Written by Scott Snyder (Backup co-writer: James Tynion IV)
Art by Greg Capullo (Backup: Rafael Albuquerque)
Published by DC Comics
The creative team keeps on trucking in this second chapter to the Zero Year saga. Bruce is once again found undercover, trying to infiltrate some of the Red Hood Gang’s capers. Not only that, but we also see more into the issues at Wayne Enterprises, and Phillip Kane and Edward Nygma’s differing views of how things should go.
Snyder continues to shine as he shows us the man behind the Bat, before he actually was so. One of my favorite scenes in the issue was the conversation with Alfred, where it’s such a…Bruce moment. He’s got his confidence and bullheadedness, but at the same time, you can see the youngness to him, the inexperience. Snyder makes it very clear that, yes, this is the Bruce Wayne and Batman that you know, but this is before he has shaped the legend into what it is at the present.
My second favorite scene was the conversation with Edward Nygma. It just gave me the classic good-guy-bad-guy vibe to it, but then I had to remind myself that they aren’t really even that yet. They’re just two dudes talking about a company and ancient Egypt in a history museum in the middle of the night. You know, like normal guys do.
There were a lot less of the flashbacks to Bruce as a child, and I was good with that. The flashbacks that were there, however, didn’t seem to add much. That’s not to say it didn’t add anything, it was a good segue between the conversation with Alfred and the scene before it, with its talk of fear, but otherwise it wasn’t too memorable. Saying that, though, it didn’t bother me or take anything away from the overall point of the issue. And the last page of the main story was absolutely breathtaking.
Capullo’s art is steady once again, literally saving the best for last, as I just mentioned. I enjoyed looking at Alfred and thinking, “Huh. He looks younger.” But then, of course he looks younger! That’s the point! But the puzzle page, and the other pages inside the Spynx room were probably my favorite of the book. It really lent itself well to the good-guy-bad-guy thing Snyder laid down.
I absolutely loved the backup story, and I really loved that it actually, in a roundabout way, tied into the main story. Really, I would totally get behind a DC title of just Bruce’s training days, written and penciled by the team who does the backups. No matter how crazy the main bit is I can always count on Snyder/Tynion/Albquerque to bring the fun.
4 out of 5 nerds