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    Reviews - Batman - #404

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Mazzucchelli and Miller Team Up Again - SarahVespes
Spoiler Alert---
but seriously who hasn't read this yet???!
...While there have been many, many iterations of this origin, few have been as nuanced, brutal, cinematic and well written as this one is.
Miller's script establishes a keen tension between what the reader knows [by benefit of history, familiarity with the characters] with what the characters themselves know [E.G. the ending in which Commissioner Gordon mentions a lunatic who's poisoning the city reservoir- -guess who?]. Mazzuchelli's artwork, directorial eye and painterly vocabulary [there are references to Edward Hopper throughout this four issue series] inform this movie-as-comic book that can hardly contain the action and emotion within.
The simple retelling in the first issue of the tragic death of Bruce Wayne's parents communicates for the first time, -in a way no other artist and writer have managed to ever communicate to us as readers; the simple horrible truth about Batman: -That there is no Bruce Wayne.
Bruce Wayne died the moment his parents were killed. The young Bruce Wayne died along with them as if he'd been shot and the thing that had been born in that violent instant went without a name until the fateful night that a bat crashed through the window of his late father's study.
Interestingly, this story is as much about the rise of Jim Gordon, as it is about the descent of Bruce Wayne into the identity of Batman.
This is required reading.
-Sarah Vespes

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