Batman: Year 100

Batman: Year 100 comic review

I read Batman: Year 100, written and illustrated by Paul Pope. It is a self-contained comic set in Gotham, year 2039. The gist of the story is, Batman witnesses the murder of a federal agent and gets framed for it. He works to unravel the government conspiracy behind the event.
The art style is unique. Batman looks grittier and his costume design is more realistic than the painted-on costume design of other iterations. Pope did a great job conveying movement and action with his messy, flowing line work and coloring.
The plot reminded me of a spy movie. There is a lot of running away from groups of armed men. Batman even infiltrates a building with the directions of a sidekick on the line. There is no character development, only sleuthing, running, fighting, and other general frenetic mayhem. There are interesting villains with strong personalities, but they don’t get backstories and are disposed of easily. Batman is joined by iterations of the usual cast: Robin, Jim Gordon (grandson of Commissioner Gordon), a Batgirl/Oracle-esque computer hacker. The characters don’t evolve or change their moral philosophies as the story progresses, but they do make shocking revelations regarding the incident that Batman is framed for. The plot did not explore any of Batman’s psychological or physical traumas. We see him getting injured, bones broken, even shot, but he quickly bounces back and gets to work saving the day again.
The comic maintains Batman’s mythical persona, as everyone is amazed that in an age where everyone is documented, where there is no privacy, that a masked crusader still exists. Batman manages to crush everyone with raw fighting ability and low tech weapons. And his mind is as amazing as ever, able to recall events in his past with perfect photographic memory, focusing and slowing down his memories like a video player. The comic asked but never got around to explaining the real mystery: how is Batman still alive and moving spritely after 100+ years of crime fighting? Did the original Bruce Wayne figure out how to stay young, did someone else take up the mantle, or has Batman somehow transcended into a myth that defies all logic?
Overall, the comic is entertaining, but it doesn’t add anything to the Batman mythos, and the futuristic setting could have been explored further.

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