Last week I mentioned that maybe it had been a bad idea to assign the kids to read the surreal wordless story "Frank and the Truth About Plenitude." In retrospect I'm glad I did, because I think struggling through that has made them appreciate Batman Year One more. As a class we're still on chapter 2, but a number of students are reading ahead, which is always nice. A few of them have said, "I actually like this," with shock in their voice.
One of my fellow teachers buys all the Batman comics that come out each month (which is a lot of comics) but doesn't keep them. He donated a pile of 3-4 months worth of Batman to my class. Today I had each student choose a modern Batman comic (options included Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, Batman Incorporated, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batgirl, and so on), look it over, and write a comparison between that comic and Batman Year One. In particular I wanted them to compare and contrast the art and writing styles. Some of the students were intrigued by the modern comics, though I think the general consensus was that Year One is better.
(Which is correct.)