Almost years ago, DC Comics teamed writers J. Michael Straczynski and artist Shane Davis together to create Superman: Earth One, a contemporary take on the Superman legend. Now, with DC golden boy scribe Geoff Johns and powerhouse artist Gary Frank, they have released Batman: Earth One.
.: SPOILERS AHEAD :.
What's interesting is that while these two characters begin as polar opposites of who they are in the mainstream universe, Johns creates a gradual transition for their characters throughout the novel. You can see what chain of events lead them to what they become when the story comes to an end. Geoff Johns has a knack for developing obscure characters and making them cool again.
Then there's Bruce Wayne. Earth One Batman is a cocky kid who's pissed off at the world. He lacks the depth and control that the mainstream Batman has, and everyone knows it. This Batman screws up more than he is successful. He's angry that his parents were killed and he's looking to lash out at the world. But by the end of the story, you get a better sense that he'll eventually become the Batman we all know.
Gary Frank, mostly associated with his Superman work, is a phenomenal artist and delivers dynamic illustrations that engage the readers just as much, if not more, than the story. I bet if there wasn't any dialogue, you could still piece together a great story just from the pencils alone.
Definitely something to pick up.