Batman Chronicles / Vol 1 : 4 of 5
After rereading the old Eternals comics I enjoyed as a kid, I've been eager to discover the original stories and artwork of famous characters, so I was excited to find this fantastic series which presents all of the original appearances of Batman in a nice (and extremely affordable) graphic novel format. This first volume was incredibly fun to read, since I had never seen Batman's original beginnings as a regular feature in Detective Comics (starting in 1939). The artwork is somewhat crude, but still dynamic and full of charm (and dramatically improves as the series progresses). I love the old style of narration, which describes everything Batman is doing right there on the panel in front of you, and I like the nostalgic touches (such as Bruce Wayne always smoking a pipe!). I was amazed that Batman's origin story isn't told until several issues have past, and it only takes a page and a half to cover it! Robin's origin is pretty short as well, but he's only getting started as this volume ends with the first issue of Batman's own comic in 1940. There are a few regular villains, such as Doctor Death, Hugo Strange, and of course, the Joker, but it's fun to see Batman go up against weird things like werewolves, too. Batman himself is definitely a tough guy, and he barely thinks twice about killing his enemies if he has to, which certainly changes later on. If you're fascinated by the humble beginnings of one of the most popular heroes of all time, you'll definitely enjoy this book, and I'm certainly ready to continue with the next volume!