With my excitement about the Nolan franchise coming to an end, and the aftermath once it finally happened, I was left wanted more Batman, because who knows how long it would be until I found out what they were going to do with the character that everyone (based on tickets sales) apparently loves. I knew, because I am a nerd, that Year One was one of the big influences of the Nolan series, along with The Long Halloween and The Killing Joke.
So I’ve been looking for this movie, actively pursuing it, for the better part of a year. The local comic book store in town didn’t help me, as they never had it. I put in an order for it, which they never called me. I went in there, was asked what I was looking for and then told that they have trouble keeping it in stock. I generally visit every two weeks (nerd) to pick up a new trade paper back to read (more on that later) and I had never seen it, so he was either telling the truth, or lying, but I suspected him of lying.
I found the book while I was Christmas shopping at Hastings in Richmond.
I could see the influences on the movies, and one entire scene lifted straight from it, the only real thing that gave me pause came while I was reading the artist’s afterward. He said that he didn’t think vengeance was a good motivator for a hero, and that Frank Miller’s Batman wasn’t motivated by vengeance, but by a desire to make the world better, he wanted a world where Batman wouldn’t be created. This is a clearly true of the Nolan universe.
If Frank Miller said that, I think Frank Miller was lying. If we assume that the Batman of Dark Knight Returns comes from the same world as Batman Year One, then we can clearly see that Batman likes being Batman, it’s being Bruce Wayne that is hard to do. I think most of the comics bear this out too. The argument of course in Returns is, “Does Gotham need the Batman?” his answer being “Yes.”
So the thing I took away from the book is that authors are not to be trusted, especially when talking about their own writing.
Now, just so we’re clear, I have set myself a fairly impossible goal here with this hundred book thing. There will be days, probably towards the end of the months, when I’ll sit down with a series of comics (Fables, Walking Dead, Preacher are all likely) and read through them trying to make up ground. I’m the one doing the reading and the writing and nobody and throwing these blog posts into the internet ether, so I’ll set the rules. I’m just giving advance notice, that I will totally be copping out.
This was a note from my notebook today –
We always stayed true, even though lovers always lie.