Batman: Earth One preview
DC Comics (September, 2012)WRITER: Geoff Johns PENCILER: Gary Frank INKER by: Jonathan Sibal COVER COLOR by: Brad Anderson LETTERING: DC Lettering By the way, no listing for the interior colors, and even this I had to go to DC’s site for. There are no credits in the preview except for Johns and Frank.
To be honest I have no problem with early Batman stories. While we can’t STOP getting Superman’s origin, Batman’s seems to just go “parents’ died, saw bat, fight crime”. This is part of the “Earth One” graphic novels, an unnecessary alternate universe, and after seeing what happened with the Superman Earth One novel I’m not all that convinced that it will go well. This could just be another chance for Johns to do an origin his way since DC won’t reboot Batman no matter how many times the rest of the DCU is. I can’t judge the novel, even though it’s out; I saw it at a convention yesterday. I will go through this preview, featuring the first chapter, and make some comments on the idea.
What they got right: I do like that in his early days on the job Batman isn’t doing so well. His grappling line snags like a fishing line. He didn’t quite make the jump. This is the beginning of his career. Even his costume isn’t quite as scary as it could be We also see Alfred show up for the first time…and here’s where I change gears.
What they got wrong: Now this is more a personal preference thing, let me make this clear. The new Alfred doesn’t seem all that warm and friendly. He’s here for security, not as a butler. It appears that in this version Thomas Wayne will be killed by a political rival, but maybe someone who has actually read the full GN can confirm that. Alfred now has a lame leg. While I applaud Thomas for wanting to keep things normal for his family, Alfred is right to insist on sending some protection along. You can do that and still attend a movie. (Just don’t send the jaded guy with the lame leg.) He doesn’t even look like Alfred and yes I keep coming back to how far removed from any version this Alfred is. Instead of keeping at least one part of Bruce Wayne around I see this Alfred actually becoming Batman’s mentor, much like Bruce and Terry in Batman Beyond.
Recommendation: Not having seen the full version I can only say these changes don’t interest me and might have been interesting for another superhero instead of Batman. I’m just not into these “Earth One” graphic novels. They may have the same costumes, but the spirit of the characters just aren’t there. I’m not going to be going after this one.