DC Universe Animated Original Movies - BATMAN: YEAR ONE

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Before the live action Gotham begins next week Da'Mon Guy looks back at an animated tale also showcasing Jim Gordon's arrival in the City. The 2011 release - Batman: Year One.


Batman: Year One is an entertaining, insightful tale that presents a more humanizing perspective to the larger than life persona of one of the most iconic comic book characters. This humbling narrative creatively establishes the symbiotic relationship that lies at the heart of the Batman universe, and depicts a real world outlook on the early exploits and origins of this modern day icon. The film features the voices of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad “TV series), Ben McKenzie (88 Minutes), Eliza Dushku (Doll House), Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), and Alex Rocco (Smokin’ Aces).

Released in 2011, Batman: Year one was inspired by the comic of the same name which premiered in 1987. It chronicles Jim Gordon's arrival to Gotham, Bruce Wayne's return from 12 years abroad, and the rise of Selena Kyle to the character of Catwoman. The movie impressively intertwines them all to create the foundation of the story. It’s a fantastic showcase that details the early struggles and duress that each faced on their way to joining forces to rid the streets of Gotham City of corruption and crime.

The courageous exploits of Batman’s early career are mostly a back-story of the narrative as they are shown in quick flashes. This is because Batman: Year One isn’t really the Dark Knight’s story, instead it predominately focuses on Jim Gordon, giving us a unique, advantageous perspective of his rise and shows some of the never before seen elements of his origin. It is Gordon’s story that is the more interesting of the two perspectives. The tale gives a detailed, dated monthly account of the two characters symbiotic genesis, this approach adds a humanizing, very sympathetic element to the larger than life super hero of the tale.

We see Batman in a whole new light. He is unsure, uneasy, not the confident, self assured hero that he is known as. This iteration is about him trying to find his niche. We also see an extremely dramatic version of Bruce Wayne's source of motivation, and his inspiration for the use of a bat. It also infuses and adds a twist to one of the more famous scenes from Batman Begins. Last but not least, this enlightening expose manages to incorporate a number of characters from a combination of multiple incarnation of Batman, from the movies to the comics - Vicki Vale, Commissioner Leob, Detective Flask, Carmine Falcone, Harvey Dent all make appearances in the film.

Batman: Year One is a fairly entertaining, enlightening perspective of the ascension of Bruce Wayne to the mantle of the Dark Knight. The story features some eye-opening aspects that will delight fans of the character. However, it moves at a very slow pace and isn’t the most action packed usage of the character. Hardcore fans will have a greater level of appreciation for "Year One", but for casual viewers - it's a good watch but not a must see.

Previously
Justice League: The New Frontier
Wonder Woman
Batman: Under The Red Hood
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
All-Star Superman
Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

Da’Mon Guy is a writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.
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