Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV, Rafael Albuquerque
Zero Year Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have done it again. They’ve somehow managed to hold my attention for an event that, being a lifelong Batman fan and adamant supporter of writer Grant Morrison’s “every Batman story every written counts” philosophy, should probably make me very angry. But this has the exact opposite effect on me as it probably would if it had a different creative team. No, this storyline is new and fresh and, thankfully, respectful to the Bat mythos that has become a very important part of my life as a comic fan.
The story continues with a pretty straight-forward heist featuring the Red Hood Gang and our hero before he becomes Batman, followed by a glimpse of young Bruce Wayne falling into the cave destined to one day be his home. We then get the scene that steals the show and proves to us just why Scott Snyder might be the smartest writer in the industry. When push comes to shove and Bruce is acting like a brat, Alfred slaps him. Literally. He then has a hissy fit and Alfred dismisses himself, letting Bruce to continue his quest to become something that even he quite honestly doesn’t even understand. But more on that later. We’re then presented a late night meeting masquerading as a welcome back party thrown by none other than Bruce’s uncle Phillip, wherein we get an appearance by reporter Vicki Vale and a super creepy battle of wits and double-talk between Bruce and Edward Nygma, the man who will become one of the Batman’s greatest enemies in years (or possibly even months) to come. The scene with the not-yet Riddler is immediately overshadowed by the cliffhanger (which you’ve already seen if you read last year’s issue zero), featuring the Red Hood Gang leader following Bruce home and blowing up his hideout in Crime Alley. Obviously, he’s going to be okay, but still, what a great cliffhanger nonetheless.
The backup story by Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Rafael Albuquerque paints some more light on Bruce’s travels and serves as a nice addition to the conversation between Bruce and Nygma in the main feature. And the pacing of this book felt much more natural than the first part. But the sheer teamwork and obvious behind-the-scenes camaraderie between Snyder and Capullo makes this book really something special, month-in and month-out. Scenes like Alfred putting a naïve and totally out-of-line Bruce in his place are just part of what makes this the best book on the stands today. It’s not only the perfect amount of heart-breaking and inspiration, it’s so very realistic and human. Yes, Batman doesn’t have powers and yes, he’s not Superman, but it’s scenes like this that make the casual reader relate to him. And it’s scenes like this that make the lifelong fan feeling that mythos is in good hands. Well done, guys. Keep it up!
My Rating: 5/5