You’ll have to forgive my tardiness. My run on Wednesday this week was a little slower than usual, hence this particular iteration of The Wednesday Run column arriving on a Thursday.
Between work obligations and the start of a new (and crazed) school year for the kids, I’ve been tardy. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t kept my eye on the comic book prize!
DC Comics has a long history of “Year One” storylines featuring their most famous superhero characters. You’ll recall the acclaimed Batman: Year One four-issue monthly series-within-a-monthly series from way back in 1987 and countless compilations in countless formats since then. It’s an all-time classic – and I can’t believe that it was first published nearly four decades ago! With the success of that tale, other characters (and superhero teams) naturally followed including Justice League of America, Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, Teen Titans, Green Arrow, Black Lightning, The Flash, and many others. You get the idea. The concept: DC Comics showcasing a hero during their formative first year of existence, was an extremely popular one.
Still, early stories featuring one of the main corners of the DC Universe remained somewhat overlooked, however.
It wasn’t until the New52, DC’s all-title relaunch in 2011, that the comic book publisher turned its attention to the early days of the notorious Gotham City – a setting replete with storyline potential. Writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV added to the dark history of Batman’s sprawling territory, establishing founding families, villainous organizations and the origin of events that continue to have ramifications for the modern-day Batman family comic book tales.
Today’s release expands on the origins of that famous city with the hardcover compilation of Gotham City Year One.
Written and illustrated by fan favourites in Tom King (Human Target, Strange Adventures, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Mister Miracle, Batman, Sheriff of Babylon) and Phil Hester (Green Arrow, Swamp Thing, The Wretch, Wonder Woman), the 208-page Gotham City Year One H/C compiles the entire six-issue monthly series, originally published last year.
Gotham City Year One is a hard-boiled noir tale from the first half of the twentieth century and showcases the fall of what was once a shining, prosperous and inspiring Gotham City into a dark and tortuous place – a cesspool of crime, corruption and violence. Two full generations before Batman would be born, bold newspaper headlines ensue as private investigator Slam Bradley investigates the kidnapping of the infant Wayne heir. The case brings the golden-age character into the center of a spiraling city about to burn down, leaving itself a dark shadow of the glorious idea it once was. A horrific place that would eventually give birth and meaning to the Dark Knight Detective.
Make the run to your local comic book shop today and pick up the mystery-laden and fully enthralling drama featuring the history of comicdom’s most well-known locale.
Pick up the Gotham City Year One hardcover and experience the definitive origin of Batman’s city!