This weekend, I read Paul Pope and Jose Villarubia's astounding "Batman Year 100" collection
(another great find from the recommended table at LA's Secret Headquarters comic shop).
Batman Year 100 is set in 2039, 100 years after the 1939 debut of The Bat-Man. America has become a Soviet-like military society, where corrupt Department of Homeland Security officials reign supreme in a land of suspended habeas corpus and universal surveillance.
Batman is now a mere urban legend in Gotham City, but he is still alive and well, living in the cracks of totalitarian America. When he witnesses a Fed shock-trooper's murder, he becomes the target of a violent, determined investigation from the DHS brass, who are determined to destroy "the last mask" and perfect their vision of an America where they are the only authority.
Batman Year 100 is the most exciting and fresh re-imagining of the Batman stories since the original Frank Miller Dark Knight comics. The artwork is broody, abstract, haunting; the writing screams along at 100 mph. This Batman is the most complex, conflicted, and darkest Batman yet.
As a bonus, there's a great short alternate-universe Batman story stuck at the end, where Batman is imagined as the alter-ego of a Nazi-fighting Jew in 1939 Germany.
Just what we needed, said exactly no one.
* whether they deserve one or not
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