Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Thoughts - Batman: #0

Title: Batman #0
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion
Other info link: Here

Issue Zero's are being touted by DC as an event. An event in comics (such as Flashpoint) should effect the core of the universe in some way. One of my favorite events on comic book history is Final Night, a story where the JLA have to save earth from an oncoming sun eater. It's an event, not just a JLA story, because many of the titles on those months bore the Final Night title as the events in the story where chronicled in other titles across the universe. These issue Zero titles are in my opinion not an event in the traditional sense. No story is relevant to another and all of them are set at some point before issue one of the respective titles. 

They are a sales technique and an event in advertising rather than story telling. This one is in fact two stories, the first an opening for what looks to be a future story arch and the second a sweet moment in Batman (post New 52) history. 

The first story shows the Red Hood gang robbing a bank in quite a stylised and smooth way with the rookie crime fighter Bruce Wayne becoming involved in a very amateurish way. It then goes on to show a small slice of Bruce's pre-bat crime stopping set-up. It's a fascinating little slice of story that leaves you eager for more and reminded me of the Earth One Batman setting. It was a very short yet wonderful read and according to the last line we will be seeing more of this in 2013 (yeah, DC are planning ahead with this one.)

The second story is a moment in time for a few characters, Jason, Dick, Tim and Barbara all look to the sky as the Bat Signal lights the heavens above Gotham for the fist time. Each character is only afforded a single page as this takes place but this iconic moment being chronicled from each characters point of view really gives you a striking feeling of wonder and aside from the art not being to my tastes in this story the moment is touching and well worth the cover price of the issue. 

Issue Zero's are the introduction to the New 52 timeline that DC have been owing us for some time and if a new reader was to pick any of them up they fit nicely as expected before the first issue of any of the runs. They are well written, well drawn and a gem in any collection. This particular issue more than some of the other issues Zero's I have read.

I am still forced to wonder why DC have chosen to handle the New 52 in this way. At some point they, like all the readers have realised that the New 52 timeline needs a little more retro fitted continuity to make us understand exactly when and where we are.

In short a great Batman issue but 12 months late.

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