September 27, 2012

The Reboot That Never Was: A Review of BATMAN EARTH TWO

DC Comics - as a company - seems to enjoy revamping and rebooting its characters. After all, the most recent news seems to be the spate of "zero issues" that is being released that promise to tell "the truth" behind the events of the new 52.

In addition, there are numerous reports of how Batman continuity has been a bit...well, since old 52 stories are now considered "canon", there's a bit of a brouhaha about continuity.

Which is a shame, because the recent release of Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank could have easily served as a "new 52" reboot of Batman.

First and foremost, keep in mind - this is a really good, honest take on Batman. Unlike Superman: Earth One, the "more naive version of hero" approach works. It seems less like "emo Twilight Superman" and more "reality-based Batman". Johns uses some touchstones of Batman's mythology and...well, there are some great twists and turns that could have easily led into the Court of Owls storyline. In addition, there's a great moodiness and noir quality to the art that makes this a great read.

It's also a shame because this approach could have easily been folded into the new 52 continuity, which is surprising given that it's one of DC's "attempts" to lure new readers. Yes, it's a more "vulnerable, unsure" Batman, but quite honestly, it has a similar tone to many of DC's reboots/revamps. It's strong enough to stand on its own, and at the end....I actually found myself looking forward to the inevitable sequel.

Reading Batman: Earth One was surprising in many ways - not just because it's a really strong tale that deserved to be told, but that it seemingly reads as a blueprint for a reboot that was never to be.

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