In terms of the flashiness with which violence is depicted, graphic novels are generally more similar to movies than novels. Violence is depicted as quick and exciting both in movies and graphic novels, and the amount of gore is decided by the creator rather than being up to the reader’s imagination like in novels. Movies also use violence for humor’s sake, which does not seem to happen as much in novels. This is also true in the case of Batman: Year One whenever violence is shown, but when the violence happens between the lines, it is up to the reader’s imagination like in a novel. There are elements of both novels and movies, but especially because of the crisp imagery, Batman: Year One is more closely aligned with a movie.
The action is difficult to follow at times. Sometimes a frame focuses entirely on a hand or a shadow, and it’s difficult to keep track of whose hand or whose shadow it is. It’s frustrating to try to keep track of every detail, as if maybe the graphic novel is meant to be read through without too much concern over the specifics. Unlike both the typical movie and the typical novel, Batman: Year One is difficult to follow frame by frame. It does seem like some details are intentionally left out. There are moments in which a character decides on a course of action, or carries out an important action, but the graphic novel doesn’t show it happening. Instead, the reader is treated to an image of a hand or an object, then a rough cut to the next scene. Not all of the violence is spelled out, either. Either as an act of censorship or a desire for the readers to imagine the moment for themselves, there are implied acts of violence intermixed with the violence that is drawn.