Earth one is the experimentation part of the dc’s universe, this is were they can change fundamental parts of an existing character without upsetting their hardcore fans, these same hardcore fan who while moaning that comics never change also bemoan even the slightest changes, they are both the life blood of the comic industry and also its greatest weakness in this writers opinion. So earth one allows writers to flex there creative muscles while not effecting the regular dc universe, personally i don’t think dc went far enough with the new 52 i actually prefer earth two universe because it does away with batman, superman and wonder woman and explores lesser known heroes but that doesn’t stop this book being perfect in my opinion changing just enough about batman.
Have you been disappointed with Geoff Johns new stuff in the new 52? I know I have and this book explains why the justice league and green lantern have been so poor, Geoff Johns has been writing this fantastic story, this story deals with Bruce’s early life and does a lot to explore Bruce’s parents and his relationship with Alfred , in this book Bruce’s fathers is running against the corrupt mayor of the Gotham Mr Cobblepot, Alfred is an ex war buddy of Bruce’s father rather than just a butler. These are not new concepts but i think the exploration of Bruce’s mothers is new, In the very Germanic patriarchal design of the Batman universe Batman’s mother has never been explored as a character before and it was rather refreshing to see such an under used character finally get some exposure, It was also nice to see a women used in a mothering role rather than just as a piece of arse for the superhero to chase. In my opinion this is an update of year one, it explores the corruption of Gotham city and that corruption goes all the way to the top, the interesting thing though is that Batman does not seem interested in that corruption instead he is on a one man vendetta for revenge and i loved this angle. Truth be told this is Geoff Johns fortay, Geoff doesn’t do very well with already established character or worlds, I know you will most likely say that you cant get more established than Batman but this isn’t batman proper, like I already said this is earth one and on earth one they like to change a lot about the pre existing characters. I personally think this is what they should have done with the new 52 rather than just rehashing a lot of the same old stories but alas i gave up on new ideas in the new 52 a while back.
The best aspect of this story though was that of Bullock, Bullock has always been in the batman mythos but this book does a lot to explore who he is as a character. One of the most striking things that this book does early on is to replace the bullock and Gordon roles. Bullock is the young idealistic incorruptible cop while Gordon is a scared cop on the take, this book explores this relationship and as the book progresses their roles go back to there traditional roles. while bullock wants to help the world he is also a shameless self promoter, hes shameless, arrogant and at the beginning of the story you hate him with a passion but by the end of the book you will gain a new understanding and respect for this character. This is another character that John decided to bulk up, which like I said is John fortay.
The art of this book is a little lighter than most batman books atm and i’m glad to see it, i have been totally in love with the batman but i have found them a little dark at times, saying that they have suited the story style of the story in those books. The art is nuance and very detailed there by emulating the story of this earth one, It also does a great job of balancing both the dark world of batman with the brighter world of Bruce, I use bright purely in relation to the darkness of batman world because very little is bright and shiny in the world of batman.
In conclusion the story is interesting and takes a fresh approach to the batman origin, It takes enough liberties with the story and bullocks descent into the decadence of Gotham was truly heart wrenching and made me really appreciate such an under used character in the batman universe. It was also refreshing to see Batman’s mother used so heavily in this story something that has very rarely been done up to this point. The compelling story of this coupled with the truly fantastic art make this a must read for any batman and non batman man fan a like. For me this was a perfectly crafted comic book and it comes highly recommended.