Color in the old edition is better. Why ignore light source in panel 2 in the new one? But also, notice how they cut the bleed art, back in 86. Even adding a panel border line.
Batman: Year One issue 3, page 2
1. David Mazzuccelli’s line art
2. The published page(Batman #406) from 1986 with Richmond Lewis’ original colors
3. Richmond Lewis’ new color plate for the 2005 re-release
4. The published page from the 2005 edition
I wonder how that works that someone has these two pages next to each other, and concludes: WE HAVE MADE IT BETTER!
The colors are much bolder in the original, even with it being a scan of an old page. The way her top pops in the next to last panel in the original page—it’s the boldest color on the entire page—and it’s the only occurrence of that color—which gives the page a particular movement—which I don’t think changing the color of the coffee table and then matching the top to that color is as effective. It’s much more dumbed down and literal the movement from the cat to the table to the bottom left panel. Where I think before that movement is implied. It’s kind of a focal point of how the page works visually—and it’s been largely muted.
Also because of making the coffee table a pink color—they had to change the furniture by the window to a purple that is actually more dull than the cat on the bed—which in the original the cat on the bed in the middle panel is dulled out—so you pull over to that window with the word balloons subtlety—while not losing the sudden pull back to that bottom left panel.
Weird choices. And then having to introduce that puke colored sky in the last panel sort of says it all.
I don’t really get why companies take older works that are established in their brilliance—and decide to just re-color the things as if that’s not damaging to the integrity of the work itself. Why not just go back and have someone redraw Mazzuccelli’s page too? I mean is it that hard just to take the original source material—clean it up a bit—and keep it moving? I mean just use the exact same colors from the original—adjust for the fade of the news print page—and away you go. Oh well. There’s certainly been more egregious jobs done on this kind of thing. Like when they recolored those Jim Lee Uncanny X-men’s and completely changed or lost background colors entirely—as if that wasn’t very much a part of the aesthetic of the time.