But really, Batman must need some GPS in the Batmobile because he keeps returning to places he's already been. He's making it really hard for writers to come up with clever titles for Batman related articles. Batman Returns, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Begins, Dark Knight Rises (Again) are all on sale in the used bin.
With new movies (and a planned reboot after Dark Knight Rises), games and new comics, Batman definitely has a little bit going on for every type of Bat-fan. For me personally, I've always loved the Batman movies, and as you can probably tell I'm a big fan of the latest iteration of Batman video games.
For this article I wanted to jump into something completely new to me: Batman comics. I understand how shocking that must be, and how much geek cred I just lost, but its true I've never read a Batman comic before last night. I dabbled in Jurassic Park and G.I. Joe comics when I was a kid, but I never threw myself into the medium.
Part of my hesitation in picking up comics is that I'm a card carrying completionist. I can turn it off, but it's difficult for me. I'm the guy who likes to finish every game, watch every special feature and listen to every podcast episode. With 700 something issues in the previous Batman line you can imagine my reluctance to start in the middle.
Therefore, I was pretty excited to hear about DC's New 52. Here's the perfect opportunity to jump onboard and not feel obligated to read 700 back issues. I picked up the new Batman #1 and gave it a read.
As I said, I haven't read a comic in probably 15 years, unless we count Watchmen, which we probably should. As an overall experience, I had a great time. Not only did I really enjoy the book itself, but the whole experience.
First and foremost if you're looking for a 100%, wipe the slate clean re-telling that's not what this is. I haven't read any of the other New 52 titles, but Batman #1 is definitely not an origin story. I kinda wish it would have been and started over from scratch, but that notwithstanding, the book still does a great job of very subtly giving the reader the info he or she will need to know.
My Bat-lore probably isn't as strong as it could be, but this new #1 takes place during a time when Batman is a firmly established force. It's clear he's had past adventures, past alliances and past battles. There are characters around that indicate that this reboot must be taking place at minimum a decade after Bruce Wayne got his start as Batman.
The art in this book was really fantastic; very appropriate and served the story well. Plus, it's simply very nice to look at. While I may not have a ton of experience in comic book art, I know good writing when I see it. From the actual spoken dialogue to the overall framing, the writing in this piece is excellent. The biggest accomplishment in this first issue is that it very clearly yet elegantly introduces the reader to the world. Be you a Bat-veteran or a Bat-newcomer there's something for everyone.
If you're like me and haven't yet gotten into comics, I'd definitely give this a try. On the other hand if you're a season reader there is still a very enjoyable piece of entertainment to be had.
I need to give some props and thanks to Major Spoilers at http://majorspoilers.com. Their great coverage of all things comics is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the medium. I would have known far less about DC's reboot if it hadn't been for those guys.
Have you read the new Batman #1? What did you think? Is anyone taking their first steps into the comic world like me?