Batman #21 started off “Zero Year” in an epic fashion, the promising potential that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo laid before us left us salivating at the mouth. Every issue that has followed has been ramping up the action and chaos with every panel. With each new issue we gain a new understanding of “Zero Year” and the sheer brilliance the team of Snyder and Capullo put before us. With Batman# 30 all their hard work has begun to converge together in this issue to deliver one of the strongest issues thus far.
In “Savage City: Part 1”, the last phase of this epic tale, Capullo masterfully depicts Gotham as a desolate wasteland, mixed with jungle and city alike, and boy is it fascinating. With this issue the readers continue get a good look of how savage the newly rejuvenated Riddler is, truly sadistic in his reign as King of Gotham, and how obsessed he is with a good riddle. So when Bruce wakes up from the coma he was in regarding the injuries he suffered at the hand of the Riddler, he looks at the destruction around him and realizes the depths of his failures.
The real winner of this issue, and the whole series to be honest has been the sadisitic Edward Nygma aka The Riddler. After supposedly “disposing” of Batman earlier in his plot to destroy the city, Riddler has expanded his regime tenfold and holds the city in the palm of his hands.
Without Doctor Death or the threat of the superstorm looming in the series, Riddler takes over both our attention and Gotham City. Fans of The Riddler should be worshipping Scott Snyder as the writer has given a new facet to the Dark Knight rogue, we’ve never seen Riddler this powerful or so open to mass killings.
Snyder has planted all sorts of seeds throughout the series that began nearly a year ago that all start to pay off in this issue. We’re also given different perspectives from select characters to see how they are coping with this new world order.
We focus in at different moments on Jim Gordon, Alfred, and Duke Thomas to see how each person copes with this new threat. Either you stand and fight like Jim Gordon does, or perhaps you’ve lost the will like some Gotham citizens appeared to. Watching Gordon get his hands a little dirty too was also a nice scene. Even though they are not partners, or even friends at this point, the friendship to-be between Gordon and Batman looks as awesome as ever.
As stated before Capullo continues his phenomenal art in “Savage City: Part 1”, another notch in his belt as he really has been the ace between his partnership with Snyder in my opinion. This panel below is a testament to his work throughout the series and is one of the many that will be remembered when all is said and done.
The lack of action seen by Alfred in this issue was a little bit disappointing, after months of living in this hellhole with no Bruce or contact with the outside world surely Alfred would have a little more fight in him than what he’s showing now? His “son” Bruce was supposedly dead for months, and we’re meant to believe Alfred spent this whole time in the Batcave surrounded by all this tech and never once tried to exact revenge on the Riddler? That doesn’t sound like the Alfred we’re all accustomed to, if anything he should have finally realized why Bruce decided to become the Batman after seeing all this chaos around the city. Alfred should be on the front lines helping out Jim Gordon in stopping the Riddler to honor Bruce’s supposed death, not sitting by the phone in the Batcave with his tux still on.
Batman #30 is one of the many highlights of “Zero Year” as we see the extent of Riddler’s domination over a young Batman. With his back against the wall and a seemingly untouchable enemy in Riddler we will see what Bruce does to reclaim his city and end this “Savage City”.
The pair of Snyder and Capullo continues to impress as the story telling and artwork are equally top notch. This storyline continues to separate itself from any of the other origin stories of Batman in the past, something that we can all appreciate. An epic finale has been set up and if it’s anything like this issue then I recommend we get our pre-orders in now.