batwatch's Batman #0 - Bright New Yesterday; Tomorrow review

The Psychotic Perspective: Batman #0

Bright New Yesterday

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Snyder’s run on Batman, and when I read last month’s issue of Batman, I was delighted to see that his reputation has not been overblown. However, this is zero month, and I have to admit I was a little skeptical that any writer could make a truly compelling origin story for Batman. Let’s face it, Batman’s origin has been told and retold plenty of times, and there is not a lot of fresh ground to break.

In this issue, we see Bruce operating in Gotham before he discovers the symbolism of the bat. Bruce goes undercover to undermine the Red Hood gang.

Oh, Snyder! Where Have You Been All My Life?

Snyder proved me to be an utter fool for doubting his abilities. Snyder did not create a good origin story; he created an excellent origin story.

Snyder manages to encapsulate so many great elements in this story. We see a possible early appearance of the Joker. Personally, I think this was a different Red Hood, but it is fun to wonder and speculate about the ambiguity. We get to see Bruce’s faltering attempts to stop crime in the early days. Just how does one person, even someone with four years of physical training and a lifetime of mental conditioning, manage to stop organized crime? We get to see Bruce and Alfred interact in his earlier days when he was still a bit more malleable.

We get to see Lieutenant Gordon use his detective skills to strong arm Bruce and investigate his possible links to the vigilante known as Batman. We even get to see Bruce try and perfect some of his future Bat equipment.

In short, this issue is practically a love letter for any Batman fan who has ever wondered about Bruce’s early days.

Random Praises

The story’s pacing is also excellent. There is a great scene wherein Bruce has to deal with a problem on a very set timetable, and even though you know Bruce will almost inevitably succeed, the scene still managed to put me on the edge of my seat. Snyder knows how to create tension.

A few more sporadic praises, and then I’ll move on. The art is great, the main villain is menacing, and the dialogue is topnotch.

I Will Now Complain

The only minor quibble I can find about this whole issue is that though I think Bruce’s prototype batarang is awesome, I do not believe the explosive charge would manage to cause the batarang to spin as demonstrated, but really, who cares?

2013?

There is a surprise at the end of this issue, or rather there is a surprise when

There is a surprise at the end of this issue, or rather there is a surprise when the issue does not end. Rather, the last page says the story will be continued in 2013. This is more than a little mysterious, but if I had to wager a guess, I would say that there is probably a Snyder mini-series planned for next year which will pick up where this story left off.

Tomorrow

I am delighted that James Tynion IV is getting his own series. Previous to this issue, I had no idea he was scheduled to write the new Talon series, but after reading his backup work, I researched him, and I am now a believer. It’s just a shame they put him on a new character. I wish they had taken the reins out of the hand of whoever is doing Detective and let this boy write his own full-length Batman stories, but he will probably have more creative liberty with a new character, so perhaps it will work out for the best. I think people have good reason to be hopeful over Talon because the worst of Tynion IV’s backup stories have been very good, and some of them are downright excellent. This story fits into the latter category.

I, like most longtime Batman fans, despise the idea of trying to fit all of Batman’s protégés into a five year window. I will not explain the problems this creates at the moment because if you are an old fan, you are already perfectly aware of them.

That being said, Tynion IV has managed to write the first story which addresses this issue head on, and he succeeded in making a compelling story which halfway sold me on the five year timeline by keeping true to the essence of four different members of the Bat Clan. If DC does not give Tynion IV his own Batman series, they are doing themselves and fans a disservice.

4 Comments
Posted by MatKrenz

Well he's going to write Talon, which starts later this month, about the one Talon from Court of Owls that escaped. So how about that for a Bat title ?

Posted by BatWatch

@MatKrenz said:

Well he's going to write Talon, which starts later this month, about the one Talon from Court of Owls that escaped. So how about that for a Bat title ?

True. It's certainly a Bat related title, but I really enjoy the work he has done on Batman himself. If we were getting great stories in Detective Comics, I would not mind, but 'Tec writing is very weak. It's a shame that the namesake of DC comics has such poor talent when Tynion has demonstrated much more talent.

Anyway, I am excited about Talon now that I know Tynion is working on it.

If you liked my review, I would appreciate a recommendation. (grins)

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I'm pretty sure that wasn't an explosive charge Batarang, it was a self-returning one. After being stuck in a wall, the timer would count down to determine when it would begin the return flight.

Posted by BatWatch

@The Mighty Monarch said:

I'm pretty sure that wasn't an explosive charge Batarang, it was a self-returning one. After being stuck in a wall, the timer would count down to determine when it would begin the return flight.

Well, yeah, but what powered the return trip? It's been some time since I read this issue, but as I recall, there was a bang or something before the return. I was under the impression that it had an explosive charge the propelled it backwards. I don't know how else it would have returned.

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    I have loved this series and have been very pleased with the work Snyder has produced on this series. I wasn't a huge fan on his Detective run and didn't like what I read of his Swamp Thing series but he has certainly done a good job on this. This issue also has the amazing art work of Capullo which was sadly missing from the last issue.This story starts with a party getting crashed by a gang called the Red Hood gang (nothing to do with the Jason Todd Red Hood). They find out one of their member...

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