Batman Begins comic preview

June 6, 2005 | Trades


Batman: Year One
DC Comics
$26.99/$19.99 US (Hardcover)
**** (out of five)
Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told
DC Comics
$26.99/$19.99 US (Paperback)
Batman: Scarecrow Tales
DC Comics
$26.99/$19.99 US (Paperback)

Just over a week to go until Batman Begins hits theatres — have you got Bats in your belfry yet?
DC Comics sure does, launching a pile of comics and collected editions onto the market to coincide with what will no doubt be a resurgence of interest in the Dark Knight, his origins and those of his theatrical nemeses, Scarecrow and R’as Al Ghul.
The result is three collections, two of which are repackagings of previous compilations and the other is new.
Batman: Year One, the reimagining of Batman’s origin by Frank Miller (Sin City) and Dave Mazzucchelli (Daredevil), which is widely regarded as one of the seminal tales of the Dark Knight, has been recollected in a fabulous new hardcover package. Outside of a gripping story with some stupendous art, readers get some great behind-the-scenes materials, such as sketches, script and retrospectives by Miller and Mazzucchelli.
If you don’t own this, and if you’re a Batman fan you darn well should, this deluxe new package is definitely the way to go.
The Greatest Stories Ever Told is an odd mix of stories spanning from Detective Comics #33 in November 1939 to Batman: Gotham Knights #32 in October 2002.
There is a varatible who’s who of Bat-creators, from Bob Kane and Bill Finger to Denny O’Neil and Marshall Rogers and one of my personal favourites, the short-lived but memorable team of Mike Barr and Alan Davis.
Because it spans such a long range of eras The Greatest Stories Ever Told is a little disjointed, but it is an interesting retrospective for those looking for something general.
Scarecrow Tales takes much the same approach as Greatest Stories by looking back at some of the highlights of the character’s 64 years of existence.
It is nice to see this classic member of Batman’s Rogues gallery get some attention and the stories flow a little better than Greatest Stories because of the underlying theme.
The same laundry list of great creators dot this release and you do end up with a better understanding of who Scarecrow is by reading it.

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