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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 291

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Here are the last two days of our look at Batman: Year One.

You might notice the archive link above – you should check it out! A lot of cool comic book moments up there! I only mention it because when I asked for suggestions for scenes to feature on the last two days of Batman: Year One moments, I got a lot of suggestions for a scene I actually featured awhile back. So you should check out the archives (interestingly enough, I used the original issue to do that moment, while I’ve been using the trade for these moments – it’s an interesting contrast in coloring).

On to Year One!

Okay, in Batman #405, by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli, Lt. Gordon is investigating who Batman might actually be, and he’s checking District Attorney Harvey Dent – at the same time, Gordon is dealing with a simmering attraction between himself and Sgt. Sarah Essen, an attraction that does not come at a good time, seeing as how Gordon is married with a pregnant wife at home.

So Gordon and Essen are on the way back from seeing Dent…

While the full page splash is probably “the” moment, I’ve always been partial to the shot of Essen with her gun on Batman – I think that’s really one of the most indelible images FROM Year One.

Once again, great stuff by Miller and Mazzucchelli.

Has anyone out there NOT read Year One by now?


I only read Year One for the first time last week…

I love that shot of Batman on the rooftop with his cape off, obviously being interrupted while doing some routine equipment maintenance or something… it’s that kind of attention to detail that makes the art in this so fantastic.

Oh, and the last moment really ought to be Bruce saving the baby and Gordon telling him he can’t see a thing without his glasses – one of my favourite moments in the story, in comics and in pretty much anything, ever.

My favorite panel of that sequence is when Batman takes a bullet in the leg. These days, his leg would be a thick pile of muscle and aside from gritted teeth it wouldn’t affect him at all, but Mazzucchelli makes him look so beautifully awkward, like how I imagine actual human beings look when they get shot while running.

Not being a batfan… I haven’t read it.

So yes, there ARE those of us who haven’t.

Mazzuchelli illustrates violence so succinctly with the crushed cars and shopping carts in this story. No sound effects necessary, no big stars necessary. He’s amazing.

Pure perfection!

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 19, 2009 at 6:25 am

@Aaron Thall: Well, make sure you pick up the trade, or borrow from your library (if they have it).
This one is worth the read.


Always liked the fact that Dent was working with Batman before even Gordon was.

I have to go with the shock on gordon’s face when he sees the copters come in relizing that batman is a target no one will listen to reason.

Not being a batfan… I haven’t read it.

You know, only Commies don’t like Batman.

What can I say? I prefer a comic book universe that DOESN’T reboot itself every ten years. I want to read stories that won’t get retconned.

If Gordon had succeeded at his daring and stupid plan, jerking the wheel aside like that, he probably would have brought the entire truck down on top of himself.

Really? Your going to make a shot about retconning? Can you name one comic book universe that has never had a shitty retcon?

Mr Cronin, sir…

Um… Am I just being stupid, or is this moment supposed to be 290B or 291?

Never read Year One. Not a big Miller fan, or Batman fan.

I’m not saying that other universes haven’t rebooted… But how many times has DC done it?

Let’s see… Rebooted to become silver age, rebooted at the crisis, rebooted for zero hour, rebooted after final crisis, and I’m sure there’s a handful of others.

Marvel’s reboots? One. And it was in a single title. And nobody noticed. Yeah, I’m looking at YOU, Peter David penned Captain Marvel…

Year One has never been retconned. It’s still sitting right there on my shelf.

(Unlike that copy of Man of Steel, which just ceased to exist one day. Or I may have left it on the bus.)

I don’t care if you’re not a batfan, and the less people that like Miller the better… but come on. It’s Mazzucchelli! The man is a master. Speaking of, if you haven’t seen the MoCCA exhibit yet, you are missing something really special. Kuper’s exhibit is amazing as well.

Oh, and THE moment for me will always be Batman diving in front of the runaway truck.

You’re saying you won’t read good stories because they don’t “count”?

That’s not really something to be proud of.

No, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that’s why I don’t get the DC universe… It changes identities more than Hank Pym.

I don’t like Batman as a furthering of that general distaste for DC. He’s okay in small doses, but I’ll never be a regular reader. (NOTE: HUGE fan of B:TAS and Batman Beyond. If they were to put out showcase volumes of the B:TAS comic books, I’d snap it up in a heartbeat. That is a very rare exception to my no DC rule)

Year one just doesn’t appeal to me. I have no interest in reading the extended origin of a character I’ve never been a major proponent of. If other people enjoy it, more power to them. It’s just not my kind of thing.

Batman doesn’t really get retconned. Even his sillier stories from the 50’s and 60’s are still canon. He calls them the “Black Book Files” or something like that.

Robins get retconned, but not Batman.

And to the haters, Miller is awesome when some editorial control is at play. I’ve heard some rumors about things DC wouldn’t let him do in B:TDKR that may be worthy of Legends Revealed entries. The problem with Miller’s modern stuff is that the editors are so awed by his early work that they give him free reign, with garbage like “Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again” as a result.

All I’ll say to you Aaron is if you truly believe Marvel has only had one lame retcon in the history of comics then you’ve must not of read many comics. I mean though I’m loathe to bring it up since it causes so many digressions but what about One More Day? Marvel is just as bad as the rest… hell just this week Fraction had a terrible retcon in X-men.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

This is what I do … regardless of whether a character’s origin is retconned, or the specific title is re-booted, I avoid the continuity.
For example, I might buy a “Batman” title for the artist’s (or writer’s) run of the title, and when that run has ended, I stop buying that title. (eg. Jim Lee & Jeph Loeb’s Hush storyline on Batman, or maybe J.H. Williams’ run on Detective Comics).

If a cross-over seems interesting, I might consider buying the “core” story and forget all the tie-ins depending on my budget (ie. Final Crisis # 1-7 only) or wait for the trade and borrow it from the library (if they get it).

The thing is with Iconic characters that last forever and a day is: they will get new writers and new artists every so often, with new ideas to boost the sales at any cost. You kind of see the same thing over and over.
It gets kind of boring after years of reading the same title.

I’m talking rebooting the universe wholescale. NOT one or two little things. Even the devil thing only changed a single day, which is far from a total universe reboot, considering Marvel has said flat out that everything still happened except the wedding itself.

And I don’t read X-Men. Never have. Gave up on Spidey with the devil thing. He’s dead to me.

Aaron. There have been tonnes of reboots across the Marvel U… just in-title and not across the whole universe. Which in my opinion is worse. The complications of “Brand New Day” (for a simple, recent example) did NOT just affect the marriage. It also affected the whole Civil War unmasking, his relationship with the Avengers, etc. Tony Stark’s origin, The FF’s origin, all have been shifted.

A DC reboot affects the entire universe, across all the titles (barring the occassional editorial cock-up!)

My opinion. You’re welcome to yours, too.

Diving in fron tof the truck is it for me.

I am aslo not a big Batman fan… but I am a big COMICS fan, and Year One is damn good comics.

I don’t get why you think being all high and mighty about rebooting somehow makes you above reading Year One. Since not having read one of the greatest and seminal comic works of all time because of it makes you seem completely arrogant, not to mention stupid.

Roquefort Raider

October 20, 2009 at 8:14 am

I’m not a batfan *at all* but Batman : year one is one of the best comics ever.

Mazzucchelli really shines in those four issues, and Miller is at the top of his game. I really love the way Batman looks like what he is : a guy in a Batman costume, not an icon. It makes every jump, kick and punch look that more realistic and, to a certain extent, relatable.

Newsflash: If it isn’t a creator owned, self contained story, it has been retconned to hell and back. Superhero universes are soap operas with heat vision, deal with it.

Zor-El of Argo, Miller never had free reign with Batman, not even DKSA. He surely has more freedom, but it’s not total.

Aaron your bringing up retcons as a reason not to read Year One makes no sense. You already have a perfect excuse not to read it: you don’t like Batman comics.


October 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I’ve always loved the runaway truck sequence, just awesome sequential storytelling.
For some reason the top left panel of the homeless lady has always struck me as one of the best drawings in any comic I’ve ever seen.

just a reminder, Marvel has basically had a universal retcon, with the introduction of the Fantastic Four. If Aaron is claiming the “silver age” is a retcon, then it applies to Marvel also.

I’m a huge fan of basic continuity, I don’t have problem with retconning stuff to make stronger stories or acknowledge that time is different in comic universe(Tony Stark is now injured in Desert Storm type of retconning is necessary evil) and I do prefer universes that have a relatively strong continuity. DC after Crisis has a strong continuity for the most part, and I can’t think of too many stories that was affected by any retconning caused by Final Crisis or Zero hour—those weren’t universal retcons for the most part.(adding dimensions isn’t really a retcon in my book, it’s just adding more dimensions for stories to interact with the main universe)

Anyway, back to the series itself. This may not be a ‘cool’ moment, but I like how Sarah thinks of Bruce as a suspect before Jim does. Smart lady. Er, ok, she did turn her back to Batman, but hey, you learn through experience, I guess…

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