‘Zero Year’ continues, and I liked this issue a lot more than the first one. I think it was because there were only 2 timelines in this story, whereas the first one had 3. 3 timelines is too many! And anyway, this issue was mainly focused on Bruce struggling as a vigilante in Gotham, the kid Bruce stuff was only on a few pages, and it was utilised very effectively.
This issue once again sees Bruce Wayne trying to fight crime unsuccessfully as a mystery man who hides his face. The scene between him and the Red Hoods on that Zeppelin was just great, as, if Red Hood is the Joker, then we’re seeing these 2 archenemies before they become who they truly are. It was also cool to see The Penguin. The scene where Bruce and Alfred argue was also really strong, these two characters are normally so in sync, that it was really shocking to see them fight, but then, that’s to be expected, this is a young, raw Batman. Hell, it’s not even Batman yet!
My favourite scenes in this issue however were the ones at the museum, where Snyder faked me out so bad. I was really expecting Uncle Philip to try and kill Bruce there, but nope, he was actually bringing him back to life, and revealing him to the press. But to Bruce, this may actually be worse than being attacked. It was good to see Vicki Vale show up, Batman has loads of fleeting love interests, but she’s probably the most famous, I’d like to see her more in this story, but perhaps it was just a cameo.
I’m also really loving Snyder’s take on The Riddler (who once again, appears before actually becoming the character he’s destined to be), who is just so entertaining to read. I really liked that Boardgame/Ouroboros page, you don’t expect that experimentation a lot from a book like Batman, but Snyder and Capullo have done it twice now. Capullo’s art in general has been really good on this story, and I really like how FCO Plascencia is colouring things here, making it a bit brighter than previously. I’m still not convinced we really need this story, but it’s good, and that’s all that really matters.