Zero Year Event: Batman 25
Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV, Andy Clarke
Zero Year Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo prove yet again that they have what it takes to make their run on Batman timeless. The pencils are amazing. The dialogue is phenomenal. Everything is new and fresh, but yet has respect for the creators and creations that have come before. Tying into and nodding to stories from the past while building something new and exciting is something that seems to be missing in a lot of good comics nowadays. Hell, it’s even missing from some of the great ones on the shelves. If DC was completely honest with themselves, they’d just admit that Snyder and Capullo are writing the real flagship title of the New 52. Batman has never been better. And this is coming from someone who quickly, easily, and far too often immediately tires of origin stories. This one is that good.
We start and end in a mysterious location in the middle of Nigeria. Then we get a glimpse of the chaos that is Gotham City after the Riddler’s citywide blackout. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Batman story if there weren’t clues and mysteries being dropped and thrown around. A unique escape scene. A charming rescue scene. A cameo from the woman destined to become Poison Ivy. And a truly cinematic depiction of Alfred, young Bruce, and Commissioner Gordon as the seeds for a future friendship based entirely on trust. All of these things, plus a slightly confusing yet intriguing cameo (and possible betrayal) by Lucius Fox, just before the first full appearance of a villain long-forgotten by most veteran DC fans (and possibly new to younger readers): Dr. Death. And whoo-boy, could he be scarier?
Capullo’s artwork really shines in this title each and every month, but the gruesome visuals are something that I personally had been missing since the Joker’s departure earlier this year. He truly brings the horror home. And Snyder’s dialogue is full of so much subtlety, so much depth, that it’s still refreshing every time a character is actually written not only well, but correctly. This team is really up to something great. The only downside of the issue are the backup story and the price tag. Yes, I understand that backup stories are a nice way to give us a related but not quite fitting additional tale, but to be quite honest, this one didn’t really do anything for me. And the price should be 3.99 each month. Well, to be honest, it should be 2.99, but I’m willing to pay an extra buck for a good book. Which this is. But last issue, though great, suffered from the same problems. Backup stories and extra prices for no reason other than greed are simply unacceptable. That being said, this is still an awesome issue. The main feature is a perfect comic. But the continually random price and distracting backup story simply knocked it down to a great one.
My Rating: 4.5/5