Batman: Zero Year reaches a new level as The Riddler sends Gotham City into total darkness! “Dark City” begins in this issue that features an appropriately darkened and embossed cover.
This updating of Batman’s origin is sure to be popular for decades to come!
The scripts and art are as powerful as ever!
You won’t get nearly as much out of this book if you haven’t read the last several issues, so get out there and pick them up ASAP!
Writers: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV
Artists: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Andy Clarke
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Previously in BATMAN: Batman has removed the threat of the Red Hood Gang and its mysterious leader from Gotham City. But The Riddler is waiting in the wings to turn Gotham into a dark domain.
ZERO YEAR: PHASE TWO
One thing I particularly enjoy about Scott Snyder’s writing is that he doesn’t tell us everything up front. This month’s issue is a perfect example.
At this year’s NYCC, Mr. Snyder said that Zero Year was actually being divided into three parts, something I understand he planned from the beginning. Now that the basics of the origin story have been presented, we’re moving into the second portion of Zero Year, called “Dark City” because that’s what Edward Nigma has in mind for Gotham.
Interestingly enough, The Riddler isn’t apparent in this issue. Instead, however, we see Doctor Death, who seems to be working with a long-time ally of Bruce Wayne’s. Well, that person hasn’t quite reached that status yet, anyway. Talk about a shocker when we find out that person’s identity!
Doctor Death is a perfect Bat-villain. His appearance is grotesque, and his goals not all that clear. But what’s said about him to Bruce is profound: “Doctor Death is coming, and you’re not going to be able to stop him.”
I also really enjoy the fact that James Gordon is NOT trusted by Bruce at this point. Of course, that doesn’t mean he won’t surprise Bruce along the way. There’s a great sequence where Gordon stuns Bruce, but then Bruce turns the tables on him in a terrific way. It was one of my favorite parts of this issue.
In the backup story called “People in the Dark,” we see a certain family trying to survive in Gotham’s darkness. You just might recognize the two kids if you’ve been paying attention in title along the way. Great short story there!
CAPULLO’S ART GLOWS IN THE DARK, AS IT WERE!
I keep saying it because it’s true: Capullo’s art (with Miki’s inks) continues to be a perfect match for Snyder’s story, as it has since the two started working together when the New 52 began.
This issue we get to see for the first time Capullo’s “hot-rod” version of the Batmobile. As a long-time fan of Batman’s mode of transportation, I loved this cool cat of a car. Check out an illustration of it to the left.
One thing I really liked this month was that Mr. Capullo uses a lot of variety in his page layouts. Sometimes the action takes place on a two-page spread. Other times, we see different numbers of panels on a page. I do like that these layouts emphasize the most important actions/interactions on each page. I often forget I’m looking at a printed page and feel I’m either watching a big-screen TV or in a movie theater. Great job!
Also, Clarke’s art fits the backup story and works well with Capullo’s initial art in the issue. I continue to enjoy the contrast that takes place between each issue’s “dynamic duo” of stories. This time, a lot of action and suspense takes place in the first tale, with the second story much more focused on dialogue and drama.
BOTTOM LINE: ZERO YEAR CONTINUES TO BE ANOTHER CLASSIC BATMAN TALE!
I’ve seen the storytelling in the Zero Year event called “intense” by several other reviewers, and I can’t think of a better word to use to describe it. The “real” world vanishes when I dive into this title, and I’m always left wanting more when I reach the end of the issue I’m reading.
I often find myself struggling to find the rights words to describe how excellent Batman is in the New 52, and that’s a good thing! All I keep telling people who aren’t reading this comic is, you really need to start reading now if you haven’t been into it! Wow! Five out of five stars.
Here at MajorSpoilers.com, there’s a weekly “Staff Picks” column. I often think we should develop a Hall of Fame we can put Batman in because it’s consistently terrific from month to month!