PREVIEW: Apparently, BATMAN: EARTH ONE Really is Happening

Many moons ago, DC Comics announced their Earth One line of original graphic novels featuring top tier creative talent working free from regular continuity and designed for books stores and the ever elusive general market.

Superman: Earth One, written by J. Michael Straczynski, was released in 2010 and, despite decidedly mixed reviews, was apparently a big sales success.

(You’ve got to believe that the success of a non-DCU continuity Superman OGN helped smooth the way for the New 52.)

The original announcement included Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, but despite a few character designs that were released, not much has been heard about the book since. Many wondered if it would ever see the light of day.

Today, DC Comics released some actual preview pages on their blog. So, I guess it’s really happening.

Here’s what Geoff Johns had to say on the blog: “Gary [Frank] and I are tackling Batman from the beginning, before he knows what he’s doing and with a very different ultimate goal in mind. He’s never left Gotham. And our Gotham and the people in it are very gray. Our heroes unlikely. Our villains hidden. Our story is only beginning with volume one.”

And Gary Frank: “It’s essentially the first piece of the jigsaw. He’s not the Batman people know, but he might be one day. He’s certainly not yet a superhero. The fun is to watch him piece the persona together drawing on his experiences and the influences of those around him and, at this stage, the idea of becoming a ‘superhero’ hasn’t even entered his head.”

Amazon lists Batman: Earth One as being released in July. Who knows when it will hit comic book stores.


  1. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Really nice storytelling in this sequence. A lot being communicated without a single word.

  2. YES! Finally! I’ve been waiting over 2 years for this!!

  3. Yet another Batman origin/ early crime fighting days story. Because that is exactly what we need. What can they possibly do that hasnt already been done in Batman:Year One? Stupid idea, should turn their attention to rebooting a character like Plastic Man or their Fourth World stable of characters.

    • Well, from what I hear, this book is about Bruce before he became batman and events leading up to it. So, I’m excited. That has not been done before.

      If there was a Plastic Man or a Fourth world movie coming out directed by Chris Nolan, I would agree with you …

    • I don’t have a problem with this. Unlike Superman, Batman’s origin hasn’t be rebooted over and over again, it’s more that new writers add bits and pieces to the existing origin or write bits and pieces out. We haven’t really seen a major reboot of Batman’s full origin story since the days of Year One and that’s why I was always going to be more excited for this book than Superman: Earth One.

      Sidenote: Plastic Man doesn’t need rebooting again, he just needs Kyle Baker back on his side.

    • Because plastic man would be a huge seller. 🙂

  4. I’m excited if they spend a bit more time on the years immediately after his parents death before he leaves Gotham. It could be a great “Smallville” version of Batman we’d hoped for.

  5. i dunno, i just don’t see the point in origin stories being retold of batman, superman, spider-man. even witha good story and good art, either true to the original or with variation it all seems a bit contrived at this point. the art looks nice.

    • The industry needs new comic fans. This story will give non-comic readers to get interested.

      Don’t get me wrong, I get judgmental about different projects too, but sometime I have to realize that it’s not ALWAYS about me …

  6. I’m really excited about this book. I love love Gary Frank and as awesome as Johns is (great person too) I feel like he does his best work with him.

  7. Sometimes I check trade and OGN release dates on Amazon because I need the lie.

  8. I like Gary Frank and Johns but why couldn’t they have just used this as the New 52 Batman origin book? We don’t know what it is yet so this could have been part of the 52 continuity. Either way, it’s gonna be great!

  9. Doesn’t Alfred look like Sam Elliott?

  10. Some serious Alfred involvement? Couldn’t be more pleased.

  11. I coulda sworn that in the concept sketches Alfred was the one with the short white hair/goatee combo. But I get a Gordon vibe from that page. I guess that could change in production.

    Also, could Bruce be middle-class in this world? That’s kind of a cool idea.

    No matter what, I’ll be getting this one. Johns + Frank = Happy WheelHands

  12. I loved Frank’s work on Midnight Nation (read it if you haven’t already) – very clean, different than a lot of other artists, his stuff just pops. This looks and sounds great, can’t wait!

  13. If that is Alfred, do not like. An Alfred without a pencil mustache is no Alfred at all.

    Bruce/Batman looks good, though.

  14. Look forward to picking this up. It’s always a touchy subject messing with origin stories, sometimes they can be done too many times and people just get sick of it but I think it still brings a lot of attention to the story.

  15. Conor, does Amazon have Year One or Earth One solicited for July?

  16. I will probably read this when it comes out, what I am tired of is all the retelling of origin stories in comic book movies. Seriously Spiderman and Superman do not need to have their origin stories told again, if you do not know them by now well it sucks to be you. Make a Superman movie or a new Spiderman movie that comic fans would actually like to watch.

  17. Alfred looks fantastic!

  18. This is shaping up to look pretty good. I mean LOOK good since there is no writing on these pages yet. Hopefully it is more of a look at Bruce before he decides to become Batman. We’ve seen flashbacks before of his life as a kid but not to this extent.

  19. Personally, I enjoy any new take on an old story. With a 70+ year old character there are limited new stories to tell (and let’s face it, Snyder’s telling most of them) so a new take on an old tale, count me in. Besides, the excuse of, “its already been done” is like saying we shouldn’t read Fables or Hellboy because we’ve read Arthurian tales or Grimm’s (the stories, not THE NBC show)

  20. I have no interest in the whole “Earth One” deal. Or so I thought. This looks fantastic and I might check it out just because Frank’s depiction of Alfred is the epitome of badass!
    Gary Frank is so fantastic.

  21. This really looks awesome, can’t wait to get one of these !

  22. So many things make this an automatic buy for me. Batman. Gary Frank. My love of hardcover OGN’s. My desire for a line of Earth One books. They totally got my number on this one! I want this to do well.

  23. I was really excited for this when it was first announced… But, after so much time has passed, and the Superman Earth One story leaving a not so pleasant taste in my mouth, and the amazing Batman stuff Scott Snyder has been doing… well, I just can’t seem to get too pumped for it. Oh, I’ll still buy it, because it contains the words “Batman,” “Geoff Johns,” and “Gary Frank,” on the cover, I’m just not in “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” mode over it anymore.

  24. SO happy this is finally in comic news again. I can’t wait for this. However if this is what Alfred looks like it just not occurred to me to wonder what Gordon will look like.