Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Batman: Year One

Bibliographic Information: Miller, F.  (2005).  Batman: year one. Illustrated by David Mazzucchelli. New York: DC Comics, ISBN: 978-1-40120-752-6

Plot Summary: Batman: Year One is a parallel story of two outcasts making their way in the rough and corrupted city of Gotham. James Gordon, a failed Lieutenant, has been transferred to Gotham because of some unmentioned failing at his last post. He finds himself having to deal with a dirty commissioner, twisted cops, and a city rampant with crime. Bruce Wayne, a local millionaire, is returning to Gotham after years of being away. Now in his mid-twenties, Wayne is ready to make his mark on the city and rid it of all the garbage. In the process of changing how the city is run, Wayne makes enemies with Selena, the soon to be Catwoman, the police department, and the local criminals. Wayne and Gordon find that they may be fighting on the same side of the battle to save Gotham.

Critical Evaluation:  David Mazzucchelli's illustrations in
Batman: Year One create a dark and intense tone for the overall story. From the cover (which features an almost black silhouette of Batman that is set against a deep red maroon background) to the story ending page (which features a black and white batman lunging at the reader) the illustrations convey a message of stark confrontation and animalistic intent. These are also elements of Bruce Wayne's transformation from a carousing millionaire to bat vigilante that can be seen from chapter to chapter. Wayne reaches deep down into the dark jagged corners of his past and pulls out the strength and darkness he needs to stand up to both past and present adversaries.  The dark colors, shadowy settings, and lighting mark his transformation from broken young man to weapon. By embodying the dark rage that Wayne feels in his heart he is able to push himself forward and become the dark hero that the city of Gotham desperately needs.

Reader’s Annotation:
Before Bruce Wayne could sweep Gotham free of crime, Bruce Wayne had to learn to be Batman.
Information About the Author: Frank Miller was born January 27, 1957 in Olney, Maryland but grew up in Montpelier, Vermont (, 2012). Miller has worked on the following comics: Marvel's Spectacular Spider-man, Daredevil, Batman: Year One, and his most famous piece: Batman- The Dark Knight Returns (, 2012). Miller also created the character Elektra and created several different Elektra-related comics (, 2012). He also worked on the comics: Ronin, Robocop 2 and 3, Hard Boiled and Bad Boy (, 2012).

Miller has also worked as a director when his comic Sin City was adapted into a film in 2005
(, 2012). Miller was very involved and only approved the proposal after many revisions were made (, 2012). Miller wanted to ensure that the adaption was as true as possible to the comic (, 2012). He has directed several other movies since then (, 2012).

Batman: Year One trailer

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery, Horror, and Suspense, Adventure, Graphic Novel

Subgenre: Super Heroes,
Curriculum Ties: Can be incorporated into an art  lesson on graphic novel history and characters.

Booktalking Ideas:

1). What does the bat mean to Bruce Wayne?
2). Can Bruce Wayne ever truly avenge his parents?
3). Is James Gordon a good or bad character?

Reading Level/Interest Age: YA (Follett'sTitlewave, 2012)

Challenge Issues: This graphic novel feature images of violence and promiscuity. I would use the following items to defend it if needed:

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - (  Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 ( PDF: (
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or

Why did you include this graphic novel in the titles you selected?:
I included this item in my collection because it a great pick for reluctant readers. The combinations of text, graphics, and intense plotline will interest readers that may not usually be interested in reading lengthier works. 

 Reference Page:

Follett's Titlewave.  (2012). Batman: year one. Retrieved August 1, 2012 from Follett'sTitlewave iPhone app.  (2012).  Frank Miller biography. Retrieved August 1, 2012 from 

Cover art:

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