Batman fans can soon revisit “Batman: Year One,” one of the best places to start reading Batman comics, as DC originally published the story. DC revealed solicitations for new titles to be released in December 2023. The publisher’s offerings include facsimile edition reprints of Batman #404-407, first published in 1987. Those issues feature the four parts of “Batman: Year One,” the storyline created by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli. As facsimile editions, these reprints don’t only include the story itself — as one of the most popular Batman stories, it’s easy enough to find “Batman: Year One” as a graphic novel and in various collected editions — but instead recreate the original comic book releases as artifacts, down to the era-specific advertisements.
“Batman: Year One” tells the story of Bruce Wayne’s first year as the Caped Crusader, as well as Jim Gordon’s early days in Gotham. Miller signed up to create the new post-Crisis on Infinite EarthsBatman origin alongside Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. DC enlisted Mazzuchelli, whom Miller had worked with on Daredevil: Born Again for Marvel Comics, to draw the project. Despite being envisioned as a graphic novel, DC published the story over four months in 1987 in the pages of the Batman ongoing series.
A pulpy, noirish story, Batman: Year One is widely considered one of the greatest Batman graphic novels of all time, with particular praise given to how it depicts Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Jim Gordon. It has influenced Batman movies such as Batman Begins and The Batman. DC adapted “Batman: Year One” into a standalone, direct-to-video animated film released in 2011, with Ben McKenzie voicing Bruce Wayne / Batman and Bryan Cranston voicing Jim Gordon. Here’s the description of “Batman: Year One” from DC’s December 2023 solicitations:
“Before Batman became synonymous with striking fear into the hearts of cowardly and superstitious criminals, there was just Bruce Wayne, an orphaned millionaire who was Gotham City’s prodigal son by day and an angry vigilante by night. Despite his best efforts, Bruce knows that his nightly patrols have very little effect in making a difference in a city that has forgotten what justice is. In order to inspire real change, he will need to become something more than a man…he will need to become a symbol.
“Bruce isn’t the only crusader trying to clean up the streets. Lieutenant James Gordon is a good cop who’s tired of the corruption that has infiltrated every aspect of Gotham, including the GCPD. Together, these two might stand a chance of restoring some sense of order in Gotham City—if the mob or dirty cops don’t take them out first!
“From Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil) comes one of the most revered storylines in the Batman mythos, ‘Year One,’ presented in these facsimile re-creations with the original printing colors and period-correct ads.”
DC will release the “Batman: Year One” facsimile editions weekly in December. Each comic issue will have a foil variant cover. Batman #404 Facsimile Edition comic will also have a blank sketch variant. For those who would prefer a high-end, art-focused, hardcover edition of the graphic novel, IDW Publishing has David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One Artist’s Edition in the works for release in 2024. Here’s the solicitation information and main cover for each “Batman: Year One” facsimile edition issue:
(Photo: DC)BATMAN #404 FACSIMILE EDITION
Written by FRANK MILLER
Art and cover by DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI
Foil variant cover by DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI ($5.99 US)
Blank sketch variant
$3.99 US 32 pages
ON SALE 12/26/23
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