After the one month hiatus that gave us a fantastic preview of Batman: Eternal, Zero Year returns in grand fashion in a wild issue. Writer Scott Synder and artist Greg Capullo pick up right where they left off and deliver, in my opinion, the best issue of the whole arc. This issue we finally see Bruce’s knees finally buckle under the pressure he’s put on his shoulders and weight of the situation he’s found himself in. Doctor Death and Thomas Wayne steal the show for me in this issue, so read on and be mindful of the spoilers.
If you ever need to show someone an example of why Greg Capullo is one of the best artists around, show them this issue. The whole arc he’s been excelling at drawing the animated bone growth spurts of Doctor Death because they play to his strength of versatility. The panel of Batman taking his “Leap of Faith” is among my favorites.
Kudos again must be given to Snyder though as he gives more depth to Doctor Death and we learn of his origins, a father who’s son was killed looking for Bruce Wayne. It took me by surprise for sure to see such depth given to lesser known character.
Another continued bright spot of the arc is seeing a younger more emotional Bruce Wayne. What I mean by that is we don’t ever see Batman express his frustrations and ferocity so adamantly. That mixed with a couple wise ass quips here and there offer a very nice new take on a younger Batman. To see Bruce at the end of the issue smash his hands into the panel due to the failure to stop The Riddler is moving on multiple levels.
The talk between Bruce and his parents before “it happened” was also some of the most emotional three pages of the whole issue. We see the bond they share and there is foreshadowing of things to come. At that age the Waynes know that Bruce is starting to venture off on his own due to his fear from his fall in the cave. Thomas and Bruce share a comical but insightful banter about the movie Zorro, and Thomas drops some knowledge on his son. Use what you have at your disposal and you’ll be in good shape.
Nothing to complain about in this issue, it has everything you may want it a BATMAN comic. The only thing to question is where does Batman keep his Bat-Blimp?
One of the questions from earlier issues was why was there a desert, military backdrop in the beginning of those stories. Now thanks to #29 everything is interwoven and it gives us clarity on the bigger picture and the gravity of certain character’s choices. Issue #29 is a brilliant dive into younger Bruce’s tortured mind as he continues to grapple with saving a city and coming to terms with his past.
Be sure to get this issue if you’re a fan of either Snyder or Capullo. The pair doesn’t get any better than this.