Like many comic book heroes, Batman’s origin has been rebooted and retooled. The most famous are Len Wein’s The Untold Legend of Batman and Batman: Year One written by famous comic book author and artist Frank Miller who would also write a Robin origin in All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, the All-Star Batman was very overrated.
Now we have writer Geoff John’s and artist Gary Frank’s Batman: Earth One, which takes place in the DC’s multiverse, not akin to the mainstream “New Earth” and brings new more modern origins to the characters. The first was Superman: Earth One which was highly acclaimed by the critics, including this one.
The first volume for Batman: Earth One, features a retelling of Bruce Wayne’s past. For instance, Martha Wayne is now a member of the Arkham family, Oswald Cobblepot is the mayor of Gotham, Harvey Bullock is a former reality TV LA cop who transfers to Gotham, and Jim Gordon is a police detective who is being blackmailed into ignoring crime. The biggest change is in Alfred, who is now a former military soldier and head of a security agency. His new look now resembles Sean Connery instead of Michael Gough. It is implied that Alfred trained Bruce in his crime fighting skills.
In this feature, Bruce becomes Batman for the simple purpose of tracking down and finding out if Oswald Cobblepot was responsible for his father’s demise, since Thomas Wayne was running against Cobblepot for Gotham’s mayor position.
Despite having another retelling of the same story, Batman: Earth One does an excellent job in rewinding the story. It felt more like a reimagining instead of a reboot. The characters are so different, and Batman so amateurish, it seems a tad more realistic than the usual comic book stuff. I It has excellent writing and flawless art, which should be the main selling point. I have to admit, I’m curious to see what else DC: Earth One line will bring. While it did not wow me like Batman: Year One, it did impress me and made me want to read more.
My understanding is that a volume is to be released for both Superman and Batman. Who knows, maybe the Riddler will make an appearance in Batman: Earth One Volume Two.