BATMAN #33 could not have ended on a higher note, the epic tale created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo finally comes to a bittersweet end.
When it was announced way back before “Zero Year” ever started, eyebrows were raised as we learned we’d have yet another re-telling of Bruce Wayne/Batman’s origin story. We’ve already had the paramount origin story in “Batman: Year One”, and now we’d have to make room. If it weren’t for Snyder and Capullo already doing a bang up job as the Batman creative team, who knows how well received “Zero Year” would have turned out. I, like many others had my doubts, but then I saw that picture of Batman on the dirt bike and I thought, this is going to be good.
If we can use BATMAN #33 as a testament to the whole story arc, then not only was it good, but it was EPIC. Who knows how this story will hold up during the test of time but I think there’s a very real chance down the road this could become one of the best Batman stories of all time.
Endings are always a difficult thing, especially if the story has been as dragged out as “Zero Year” has become, the final issue has the job to capture all the stories thematic elements, while remaining loyal to the plot and the characters, BATMAN #33 is the Prestige of the Zero Year.
Thanks to Snyder we are subject to a different Bruce than we’ve ever seen before, the story takes us all through the years of Bruce’s life and makes us be a witness to the struggle of life for Bruce. The idea that Bruce as a young man would elect to get shock therapy to alter his mind to forgetting who he is, is nothing short of ingenious, and because of it, it helps us understand his motives as Batman.
Another great aspect of “Zero Year” is the the resurgence of The Riddler, I don’t think I’ve ever read Edward Nygma written any better than this story and he’s proved himself to me as one of the greatest foils to Batman. He attacks Batman in a way that no one else can.
Planning for this grand of a story for Batman sounds like a monumental task, but to be honest Snyder/Capullo and Co. could not have done a better job, BATMAN #33 is the pinnacle for the story’s phenomenal action and smart story telling.
With BATMAN #32 ending on such a high note it was hard not to be excited for this finale issue, and boy were we not let down. For all the times throughout this story we’ve seen Riddle trump Batman countless times, we were ready to see Batman finally put Riddler away and he does so in no better fashion than taking Riddler’s game and flipping it on his head.
Seeing as how this was meant to be the origin story for Batman, we were waiting for trademark Batman to finally put the game together and see the chink the Riddler’s armor. Snyder’s well written riddles were challenging enough to make me pause reading and see if I could solve them myself before reading on, I couldn’t. Luckily Batman did soon enough and gave us the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Meanwhile my other favorite moment of this issue was watching Gordon draw up the Bat symbol and projecting it to the jets just as they were about to fire and rain hell on Gotham. For all the praise Batman and The Riddler get for this story, a huge shout out should be given to Gordon and Lucius Fox who each played integral roles in reclaiming Gotham.
And of course it wouldn’t be a Batman story unless we got some great dialogue between Bruce and Alfred, the final pages where Bruce comes clean to Alfred about everything make for sweet taste in your mouth. Alfred finally understands Bruce’s intentions and is ready to become a key player in helping purge Gotham of evil.
You won’t get a complaint out of me for this issue, no way.
BATMAN: ZERO YEAR is the moment in the movie theater where at the end everyone claps in their seats because they know what they just watched was pure gold. On the day of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, we are given the ending to one of the strongest stand alone Batman stories in decades. If Snyder and Capullo were athletes, this would be the equivalent of winning the championship and then immediately retiring because it doesn’t get much better than this. Job well done boys.