Comics and Cosplay
Captain Carrot and Batgirl: Comics Collection for August 21, 2014

Marshall Lemon | 21 Aug 2014 22:00
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Batman: Earth One (Softcover)

Okay, you got me: Batman: Earth One isn't a new book at all, just a softcover reprint of the original hardcover. So why bother mentioning it here? Because it's a damn fine book, that's why. It's certainly the most unique Batman origin retelling in over a decade, even counting the New 52's official canon.

Earth One's Gotham is perhaps the darkest version of the city we've seen yet. Oswald Cobblepot is Mayor, a child-killing serial murderer works for the mob, and James Gordon has been forced into borderline corruption. It's a city that desperately needs a Batman to set things right, except this version of Batman, well, kinda sucks. Remember that scene in Year One where an inexperienced Batman got knocked off a fire escape? Imagine that for the entire book. Batman is constantly falling from rooftops, getting ambushed by thugs, and suffers injuries every night he wears the costume... but he refuses to back down from the city that murdered his parents. And the more he resists, the more his legend takes hold among Gotham's city streets.

The book veers dangerously close to becoming another far-too-gritty reboot, but Batman's new characterization really gives Earth One legs. And that's not the only change it brings to the table: Alfred isn't a butler, but a former soldier from Thomas Wayne's unit. Harvey Bullock isn't an angry drunk, but a starry-eyed TV cop looking to crack Gotham's biggest unsolved case. Martha Wayne's maiden name is Arkham, tying Batman to the breakdown of Gotham's mental health services. The changes to Batman lore are extensive, but eventually, it loops around until we discover a Gotham we're more familiar with. That's a brilliant achievement on DC's part, and I can't wait to read Volume 2 in 2015.

Favorite Moment: "I get it now. This is Gotham City. It's Bad Cop, Bad Cop."
- Marshall

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