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Batman: Year One 

Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery (Warner Home Video)

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An animated version of Frank Miller’s essential Batman origin story Batman: Year One from 1988, originally drawn by the incomparable David Mazzucchelli. Making flawed, recently transferred-to-Gotham cop Jim Gordon the lead character was a brilliant move, as he deals with police corruption and a caped vigilante doling out justice on the streets. Unfortunately, while the animated version sticks closely to the plot of the original, it turns Mazzucchelli’s gorgeous art into CGI-inflected, generic blocky animation. Also, Miller’s hard-boiled language is softened, as is the edge of the original comic’s Gotham inner-city vision. Being true to the original would have likely risked an R-rating, but anything less feels like a cop-out. You’d be far better off reading the trade paperback, still in print.

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