Above are two screen shots from the upcoming DC Animated DVD Batman: Year One. This will be an adaption of the classic origin tale of Batman by Frank Miller with artwork by David Mazzuchelli. The story was originally published in issues #404 thru #407 of the monthly Batman comic title. I remember my brother and I trying to scrape this story series together month to month at the Stars & Stripes newsstand while we lived in Germany as kids in the mid 80’s. Our newsstand kept comics well stocked but it was nowhere near a reliable or well stocked as a dedicated comic book store.
This storyline really opened my eyes to the flexibility and sophistication of the comic book medium. Up until then I had been reading Marvel’s Star Wars and Transformers comics along with Amazing Spider Man and I think the Justice League had just restarted. Regardless Year One was a different reading experience for the 13 year old me. Reading Frank Millers story as it tracked the gritty first year of Bruce Wayne’s career as a vigilante and the parallel first year of Detective Jim Gordon on the Gotham PD was such an interesting story. It was further driven home by amazing artwork by Mazzuchelli.
Looking at these screenshots, my mind immediately rejects this as year one because the art style and color palette don’t reflect the distinct style of the source material. After getting over my knee-jerk reaction, the artwork for both characters and background looks acceptable. The pacing of the story and how much they retain of the original source material will really dictate how well this adaptation sinks or swims.
At the end of the day, I think If they stay true to the source this is a can’t lose situation. I mean this is truly one of the best Batman stories ever. How can you go wrong? Don’t answer that… I don’t wanna know.
(images via screenrant.com)