Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Greg Capullo
Zero Year continues in this issue, but it immediately feels a bit disjointed from the conclusion of the last issue. Granted, this is the next arc in the overall story, but we’re given no indication how much time has passed since last issue or the fate of the Red Hood leader after taking an acid bath. After such iconic imagery, some acknowledgement of those events would be nice. It almost feels like I’m missing an issue in between.
We do get a Riddler induced blacked out Gotham and a green Batman dealing with the fallout. Snyder is able to pack in a ton of dialogue and character interaction without slowing down the plot. There’s a new mystery starting here with a new villain killing off Wayne Tech scientists.
Capullo does a great job with Snyder’s script, handling both action scenes and dialogue heavy scenes equally splendidly. The addition of inker Danny Miki over the last several months only adds to the clarity of Capullo’s story telling.
It feels Zero Year has been going on for a while now. I’m usually a fan of what most people refer to as “decompressed” comics, but I’m getting a little eager to get back to modern era Batman stories by this creative team. This feeling is made stronger by DC once again deciding dilute a contained Snyder/Capullo yarn with a bunch of tie-ins. This time it even includes non-Bat titles.
There’s a back up story in this issue written by Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by Andy Clarke. It details what’s happening with a young Harper Row and family during the blackout. While altogether innocuous, it does nothing to dissuade me of my opinion of back up stories. Either leave it out and let me keep my dollar, or give those pages to the main creative team and story. The back up here is a bit too cutesy at moments, but the final scene is nice and mostly makes up for those few somewhat trite moments.
This really shouldn’t be discussed in a review of a comic’s artistic merits, but if not here, where? The last two issues of this book have cost $4.99. So, the book has jumped from $2.99 to $3.99 for a back up story I don’t want, and now features a card stock cover somehow justifying yet another $1 pay hike. Really?
With all that said, this is for the most part another well crafted issue of a well crafted story. This remains the only DCU book on my pull list, and overall this issue lives up to why it has that distinction.