Sorry. Not sorry. Well done Gary Frank! I'll be looking out for your other illustrations. *giggles*

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I didn't only like Batman/Bruce, I also liked how they spun off the characters we are already all familiar with, like Alfred (who was so badass), Jim Gordon (who was starting to get back to being a good cop), Harvey Dent (not sure if Jessica Dent was also a previous character), Oswald Cobblepot (aka the Penguin), Barbara Gordon, Moroni (who I recognized from Gotham the TV series), but they were all given slightly different but also similar roles in this story.

Would I recommend this? Highly! I'm reading the next one now!
Chrysler Wruck

A very interesting story by an excellent writer- Geoff Johns. I've had the pleasure of reading some of Johns other work in a variety of his comics and he has joined a short list of modern writers whose comics have always been top level. The art of this series is beautiful. The story is one we are mostly familiar with. It's the origin of Batman- but with a different take on it (hence the Earth One designation). There are many things that people familiar with the Batman legend will find, but there are subtle tweaks to the story and how it unfolds. I won't spoil anymore by giving away the plot. But this is a book I recommend to anyone who likes a really good comic book.
Latia Hill

Is this still my Batman?

Geoff Johns hotly anticipated Batman: Earth One is a familiar tale... barely. Don't get me wrong; you've got the right notes being hit (Bruce's parents being murdered, his desire to wage a war on crime, Alfred’s unwavering dedication to Bruce) but it’s the key that’s different. This Batman origin tale is not unlike finding yourself in a place you’ve visited before, long ago. And instead of finding it as you left it, the world has changed into something disturbingly familiar. Disturbing because you can still remember how it used to be since, strangely, that’s non what it is anymore.

Johns creates a new Gotham that seems, somehow, even more corrupt and morally bankrupt than the one we all know. The corners seem darker, the shadows more threatening, the atmosphere oppressively dismal. This a Gotham without hope. A Gotham whose Mayor Cobblepot parades escorts around. A Gotham with no hope and no help. And at the centre, instead of a boy making a vow to protect the city, you have a young Bruce Wayne who wants only one thing--revenge. And somehow, in that small adjustment, Johns makes Bruce human. Ironically, it occurs to me that this perspective has never really been explored before. I think we’re all very used to Bruce the superumano, who’s travelled the world over, transforming himself into the perfect weapon for his war on crime. We don’t have that here. Instead, we’re given Bruce the furious survivor, somewhat trained, unpolished and determined to have his revenge. It produces a refreshingly frustrating read; I kept expecting Bruce to make that epic decision to be a force for good in a dark time--but that never really happens. And I'm actually glad it doesn't. Why? Because that’s something new. But that novelty isn’t exclusive to Bruce Wayne.

Where Johns shines is in the recreation of a supporting cast. Rather than make Batman: Earth One a journey of transformation for Bruce alone, Johns allows us all to see the pivotal moments for several characters at once. Alfred becomes Bruce’s butler and confidant out of duty (rather than love) only sviluppare genuine affection for the boy. Gordon becomes the cop who can’t be bought only dopo having been under the thumb of a criminal. Harvey Bullock becomes the hard-nosed, seen-it-all detective by coming attraverso le horror. Johns peels back the layers of these essential characters and gives them origin stories of their own.

I won’t go into the plot. I think the changes that Johns offers are worth exploring and therefore worth experiencing first hand. As I suggested before, the familiar notes are there, it’s the world around the tragedy that has drastically changed.

So why 3 stars instead of 5? Because while there is much to celebrate in this graphic novel, there's also a lot to be desired and even more to frustrate.

The most prevalent problem was the clear fact that this graphic novel was not written to be self-contained. Unlike J. Michael Straczynski’s spectacular Superman: Earth One, Johns’ Batman: Earth One was very obviously written with a sequel (or sequels) in mind. And what’s wrong with that? Honestly, in terms of a series of books, very little. But when you consider that this supposedly self-contained story is, in fact, non self-contained, you’ve alienated the reader. The problem is that the finger-posting is blatant and somewhat awkward. It’s important to prepare for future events but that preparation must be subtle in order to be effective. The manner in which it occurs here assumes that the reader needs their hands held. Moreover, it robs the audience of that “I knew it!” moment that we all find so satisfying. Further, finger-posting should not be at the cost of the plot you have in hand. Ultimately, the story often reads like a preface to a text that that doesn’t yet exist and so the text feels like it’s reaching for branches that aren’t there.

Still, textual interdependence isn’t always a bad thing.

The text constantly gestures towards many classic Batman moments. This intertextuality was initially troublesome but upon reflection, I thought it was interesting. The memorable scenes were not simply copied into the new text but revised, creating a new history. These moments are ultimately intensely satisfying, acknowledging the extant lore while ensuring that Batman: Earth One remains distinct.

My feelings about Batman: Earth One are deeply conflicted but, truthfully, that’s enough of a reason to suggest taking a chance on the text. It’s problematic yet somehow undeniably interesting--likely perché it’s problematic. Geoff Johns’ Batman: Earth One isn’t a simple retelling of Batman’s first steps--it’s a revision of some of the core elements that came to shape Gotham’s Dark Knight. But with that revision comes the realization that we have a nuovo Batman with new motivations and different skills. And with that realization, I believe, comes the essential curiosity that led Johns to approach the text in this way, resulting in these questions: who is Questo Batman? What is he capable of? And, most obviously, what happens next?
Medovich Wier

"Earth One" puts Batman in a parallel universe where his well-known story is flipped around so different aspects of it read differently to the Batman canon. This is "Year One" written another way and Geoff Johns does a fine job with it.

Bruce Wayne's parents were killed by an unknown murderer and Bruce was raised by his parents' faithful friend Alfred. When he becomes a man he decides to hunt down his parents' killer and bring him to justice while wearing a suit designed to terrify. He will become - the Batman. Sound familiar? Well that's where the similarities end and where "Earth One" takes off.

Bruce Wayne is figuring out how to be Batman but he's having a lot of problems. He's finding out how to manoeuver in the suit, he has troubles with the grappling hook, his footing on Gotham's rooftops is clumsy, and he's amateurish in all the ways Batman is perfect in other books such as fighting, subterfuge, and detective work. It's refreshing to see he's not so good at being Batman as he is in other books.

There are lots of other changes too with less focus on the gentle butler aspect of Alfred and more on the retired SAS/hard man side, Bullock is a complete 180 from who you'd expect, and Gordon's legendary bravery and dedication to the job is entirely absent here.

In short, the Gotham presented in "Earth One" is a scarier, more uncertain place because so much of what makes it appear safer in other Batman books is missing - GCPD are corrupt and Batman is useless. But that's what makes this book stand out, because it's a fresh take on Batman and reads like a more exciting book because of it.

Gary Frank does a fantastic job as always with the artwork, all of his books - most of them with Geoff Johns - look amazing and he does no less than his usual stellar job with this book. His Batman Earth One suit design is particularly good but every page looks gorgeous.

Johns does a fine job of setting up this new world and putting this new Batman on track to discovering all of the famous villains in his rogues gallery all over again with the added possibility that they will be different because this isn't regular Batman, this is "Earth One" Batman. I for one found this to be one of the best Batman books I've read in ages and am thrilled at the prospect of reading future books in this series.
Belanger Lafler

This was really cool. Obviously being an Earth One volume, there would be changes and I really liked it. Alfred being this ex army guy was cool, Bruce Wayne was not that great at being Batman, kinda poor at it. Loved the artwork, probably the strongest part of it.
Loveridge Tedeschi

How many times can DC tell Batman's origin story? Apparently, they haven't hit critical mass yet. At least Johns's take is actually good, and has some interesting new twists. The differences show up early on. Alfred isn't a genteel butler, he's a former soldier who served with Thomas Wayne. The Wayne's aren't murdered by a random mugger, but as part of a political assassination. Gordon isn't exactly on the make, but neither is he a spotless cop in a sea of corruption. They might seem like small tweaks, but they're enough to make massive changes in how Bruce's story pans out.

The writing is, for the most part, really good, though the characterization tends towards a little flat. It's fine to take shortcuts with characters like Bruce or Barbara, but this is an entirely different version of Alfred, and I don't feel like I knew him much better at the end of the book than I did at the beginning. Small thing, I suppose.

I do like how the art tends towards being more realistic. It's a bit of a change from what I'd normally expect to see in a DC book, which underlines that this is all taking place in a different world than the one we're used to. Though I have to wonder, would that be obvious to a casual reader of comics? Then again, a casual reader probably wouldn't get worked up about it.
Sik Turrubiartes

So the Earth One series is picking up the mantle of the old school What if... series in the DC universe. Here we have a re-imagined and updated origin story for Batman set in an entirely different continuity. Is it plausible? Yes. Is it good? Not really. I like Geoff Johns a lot and he definitely can write. It's just incredibly difficult when you mess with the staples of a beloved franchise and try to make them different. Example: In Earth One, Alfred is not the humble Wayne family butler. He's a veteran hired by Thomas Wayne as security for his mayoral campaign. When the Waynes are murdered, he stands in as foster parent for Bruce and gives him training to defend himself and avenge his parents while sporting a goatee and talking trash. No. Just, no. The fact that Bruce never meets Alfred until the night of his parents' murder removes the solitary "close" person the character could hope to have.

On top of that, the whole thing just has an overly militaristic feel. There's no depth of character here. Instead, it feels like a trial-and-error-ooooh-this-would-be-so-cool-if-it-happened montage. Skip it. Go read Scott Snyder's take on the Batman franchise instead.
Boynton Nowling

Why ...Why does everyone have to try a hand at re writing Bob Kane's character ?

Well that rant apart ...this book is decent. It is not half as bad as you think it will turn out to be once you've started.

The characters are very gaudy - very b grade cinema. Interesting twists on Gordon's character (the one i loved the best)but overall very forgettable.

While I am at it ...yes this is one of the better earth ones (when compared to the Superman stuff)but that said this one suffers because it competes in an areas where the legends of comic book space exist.
Rowley Chenail

Before being a legend, a vigilante and even a billionaire, batman is a human and like all other humans doing stunts, he gets hurt.

Batman has always been shown as a superhero, someone who is indestructible but this volume puts Batman much closer to reality. A hero in the making for sure, but a hero who gets beaten, gets hurt, whose gadgets not always work and who at times don't make successful jumps across buildings.

It is a very fresh take on the origin of Batman, his parent's murder and his relationship with Alfred Pennyworth. Even though the story of the murder of Martha and Thomas Wayne is pretty straight forward, with some twists and turns it was made interesting in this volume.

This volume has a mix of old and new characters, like Penguin, Fox, Gordon, Bullocks and Birthday Boy. The artwork is stunning; it's gritty, just as you expect batman comics to be, but still even with all the gloom, there is no lack of colors.

I really enjoyed reading this volume. It is a true page turner as I read it all in one go. Looking forward to volume 2.
Buatti Mahan

"We need to build a legend." - Alfred Pennyworth

Another retelling of the Batman origin??? That 'legend' has been durable for nearly 80 years (!).

Well, yes - but this time it's done with a twist. There are slight retoolings of several of the main characters (Alfred, Jim Gordon, Penguin, and especially Harvey Bullock), a modifying of certain details in the long-standing canon story-line, and the action is set in the early 21st century.

From the opening chase across Gotham rooftops to the impromptu rescue mission into the bowels of the vacant Arkham mansion the book rarely steps wrong. (I take issue with a few scenes and implications involving kidnapped children, in one of the plot threads concerning a disturbing villainous henchman, but that's just a matter of personal opinion.) The artwork is also excellent.
Francklin Martinez

This was a really solid read. I enjoyed seeing the early days of a more realistic Batman who is after all just a man. He looks vulnerable in a fight, especially when he is outnumbered. His equipment is unreliable. Maybe he can't make that jump across the rooftops.

This version of Gotham is even darker than usual. An honest cop isn't likely to last very long in this town. The bad guys are scary; one villain being particularly so. And there are intriguing portrayals of Oswald Cobblepot and Harvey Dent.

Really, really good. Recommended!
Bobina Steinbock

I was highly reluctant to pick this up, partly because it seemed like DC was trying to make Year One obsolete by remaking Batman's origin story, and also because chances are, everyone who will pick this up knows Batman's origin already. Why continue to shove it down our throats more and more? Well, I was actually quite surprised, because this book does a damn good job of revitalizing the Dark Knight legend.

What really caught me off guard about this was how dark and twisted the story goes. I've always seen Geoff Johns as the Michael Bay of the comic book industry. He does mindless shoot-em-up action, but he does it very well. But this book actually has some pretty dark horror movie elements to it, and I found that to be awesome. I also liked how, even from very early on, Johns reminds us that Batman is still a human being. I'm reminded of the very first scene of the book, which features Batman hunting down a criminal, jumping onto a roof, but falling and shouting, "OW!". When has Batman ever said 'Ow'?! It's neat little things like that that make this book so great.

Gary Frank's artwork is magnificent. I've been seeing his work in the Shazam origin back-up story that's been running in the Justice League comic monthly for quite awhile now, but it seems he really shines with this dark noir-ish atmosphere. One thing I noticed that Brad Meltzer (aka, the crazy bald guy with all the lame shows on History Channel) points out in his back-cover quote is that, for the first time in years, you can actually see Bruce Wayne's eyes behind the Batman cowl. Take a look at the front cover of the book. It's one of the most haunting covers I've ever seen, because not only are you seeing Bruce Wayne behind the mask, but you're also seeing the rage that burns within him, and also the somewhat ridiculousness of a man wearing a Bat costume.

Despite all of this, I can't give this book a perfect rating. Fantastic as it was, what it all simply comes down to is that Year One beat it to the punch. It's about 25 years old, but one could still pick it up and be mesmerized by the Jekyll and Hyde relationship that Batman and Gordon share, the beautifully painted noir artwork by Mazzuchelli, and the bleak and hopeless portrait of an American city succumbed by crime, corruption, and terror... It's the quintessential Batman tale, and it simply cannot be topped. But I'll be damned if Earth One didn't do a great job living up to it.

4 / 5
Girardo Stengle

I really wanted to like this more than I did. I think both of the Superman: Earth One titles were very well done, and if anything served as a template for the Man of Steel movie (which I think I'm in the minority opinion-I like the movie). Here Johns goes to his familiar writing well, that of going to the work of those who came before him.

But, instead of going to classic Batman writers such as O'Neil, Moench, Miller, etc., Johns goes to the Christopher Nolan.David Goyer Batman. The result is a dull Bruce Wayne, and some interesting supporting characters.

Bruce doesn't have to be dull, or the near cipher he is here, and in much of the final two Nolan Batman movies. Fortunately, Johns gives the reader a reasonably interesting Alfred Pennyworth, villains that work, and an introduction to Barbara Gordon that harkens back to her 1960s television and comics origin (well, only a little bit).

The art if quite good, and hopefully some of the set up Johns does here pays off in forthcoming volumes.
Neddra Ebbett

It's on the line of 3.5-4. It's hard to judge, so figured I'd go with 4 just because I do like a lot here. This is a new look on the world of DC. This is a separate universe, think Ultimate Universe from Marvel but for DC. So is Batman Earth One worth checking out? Let's talk the plus.

+Wonderful artwork for most part. The fights are clear and great to look at.
+Good pacing. Never drags and feels like it wraps up nicely as a solo story though letting you know there will be more.
+Solid Dialog.
+Badass Butler? YES.

-Some faces look odd
-Tried to be edgy at points to be edgy.

Overall it was a lot of fun to read. I liked the overall story, liked the fights, liked the falls and successes of Batman, and hope that Volume 2 keeps it up.

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