Review of Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo's Batman #0, out this week from DC Comics. (Spoilers)
It's "zero-month" at DC and readers have been getting their fill of origin-like stories for their favorite books. It's given readers a little better sense of where their heroes stand within their own history after the new52 reboot. So far, quality has been all over the board as I guess is the case with all entertainment, but Batman would definitely fall into the category of quality work.
The book is split into two stories, the first; by normal Batman creative team Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, focuses on Batman in a Year One sort of way. It's probably more accurate to call it a Bruce Wayne story at this point since Batman hasn't truly been fleshed out yet. Snyder doesn't simply rehash a story we've seen before however. Certainly we still see a Bruce Wayne that doesn't quite have it all together yet, but it's his introduction to the city is what sticks out here. Batman's partnership with Gotham City has been a theme throughout Snyder's work and it continues in "Bright New Yesterday".
Spoilers Ahead, beware!
In "Bright New Yesterday", Bruce fumbles his way through an attempt to bring down the Red Hood Gang. Most fans of the Red Hood will be aware of his future and evolution into one of Batman's biggest villains, but no cheesy glimpses are offered to readers here of things to come. Snyder plays it like a unique villain, which serves as a fairly straight forward criminal that outsmarts Bruce's plot. Once Bruce escapes from his situation we get a look at how he fits into Gotham City as he discusses future plans with Alfred and deals with a nosy Gordon coming to visit. Capullo offers readers glimpses as some of the tech that is very much pre-bat, but still part of the foundation as they move through his headquarters. Bruce's discussion with Gordon shows readers how Bruce Wayne stands with Wayne Industries and his return to Gotham. The most maddening part of the story was that it seemed to end right as it hooked you and as much as we all live with cliffhangers, especially in the comicbook world, seeing 2013 on the bottom really pushed it over the edge.
The second half of the book "Tomorrow" by James Tynion IV and Andy Clark focuses instead on Batman's supporting cast. Giving us brief glimpses at Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, Jason Todd and Dick Grayson in their last moments as... civilians you could say. Though more story is available for what it will take to join Batman in his crusade, the mental switch is thrown here for the each character that sets their course. And even though each introduction was swift, they were all interesting as well.
Overall, I would rate this among the top zero issue books to come out this month. I found the first story a bit better than the second, but also not quite full enough for my taste once it wrapped up. Still, a great jumping on point for fans looking to get into Snyder's Batman - one of the best ongoings out there right now.