Artist: Greg Capullo
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
ZERO YEAR: DARK CITY
Batman tries to escape from the GCPD squad who’ve been relentlessly pursuing him since the end of last week’s issue, while still trying to find Dr. Helfern.
The Ups: This issue makes a lot of headway in building the foundation of the Batman mythos. In this issue we get to see Batman develop his relationships with Jim Gordon and Alfred, progressing both relationships to something closer to what they are today. What is really refreshing about this issue and the Zero Year event in general is that these histories contain the broad strokes that we all know and love but Snyder adds new details and twists to keep things fresh. Snyder also does a great job of establishing who these characters are at this point in time. Jim Gordon still doesn’t completely trust Batman, Batman is not as competent or as prepared as he is today, and Alfred’s opinion of Batman and his mission is significantly different than what it is today. The attention to detail in the development of these characters really makes the whole Zero Year experience feel organic. Greg Capullo’s art is just as amazing as it’s been throughout the rest of the series. Capullo’s art particularly excels at capturing facial expressions and movement, and its ability to carry subtext adds an extra layer of depth to the interactions between the characters in this issue.
The Downs: Because this issue was very heavy on character development and dialogue in its second half there wasn’t too much room for plot development or climax. There is a great twist/cliffhanger at the end that indicates next issue will be very climactic and plot heavy.
Overall: This issue mainly focuses on developing the relationship between Batman and Jim Gordon, some other important things happen in this issue but the main focus was on character development. While there is a good amount of action in the beginning it does become a little slow in the middle. While this is definitely somewhat of a lull on the larger plotline of Zero Year this issue tells a very compelling story and offers a lot of really deep character development. Definitely pick up this issue to keep up with Zero Year and if learning about the origin of the Batman/Gordon relationship isn’t enough for you there’s a great cliffhanger at the end that points to next issue being action packed and climactic.
Grade 4 of 5