It has been retold time and time again. The Origins of the Caped Crusader is one of the most-told stories in Modern Media but in 2013, two of the biggest creators in the Comic Book Industry took on Batman/Bruce Wayne’s Origin Story with a modern approach. Writer Scott Snyder and Artist Greg Capullo bring readers a great story with great artwork. Get your Utility Belts and your Mask, we’re entering the Zero Year!
It was a time before superheroes, a time before criminals in Gotham would begin to fear the night. Gotham City’s Prodigal Son, Bruce Wayne has been missing for several years but it was also the cover of darkness he needed in his plan. Before he became the Dark Knight, he was a faceless vigilante, patrolling the streets of Gotham under different disguises. Before he would become the hero Gotham needs, from the time of his training to run-ins with an aspiring attorney named Harvey Dent, he learns to work with his future ally, Lieutenant James Gordon. It would also see the rise of Batman’s future rogues like The Riddler, and Doctor Death.
Collecting Issues 21-27, and 29-33, this was a diamond in the rough during the New 52 Era, I may get slapped for describing a Batman Story in this way but I’ll say it anyway. It is a great story for its time but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Frank Miller’s Batman Year One or The Dark Knight Returns in terms of a classic. It’s a good story that helps newer readers get a good grasp of who Batman is, and what kind of threats he faces. It also was divided into three parts, Secret City, Dark City, and Savage City.
What works so well for this book is that it pulls inspiration from what made Batman so memorable in countless tales, even reaching back into the Golden Age by reintroducing one of his first rogues, Doctor Death. Doctor Death was first introduced in Detective Comics #29 (July 1939) and was the first supervillain Batman fought at the beginning. Even in the beginning, he still had elements of Science Fiction and Horror. As for the Riddler, this was one of the greater stories that helped define the character. Edward Nygma was a villain who had a great intellect that could help keep Batman sharp. He not only is the first masked villain to not only beat the Dark Knight twice but to also completely take control of Gotham, by plunging it into the dark and making it into a wasteland where only the intelligent would be able to survive.
Scott and Greg weren’t the only creators involved in this story, Writer James Tynion IV and Artist Rafael Albuquerque helped shape the story, which includes elements of Bruce’s training and backstory. Overall, it is a great story that featured a great creative team, a well-written story, and beautifully detailed artwork by both Rafael Albuquerque and Greg Capullo. Their artwork has always been one of the best things in whatever book they are involved in, especially Greg Capullo, who captured how dark and gritty Gotham could be, which included well-drawn action sequences and background detail.
Batman Zero Year (Trade Paperback) is available now where books are sold in print and digitally. Be sure to take part in our Patreon Poll for the First Patreon Exclusive Review, There are Two Days Left For the Poll!
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