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Darren Aronofsky’s BATMAN YEAR ONE = Paul Pope’s BATMAN YEAR 100

January 18, 2011

Good ol’ Darren Aronofsky made some waves this week proclaiming he hoped to not only publish his aborted Batman Year One screenplay as a graphic novel but that he still harbors hope of one day directing a Batman movie.  Sooooo…. some of you might be wondering what I think about this.  And based on my previous post on Aronofsky’s Batman Year One (read here!) you might think I’m none too pleased about it.  BUT, surprisingly, shockingly, maddeningly, you’d be wrong.  I’d actually be quite excited to read an Aronofsky graphic novel.  The idea reminds me of another out-there Batman adaptation: Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100, a graphic novel I quite enjoyed.

Batman Year 100

For those of you unfamiliar, Pope’s book is an extreme re-imagining of the Batman mythos.  The story takes place in the year 2039… exactly 100 years after the “mysterious” Bat-man (note: Pope always hyphens the name) made his legendary appearance (both in our world, and Pope’s world.)  In this world, the Bat-man is not only an urban legend but also an enemy of the state (surprise, surprise.)  He’s pursued endlessly by the Gotham Police (including the great grandson of Jim Gordon) as well as Federal agents (who just so happen to be telepathic.)  One of the highlights of Pope’s book:  the true identity of the Bat-man is never given.  Whether he’s the original Bat-man Bruce Wayne, his great grandson, or just some nut in a cape, the reader never knows.  The art is classic Pope.  And the writing is classic Pope.  A decent read overall. (My only complaint against Pope: the stupid proclamation that his batcycle was the inspiration for the batpod in The Dark Knight.   And that he deserved credit.  Because nobody ever thought of giving Batman a motorcycle before.  Sigh.)

Bat-fangs? Bat-fangs.

And I’d dare to say that Pope’s Batman Year 100 is everything I’d expect from an Aronofsky Batman Year One:  A dramatic re-imaging of our beloved hero, with good art and sharp writing.  Can I pre-order my copy already?  As for Aronofsky taking another stab at a Batman movie post Nolan and Bale.  Well… let’s just see if Wolverine 2 ever gets made…

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