Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist/Inker: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
ZERO YEAR: SAVAGE CITY FINALE
The fate of Gotham City rests on a battle of wits between the Riddler and the Batman. This issue marks the end of the Zero Year and the beginning of Batman as we know him today.
The Ups: As the finale to series with such an important place in the modern Batman mythos this issue had a lot to live up to. The final confrontation between Batman and the Riddler was amazing, their whole battle was well written and full of suspense, and the climax was incredibly dramatic and satisfying. This issue had a lot of great character writing as well. Scott Snyder’s portrayal of the Riddler was phenomenal all while adding a new dimension to character. Throughout the arc the Riddler had also operated from the shadows through others and even robots. Here we got to see a bold side of Riddler as he stood toe to toe with Batman and pushed him to his limits, we even got the famous “Riddle me this Batman.” line from the Riddler which topped it off for me. Snyder explores Bruce and Alfred’s relationship as well and their moments together are always heart-warming and inspirational. Snyder made Alfred the overbearing father figure throughout the arc constantly on Bruce’s case about becoming Batman. Seeing the change to Alfred accepting Bruce’s dream and more becoming a partner as well as Snyder depicting the growing bond between Alfred and Bruce helped generate such a touching, lighted feeling at the end of the issue balancing out this dark and gritty arc. The great writing is only enhanced by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki’s artwork, who have made this whole arc a joy to read. The final battle between Batman and the Riddler showed how amazing Capullo and Miki are with showing emotion on his characters. I felt the tension, the anger, and determination coming off of the two warriors during their battle of the minds making it the vision of such fitting final battle. Plascencia once again complimented the stellar drawings with such wonderfully blended colors, always able to make the dark and gritty of rooms come alive and the brightest scenes shine bright.
The Downs: The only negative feeling I have towards this issue is the sad realization that Zero Year is over. I’m happy move on to new things but Zero Year captured the imaginations of Bat-fans everywhere and I’m going to miss it.
Overall: This issue meets and exceeds expectations and finishes an amazing series. Throughout the entire Zero Year story line Scott Snyder’s sense of pacing has been very precise, he made sure that over the course of Zero Year Bruce Wayne’s trials made him into the Batman we know today over time. As the last issue in the Zero Year storyline we see the last piece of the puzzle fall into place and we’re left with an elegant continuum of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Batman. Zero Year did exactly what it set out to do, it introduced a young Bruce Wayne to the new insane criminals of Gotham, and through his trials he would become the Batman. We got to see in real time how key elements of Bruce’s past shaped him and we got to experience everything along with him. Zero Year truly is a historical Batman story and will serve as the foundation for many Batman stories to come after it, and I feel honored to have experienced his origin from beginning to end.
Grade: 5 of 5