Our trip into the past with Batman continues with the second issue of Zero Year. It started off okay for the first issue, but can it continue to build and grow? Is it good?
Batman #22 (DC Comics)
Bruce Wayne continues his fight against the Red Hood Gang, which seems to now be extending its power into the criminal underworld. However, his war is not working like he hoped and his Uncle and Edward Nygma seem to have something planned as well. In the backup, we see a young Bruce trying to learn the art of tinkering and building.
We also see where Batman learned to hit people in the face.
This issue was a lot of fun. The pacing was perfect and at no time did you ever feel like something important wasn’t unfolding before your very eyes. While a bit wordy in the middle like the last issue, it never really felt boring. The emotion and characterization were especially strong, like the scene with Alfred for instance.
The blimp scene at the beginning was thrilling and tense, which continued on when Nygma appeared (though in a different sort of way). The only weak portions I gathered from this issue were the odd placement of the childhood flashbacks, a small nitpick with the cliffhanger in the main story, and the leader of the Red Hood Gang. With the way the character acts and behaves, he seems very familiar. If his identity turns out to be that character later on, it’s certainly going to get people annoyed and it will be annoying in how damn obvious it was.
The art continues to impress with the great tag team of the artists for the main and backup stories. Good emotion, striking imagery and use of color, solid bits of action, good looking characters with just as good expressions, etc. There was even a bit of interesting panel layout in the main story to convey a scene, though it can be a bit jarring in how different it is. Also, the only other complaint with the art continues to be with how Rafael Albuquerque’s characters keep looking like others from different comics he’s drawn.
Again, I swear I’ve seen this guy in American Vampire before.
- Very thrilling and engaging, even the quiet scenes.
- Never feels slow and stays consistently enjoyable throughout.
- The artwork is great, and at times very unique in its presentation.
- The flashbacks feel oddly placed.
- Still can be a bit wordy and overwritten.
- Batman’s characterization questionable at points.
Is It Good?
It is indeed, being an improvement over the last issue quite a bit. While it continued to be very wordy in parts, those scenes proved to be far more interesting, tense, and a bit emotional at points. Along with a great opening, cliffhanger (that finally connects back to issue 0), and backup; the new arc is continuing to grow more and more enjoyable.