Review: Batman #21 And The Start Of Zero Year

Review of: Batman #21
Product by:
Scott Snyder

Batman #21

Reviewed by:
On June 12, 2013
Last modified:June 12, 2013


Snyder and Capullo live up to what they’ve been preaching about this new story. They go big and offer up a fresh and new take on the New 52 Batman.

Witness The New 52 origin of The Dark Knight in BATMAN: ZERO YEAR! Twists and turns are around every corner as Bruce Wayne takes the final steps toward his destiny! And in the backup story, learn more about how different Gotham City was at this dangerous point in time.

DC’s new origin story for Batman kicked off today with the release of Batman #21. The dynamic duo that is Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo tackle what is a controversial story to some. Snyder writes, Capullo draws, Danny Miki handles inks, FCO Plascencia provides colors, and Nick Napolitano tackles lettering. So was retelling Batman’s origins a good idea, or did Snyder and Capullo finally bite off something they can’t chew?

Zero Year opens with a five page scene that seems to come toward the end of the storyline. It’s set six years in the past and features a Gotham City that looks like a post-apocalyptic overgrown city. It’s an action-packed opening that shows us how epic and expansive the story is. We then jump back five months further into the past where we see a young Bruce Wayne who has recently returned to Gotham. He’s got Alfred, a few tricks, and some gadgets. Bruce has set up shop in Crime Alley where he’s starting his one man war against the criminal element. Alfred is desperately trying to get Bruce to reveal himself and show the people of Gotham he isn’t dead. Bruce thinks taking back up the mantle of Bruce Wayne would hinder him from accomplishing his goal. The disagreement is interrupted by Bruce’s Uncle Philip Kane who comes knocking. He knows Bruce is back, he’s had him tracked. He takes Bruce to the new Wayne towers and tries to get his nephew to come back to the land of the living and be involved with the company. People don’t really trust the Kanes, but they love the Waynes. Bruce refuses. Phillip has another plan though. He is involved with a man that will become one of Batman’s biggest villains. What is Phillip playing at? What is Bruce really up to with this new ‘mission’?

Snyder writes a great first issue. He opens things up with a huge bang and then brings it down a notch as he sets everything up. We’re presented with a story that gets everything movie and still packs a few big punches. We see a younger, bolder, rock-and-roll Bruce. He’s not the stoic and one-track minded hero we know. He’s a little rough on the edges. We’re going to see how he’s carved into the smooth granite gargoyle who watches Gotham from on high. Capullo changes his style up a little to show a cleaner and brighter Gotham and a younger Bruce. He offers up a lot of great images, but it’s the small moments of people just doing everyday things that really shines. Miki’s inks and Plascencia’s colors help sell this entirely different Gotham.

Bottom Line: Snyder and Capullo live up to what they’ve been preaching about this new story. They go big and offer up a fresh and new take on the New 52 Batman. It pays homage to what came before and is chocked full of Easter Eggs, but it does something different. They start off strong and promise something great with this huge new storyline. 4/5

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