[World of Bats] Batman: Year 100

Welcome back to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club! With the last week of January, that means we’ll be concluding our look into the Years of Batman. Now, you might be thinking, “Wait, is there a Year 4 that I’m not aware of?” Nope, we’re going to go a little further than that, a little further in the…ah, you read the title of the thread already, it’s Batman: Year 100, written and drawn by Paul Pope.

In the year 2039, Gotham City is very nearly a police state, its citizens subject to unwarranted search and seizure. The Gotham Police clash almost daily with federal agents, who are pursuing the legendary “Batman.” Captain Gordon, the grandson of the original Commissioner Gordon, is also trying to find Batman, and find out what he knows about the murder of a federal agent.

As always, any thoughts, questions, and tips on how to hack the fed’s database are welcome, and we also have some cool (in my humble opinion) discussion questions as well!

  • What do you think of the alternate future presented in this story? What other characters would you have liked to have seen in this strange take on 2039?

  • The art of Paul Pope is rather different from what one normally sees in standard superhero stories. Is this the first time you’ve read any works from this artist, and if so, what did you think?

  • For a near-future take on the character, the Batman of this story is decidedly far more low-tech, creating his mystique with wires, voices, and even fake vampire teeth. Do you prefer this more low-tech character or the tech-savvy Batman with a gadget for every occasion?

  • What do you think of the mystery and who is ultimately under the cowl? Did you like what the story presented, or did you find it underwhelming?

You can find the link to the four issue mini-series HERE.

The time period for this book will be from 2020-01-25T06:00:00Z2020-02-01T06:00:00Z

If you wish to join the World of Bats and see some of the previous club entries, you can check out the link to our club HERE. If you have any questions about the club, you can contact me, @Jay_Kay, and/or @AquamonC137 and @BatJamags.

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This will be my first time participating. Super stoked! Should I read all four issues over the course of this coming week and be prepared discussion at the end of the week?

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Welcome! Generally we read them and discuss it throughout the week. :slight_smile:

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Ok great I’ll work on reading issue 1 tonight!

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Meh. I like some of the ideas in this story, but the plot itself just didn’t hold my interest. The totalitarian overtones reminded me somewhat of Chuck Dixon’s dystopian LOTDK story “Watchtower” from 1993-4. There’s obviously a comparison to be drawn to The Dark Knight Strikes Again as well, but Year 100 is at least better than that story–a lot better.

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I’ve always wanted to read this mini series. The art always drew me to it. However I struggled to get past the first issue other times I read because whole I love the art the story was hard to follow at times and I don’t think the characters feel very fleshed out.

The mystery or driving plot of the story doesn’t come into play until half-way through the story which probably is why I had an easy time putting it down and walking away before.

The low techbasect of the story appealed to me, but again it left me with shallow feeling towards the characters. Batman is in better shape and can leap further than other humans, but why? Why are these people helping him?

Near as I can remember this was sold as a one off mini-series, so the characters remain just… Bland? They’re never going to be returned to. I get that it calls back to 1939 Batman, but still feels like more time me was spent on what the world would look like than who these people were in it.

Anyways, the art was great. It is the only thing Paul Pope I think I’ve read. And I liked it a lot of only for the art and different kind of Elseworlds type story.

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I can see what you’re saying about the characters in this. I found them likable enough but it does seem like Pope was more focused on world-building than character. I wonder if things would feel different if they used more established characters – like, say, Robin was Jason Todd or Tim Drake, and the nurse was someone like Stephanie Brown.

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It’s Year One with dystopian cliches. That’s basically it.

I liked his composition and backgrounds, but the character art is just blobby. I guess I see the appeal, but I didn’t find it all that good.

Actually, I do like this. Batman crutches too hard on gadgets sometimes. Simpler trickery and strategy showcases his skills better and improves the tension since his capabilities really are limited.

It really felt like a mystery for the sake of being mysterious. I guess it’s supposed to be a clever commentary on the fact that Batman doesn’t age in canon, except it’s not all that clever because it doesn’t say anything about it. It’s like one of those “parodies” that’s basically just saying “Observe: this is a trope. I have used it.”

And as Meisaj pointed out, I didn’t really care about most of the characters. They sort of did what they had to do for the plot but didn’t really have much personality. It was also weird that Gordon’s grandson was identical to him in basically every way.

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It was okay. The first issue has me a bit worried because I didn’t really follow all of the dialogue. I was worried future-speak was gonna be too much for me. But I did like that technology wasn’t just completely futuristic. Makes the science fiction aspect more believable, I think.

No, I first saw his work in Wednesday Comics, and really dig it. I’m a big fan of art styles that are really so specific to one person. Like, when you see Mike Mignola, you know it’s him. Same thing with Pope.

I enjoy the lower tech Batman. I really liked the vampire teeth this version added, too.

I don’t think this was our Bruce Wayne, was it? Not anymore than that was our Jim Gordon. I just assumed it was a descendent. I’m the end, since the reader isn’t familiar with any of these characters, I don’t imagine anyone much cares who is behind the cowl.

I really, really liked this overall, though. I knew going in that the story itself probably wouldn’t be that complex…I find that when people known for their art begin writing their own stuff that it becomes mainly a showcase for their art (as any early Image book will attest to), and, as I said, I’m down with Pope so I was down for this series.

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Wow. I thought I’d be the only one hating on this story, but I was wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s almost as if Pope had a really cool idea for a revamped Year One costume (complete with the fake teeth) but didn’t have the guts (or perhaps the permission?) to write something akin to Superman: Birthright, so he had to settle for a futuristic tale that’s otherwise just another variation on the Batman origin story.

Giving credit where it’s due, though: I really, really do like the costume.

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Guess it’s my turn now. :slight_smile:

  • What do you think of the alternate future presented in this story? What other characters would you have liked to have seen in this strange take on 2039?

I liked this alternate future take – Pope draws it exceptionally well and feels rather prophetic. Creepy surveillance hasn’t gotten any less pervasive since this story was made.

As for other characters, while it would have been neat to see them, but considering the history of this universe and the fact that we have Batman starting in 1939, I suppose it makes sense that many of them wouldn’t be around.

  • The art of Paul Pope is rather different from what one normally sees in standard superhero stories. Is this the first time you’ve read any works from this artist, and if so, what did you think?

I’ve read a decent chunk of his work. The aforementioned Adam Strange strip he did for Wednesday Comics was great (and as an aside – when will we ever get those stories digitalized? The only one I’ve seen for it was Azzarello/Risso’s Batman strip), and a solid Black & White story.

After reading this, I was actually inspired to pick up from Comixology Unlimited a book of some of his early work called “One Trick Rip Off + Deep Cuts,” which I found really interesting. It feels like the work of a young man – lots of crime and angsty teens.

  • For a near-future take on the character, the Batman of this story is decidedly far more low-tech, creating his mystique with wires, voices, and even fake vampire teeth. Do you prefer this more low-tech character or the tech-savvy Batman with a gadget for every occasion?

I’m torn. I like the gadgets, I feel like there’s fun to be had with Bruce being a gadget nut. But I do like these instances where he uses more grounded tricks to set his mysterious aura.

I guess I would try to find a middle way where he has access to a lot of advanced tech, but knows when a simple trick is most effective.

  • What do you think of the mystery and who is ultimately under the cowl? Did you like what the story presented, or did you find it underwhelming?

I would say that did feel the most underwhelming part of the story. It feels like it got us primed for a mystery and then ripped us off the carpet by saying “lol there isn’t one.”

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Yeah, I kinda get the feeling I was the only one who kinda liked this one. :sweat_smile: Oh well, part of the fun of these book clubs is to try something new, right?

So now that the month of Years is up, I’m curious. Of the books we read for this month, which do you prefer?

  • Year One
  • Year Two
  • Year Three
  • Year 100
  • Zero Year

0 voters

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I’m throwing my vote in for Year Three. I think it had the strongest plot, even if it doesn’t have the sheer style of Year One or the thematic resonance of Year Two.

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Hey, I’m the guy voting for Year Two in the poll you just posted, so I totally understand. :wink:

At least every story is getting one vote, then! That’s good. You just know it will be 99% Year One.

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I felt this alternate future was very Miller like. Honestly not sure what other characters I would have liked to have seen in this.
Was not crazy about Pope’s art. I’m not familiar with his name and unsure if I have read other stories with his art in it. Thought alot of the characters had a very similar look as far as facial features.
While I am a fan of the gadgets I didn’t mind this low-tech take. I didn’t really make sense why his tech was so simply though with using repelling gear instead of his grappling gun. I did think the teeth were cool though.
Real I was confused with this story. Was that Bruce? What happened to the Trinity? The military jargon was confusing and found myself skimming through most of it. IDK this story just left me with more questions than answers but not in an intriguing way more so just confused.

@Jay_Kay @AlexanderKnox

No, I dug it, truly. It’s just that it was the esthetics that drew me, not the story.

I get what you’re saying, though, @AquamonC137…The faces on a lot of the characters, especially Bruce & Robin, were fairly similar.

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Yeah, same-face syndrome is a thing for a LOT of artists in the field. I think with most artists they tend to get one male face and one female face they know to draw real well and just add little things to distinguish them like hair color.

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Yeah, I think the ability to avoid that consistently is something I generally consider the mark of a really good artist (or a really bad one, if even the same face isn’t drawn the same from panel to panel).

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yeah I think it just stood out for me because I didn’t care much for the style. The story was ok but because it was a one off story I just wish more would have been revealed with the characters. The plot had a cool premise but if they have let us know who Batman was it would have been a better read.

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