Batman: Year One
Deluxe Edition

Author: Frank Miller
Artist: David Mazzucchelli
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84576 101 4
Available 26 August 2005

Lieutenant James Gordon takes up a new post in the corrupt city of Gotham, while billionaire Bruce Wayne returns to the scene of his parents' murder, intent on vengeance, and on cleaning up the city. Each faces trails and challenges of their own, as their lives become irrevocably and potentially tragically intertwined... and a legend is born...

The deluxe edition of Batman: Year One is indeed a thing of beauty. Not only do you get one of the greatest Batman stories ever told (Miller's The Dark Knight Returns still holds that title in my book), but the last quarter of this collection is given over to rough sketches, scripts, covers and insights into the creation of this monumental graphic novel.

While David Mazzucchelli's art is not as memorable as Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley's work on The Dark Knight Returns, it's more fitting to the origins of the Batman.

The story is told more from the point of view of Jim Gordon than the Batman. This helps to ease the reader into the origins of the Dark Knight rather than suffer the Bruce Wayne/Batman anguish and turmoil as Wayne remembers his parent's murder. Batman is a little naive, a little too confident and invariably walks into the wrong situations unprepared. The result is he gets stung quite badly from criminals that he would easily deal with in later years. This makes this collection extremely believable - even superheroes have to start somewhere.

It doesn't matter if you already own this, it's certainly worth spending the money and buying this superior edition. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful and well conceived releases of the last century.

Nick Smithson

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