The announcement of Batman: Arkham Origins kind of came out of nowhere earlier this year, and it was met with near-immediate skepticism. As a prequel done by a new studio, all signs pointed to disappointment.
Now that the game is in our hands, those fears…they weren’t unfounded. A proper review will be up soon enough, but for now the gist is that we’ve seen “Batman’s Early Days” several times before across different mediums, and Arkham Origins has the dubious honor of being the least interesting and most expensive of them all.
Here are the better ones.
Detective Comics #27
While there’s been no shortage of origin stories over the span of 74 years, there’s something so wonderfully quaint about the very first time we saw the bat in action. “Bat-Man” was spelled with a hyphen, he drove what looked like a Lincoln Zephyr, and he punched a guy into a vat of acid without so much as a second thought:
Calling Detective Comics #27 a relic is an understatement, but it’s free on comiXology and only six pages long — there’s no good reason not to check it out.
Batman: Year One
Alright, now we’re talking. Frank Miller wrote some outstanding comic books way back before he lost his mind, and 1987′s Year One wasn’t just the very best version of Batman’s origin — it may very well be the very best Batman story of them all.
It follows both Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon as they move into Gotham for the first time (or the first time in years, in Bruce’s case), both looking to make an impact on a city that desperately needs them. It’s a gritty book through and through, but not cartoonishly so the way The Dark Knight Returns is, and David Mazzucchelli’s art ties it all together.
At this point, you can get a collected edition for just over ten bucks, so please do if you haven’t already.
Let’s take a short break from the funny books and talk a little bit about how gosh darn terrific the first movie in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is, yeah?
Not only did it make us forget the criminal Joel Schumacher movies that followed Tim Burton’s work, but it put Scarecrow, Ra’s al Ghul, and his League of Shadows front-and-center in a live-action film for the first time. They’re the kinds of villains usually relegated to video games because they’re so weird, but Nolan gave them a chance to make an impact across all three of his films.
Aside from the Batsuit looking a little goofier compared to the later films, you can make a solid argument that Begins is the best in the trilogy. If you somehow haven’t seen it by now, you can get the solo flick for less than nine bucks, or the entire trilogy for the fair price of $32. S’all good, man.