Easily the best “zero-year” series of Batman ever to grace our comic shops, and it had to be brought to us by Snyder and Capullo didn’t it! Scott Snyder has once again created a story-line that truly defines the Dark Knight, exposes his deepest darkest secrets whilst moulding everything around the nature of the Bat; quite simply Snyder was born to write Batman! Both of these acclaimed comic-creators have designed a story-arc that takes us back to a time in Bruce Wayne’s life that we have not yet witnessed, that looks at things from a completely different perspective and captures yet another side to Batman, Gotham and some well known villains too. I especially like the way these villains have been written in a way that makes them extremely relevant to the life of Bruce Wayne, at the same time their involvement and actions play a huge part in the choices that must be made in order to transform the ‘Bruce’ into the ‘Bat’.
The Red Hood and his outlaws reign down upon Wayne Manor with hell-fire so they can scratch Bruce Wayne off of their hit-list, Red’ leaves Bruce battered, bruised and beaten half to death (with a good swing of a flail at one point!) and gives an interesting account of the effect that the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne had on him and his life at the time. What I love about this issue is that you get to see Bruce at his most vulnerable, possibly even more so than in the knightfall series as he has not even got the cowl of the Bat to protect him and his demons yet. Edward Nigma plays an important role in the plot, and things are getting more and more interesting for Nigma -and you, the reader- as the story progresses. As part three in the arc, Bruce has gotten closer than ever to his fate and after Alfred patches him up in a moving scene where they share a moment of understanding and irony -we all know there will be many more stitches Alfred!-, Bruce has an epiphany, and almost as if he has just seen his future in a crystal ball the bat-cave magically appears in front of him and it all begins to become clear what path he must take.
Greg Capullo’s artwork is undoubtedly bold and crispy but I feel that inker Danny Miki deserves some recognition for this issue as well as the scene I have just mentioned is really brought to life with his mesmerizing use of colour; in fact each and every part of the comic -if you were to break it down into sections- sets a completely different tone from the last and expresses the mood that Snyder and Capullo are trying to create perfectly, we certainly have a very talented crew behind “zero year”. This is one of those rare events where everything fits from the creative art and use of colour to the ingenious script, layout and lettering; it is a story-arc that Bat-fans can’t afford to miss out on this year!
By Dylan Butcher. 😀