How can the Batman Year One story arch ever be ignored? It’s impossible for any Batman comic fan to not have heard of this story, as it’s often recommended as a starting point for reading. It was also written by Frank Miller, a legend who went on to be recognized in movies and other media. One of the most interesting things about Year One though is how it became a basis for tracking down anything canon. For example, people often want to try and figure out Batman’s age. But to do this, they need a starting point. So how old is Batman in Year One?
We can use Batman 404 as a basis. It is the first comic in this story, and it helps establish his age by Bruce explaining how long it has been since his parents were killed. On page 21 he says that he had been waiting eighteen years since he watched The Mark of Zorro with his parents before they were shot as they left the theater. So this is the first clue. In these panels we see that he is a young boy and kneels between the two of them as they lie dead on the ground.
In Batman 406, the third issue, we get another clue. Gordon is trying to determine who Batman may be and decides that the prime suspect is Bruce Wayne. It is mentioned that Bruce was six years old when his parents were murdered by a mugger, and that it seems like enough motive to assault criminals and dress like Dracula. Of course, Bruce is unavailable, allegedly in Switzerland with two broken legs and a broken arm. This takes place on page 17. (The number 17 is positioned in a rather awkward place, and it’s questionable why it was placed there rather than directly in the corner of the page.)
Since in Batman 404 he said he waited eighteen years, and we knew from 406 that Bruce was six years old when his parents died, we can deduce how old Batman is in Year One. This should place him at 24 years old.
If you are reading this article, then it is probably because you recognize how sweet Batman Year One is. Which is why you should grab it and add it to your collection. Even if you are not a comic book fan, this is a great place to start to understand the dark knight.