Snyder and Capullo had me worried when the Zero Year storyline was announced and I certainly wasn’t alone. Retelling the origin of the Dark Knight is a third rail concept in the world of comic books and thus far it seems like only the readership has been shocked. The preceding Red Hood / Joker plotline was a great twist on a classic tale. It moved along at a modest clip while we simultaneously learned about Bruce (and he got the hang of the cowl). With those critical elements behind us, Snyder steps on the gas in this issue and we get an origin for a nefarious doctor, a cameo appearance of a pre-poisonous plant lady and a double cross by a long-term ally. That would have been more than enough for me, but these guys just keep on giving. This issue opens and closes with a mystery sequence involving soldiers searching for something in several masterfully inked pages packed with the bright yellows and oranges of some vast desert somewhere. What a terrific contrast to the typically dark tones we’re used to in this book. What do they find? I’d spoil it for you if I could, but we’ll all have to wait a month to see what it is. I’m going out on a limb and saying this it’s a transition to the Frank Miller ‘Holy Terror’ storyline… how’d that be for a twist?
Just because Gotham is blacked out doesn’t mean that the cover has to be too. Dear DC comics, please do me a favor and skip the monotone embossed hard stock covers. If I want to look at sleek minimalist designs I’ll stare through the window of an Apple store. On the other hand, please take the overly glitzy Bat Rod with its “static bind tires” and drive it into a car compactor. I actually cringed when I saw that lemon.
This creative team doesn’t disappoint. The reintroductions keep coming along with fun cameos, surprise developments and as yet unanswered questions. Zero Year is turning out to be spectacular storyline and I can’t wait to see where we end up.
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