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Batman: Year One Hundred #1

Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writer/Artist: Paul Pope, Jose Villarrubia(c)
Publisher: DC

Whoa!

I haven't seen Batman move like that anywhere except in the Timm/Dini animated series and the books based on the animated series. Paul Pope literally cuts to the chase.

Batman somehow transported to a totalitarian future Gotham City finds himself on the run from federal police--there goes posse comitatus again--and a pack of their dogs. The dogs are wired, and the cabals who now run the United States are watching. Their statements and Batman's actions leave you without a doubt. This is no substitute.

"Impossible. That's a twenty-foot jump. Nobody can--"

Of course whenever anybody says that in a comic book, you know or should know they're referring to Batman, who routinely accomplishes the improbable. Keep in mind that he's also leaping, fighting and running with a bleeding gunshot wound. Adrenaline may be coursing through his veins, but it's also seeping out of his side, and yet not once do I find any of the situations implausible.

It's Batman. That's really all I need to know.

Pope does not explain how Batman managed to get to this bizarre version of Gotham, but damn it. That is Batman. He looks like Batman. He acts like Batman. His brief dialogue denotes Batman. He moves like Batman. Batman.

Pope's artwork is uniquely stunning. He does not illustrate male or female models. He does streamline faces or features. He instead concentrates on effect and motion. He considers panel layout and storycraft. His vision produces a fusion of government and sports celebrity through the design of the Federal troops. It equates beauty with duty to justice and humanism. Pope doesn't draw the prettiest figures, but these characters move, express and breathe.



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