Batman: Year One

Batman #404

Cover Date: February 1987
Subtitle: Who I am, How I Came to Be
Writer(s): Frank Miller
Artists(s): David Mazzucchelli
Storyline: Lt. James Gordon arrived in Gotham City and was greeted by Detective Flass; Bruce Wayne returned to his home and was greeted by the media. Gordon began to see the corruption in the police department firsthand - from his partner all the way up to Commissioner Gillian Loeb. Gordon was roughed up by some of Flass's goons when they realized he "wasn't good for the department." Gordon stalked Flass that night and caused him to crash. He beat the drunk detective up and left him naked on the side of the road. Bruce created an alibi and, disguised, went on a recon mission through the city. In the East End, he was propositioned by a young girl named Holly. Another hooker named Selina looked on from an upstairs window. Holly's pimp Stan attacked Wayne, she stabbed him in the thigh, and Selina jumped down to enter the fray. He was shot by police and taken in a squad car. Wayne caused the police to wreck and escaped. While driving home, he realized he wasn't feared. That night, while he waited for Alfred to tend his wounds (his butler had been trained in combat medicine), a bat flew through his window.

Batman #405

Cover Date: March 1987
Subtitle: War is Declared
Writer(s): Frank Miller
Artists(s): David Mazzucchelli
Storyline: Gordon responded to a hostage situation. He humiliated SWAT and ended it by himself. Now with the press on his side, Loeb's hands were tied. With his pregnant wife giving him a massage, Gordon got a call about a giant bat. Five weeks later, he briefed the force on this new vigilante called Batman. Flass gave his own personal account of when he was attacked by the superhuman creature. Commissioner Loeb was having a dinner with the heads of various "organizations" (including Carmine Falcone) when the Batman burst in and threatened them all. Gordon questioned Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent about Batman and about Falcone while Batman hid under the DA's desk. Gordon confided in Detective Essen that Dent could be Batman. Essen believed Bruce Wayne was the vigilante. As they talked, they saw the Batman save a woman from a runaway truck. Gordon and Essen chased him into an abandoned building. The Commissioner ordered it demolished. SWAT arrived on the scene.

Batman #406

Cover Date: April 1987
Subtitle: Black Dawn
Writer(s): Frank Miller
Artists(s): David Mazzucchelli
Storyline: Selina and Holly saw the situation unfold via their window and TV. They headed to the scene. Batman took a bullet in the leg and took an entire police unit down. Using a device he'd created, Batman called the bats from the cave under his mansion. He continued to dismantle cops. Using the bats as cover, he stole a police motorcycle and escaped. A nearby merchant found cash on his register and a suit missing. Wayne traveled to Switzerland so that he'd have an alibi when Gordon began asking questions. Gotham's hero cop began an affair with his partner, Sarah Essen, and began to feel as though Batman was one of the good guys.

Batman #407

Cover Date: May 1987
Subtitle: Friend in Need
Writer(s): Frank Miller
Artists(s): David Mazzucchelli
Storyline: Essen requested a transfer to get away from Gordon, who was in love with her. Gordon questioned Dent's motives when one of his collars, Skeevers, was released on bail. Batman got to Skeevers and he squealed on Flass. Loeb threatened Gordon with pictures of him with Essen. Gordon and his wife visited with Wayne. He told her about his affair with Essen. She later gave birth to a boy. Skeevers survived an incident with rat poison in his food. A cat burglar frequented Loeb's home. Selina was furious when the credit went to Batman. Her next attack was on Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. She scratched his face and made sure she was seen. Batman helped her when his goons attacked. Gordon's son was kidnapped - both Loeb and Falcone were involved. Gordon saw it happen and went after them. Batman - out of costume - saved the child and handed him over to his father. Gordon told the man he could barely see without his glasses. Loeb resigned after Flass showed his notes during his trial. Gordon was promoted to Captain. He awaited Batman on a rooftop - someone was planning to poison the GC reservoir.

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  • This story takes place over an entire calendar year - January through December.
  • Bruce was 25 when he returned to Gotham City after 12 years abroad. His parents had been murdered 18 years before when he was 6.
  • Barbara Gordon, pregnant wife of James, mentioned a "Man of Steel" in Metropolis. Alfred also spoke of Superman.
  • James Gordon, Jr. was born to Barbara and James, Sr.
  • Gordon was promoted to Captain at some point in the story.
  • Return to continuity section 1.