Year One - Ra's Al Ghul

Author: Devin Grayson
Artists: Paul Gulacy and Jimmy Palmiotti
Titan Books
RRP 5.99
ISBN 1 84576 254 1
Available 24 February 2006

Ra's al Ghul is dead but his legacy is not. If one person cheats death, it's luck. But when an entire city refuses to die, it's chaos. Batman is in a race against time to find out why the dead walk Gotham City. Is the master criminal Ra's al Ghul behind it all? Ra's has cheated death for hundreds of years, and now it seems he may have lived on to fight against Batman... one last time...

Ra's Al Ghul sees Batman receiving a letter from his dead nemesis Ra's Al Ghul. Is his former enemy mocking him from the grave? And is he behind the recent attacks on Gotham's citizens - turning innocent civilians into living zombies? Surely Ra's Al Ghul can not still be alive. The last Lazarus pit has been destroyed and there is no way for him to return to life... or is there? The clock is ticking, time is running out and if Ra's Al Ghul is still alive and has managed to keep one of the Lazarus pits intact, time is something he has plenty of.

I adored this tale. Devin Grayson's story is neat and to the point. There's no waffling or dull b-plot to pad out the action. Rather, there are several a-plot tales that all merge together.

Not only is the script a work of art, but the art is also a master class in how to create an atmosphere in storytelling. Paul Gulacy and Jimmy Palmiotti pull out all the stops to deliver some of the most striking images I've seen in recent years.

For Batman fans, this is a must own collection - but it also hold serious appeal for those that are not great Batman readers. To be honest this collection is more about Ra's Al Ghul and his rise to madness than it is about a man dressed as a bat swinging across rooftops. An instant classic.

Ray Thompson

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