After a long hiatus we finally are delighted to see the second chapter of “ZERO YEAR: SAVAGE CITY”, and man is it mind-blowing. We further dig into the mind games Riddler has planned, and are witness to the savagery he has inflicted upon New Gotham City. Bruce is back on his feet and with his allies, Jim Gordon and Lucius Fox, is ready to stand toe to toe with the sadistic Edward Nygma. Winner take all in the battle for Gotham. Thankfully I’ve covered every issue of BATMAN- ZERO YEAR thus far but it gets a bit repetitive to talk about the wonder team of Snyder and Capullo. They constantly nail each issue one after another and with such a character driven issue, their stock has never been higher. I can for sure admit my jaw dropped a couple times checking out some of the panels from Capullo.
The inevitable Batman/ Riddler showdown had much to live up to, which I believe it did. Batman, being one of the only people who could stand up to Nygma intellectually had no problem keeping the new King of Gotham on his toes. What was the riddle Batman would come up with? How would Riddler respond? With freaking buffed out lions is how!
It is very much a chess match between the pair, which Snyder depicts admirably. Riddler seemingly amused by the less witted Dark Knight, who is someone Nygma writes off as unimpressive after his bout to defeat death. All the while Batman toys with his enemy as his newfound allies in Gordon and Fox hatch their plan to take back the city.
To me the art is the clear cut winner of the writing vs art competition Snyder and Capullo have with each other every issue. Capullo is the steady train that always delivers top notch drawings of both wide scale New Gotham City, and the attentive detail in every character. It’s going to be a damn shame when they wrap up this series, we can only hope another team up is in the not to distant future.
For anyone that’s already read this issue and has any qualms with it please comment below because I couldn’t tell you. The flashbacks Snyder created tied nicely into the ending, setting up the final two issues of ZERO YEAR. I guess if anything the d-bag of a teacher young Bruce had to deal with was probably the worst part of the issue to me.
Another strong outing in the story arc that is becoming a must re-read to diehard Batman fans and casual readers alike. The best part about this arc is the failures of Batman, we are not seeing the veteran Dark Knight that can solve anything in an hour. He’s picking himself up after every knockdown to prove to everyone he is the real deal. This issue gives us glimpses of the Batman Bruce will become, and I’m loving every second of it.