Early on, Zero Year is living up to the excellence of Court of Owls and Death of the Family.
After four issues, the first act of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Zero Year” saga comes to an end. When this storyline was announced, many fans were apprehensive. We have seen countless Batman origin stories, including the possibly perfect “Year One”. But what quickly became clear was that we had never seen a Batman origin quite like this.
What separates “Zero Year” so far is the fun of the story. This is a youthful, rebellious Bruce Wayne. Angry enough to end an encounter with the Red Hood gang by showing them his middle finger. This isn’t the calm, cool, collected Batman we are used to. It’s refreshing and a kind of exciting fun that one wouldn’t expect from Batman
In this issue, Bruce Wayne’s first real battle for Gotham comes to a head as Batman puts an end to the Red Hood Gang. This installment sees both the first appearance of Batman, and Bruce Wayne finally realizing how best to utilize his public persona of Bruce Wayne. Bruce is able to inspire Gotham against the Red Hood’s terrorism, while Batman is the one who assures Gothamites they can sleep safely at night.
The art by Greg Capullo is spectacular, as usual. It’s getting to the point where readers are going to take this legendary artistic run for granted. What blew me away, aside from the usual great character work, were the dynamic layouts. Capullo draws each panel with the same explosive action that makes this story stand out from the usual Batman tale.
The only complaint I can really level against this book, is that I’m simply disappointed the Red Hood story came to an end so soon. Snyder succeeded in portraying the group as a deeply disturbing force, and I would have liked more time with them. For such an enigmatic group, their end felt kind of sudden.
Only one act in, Snyder and Capullo are again proving why Batman is one of the best books in the industry.
Scott Snyder (W), Greg Capullo and Danny Miki (A) • DC Comics, $6.99, October 9th 2013