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.
In short, this issue is practically a love letter for any Batman fan who has ever wondered about Bruce’s early days.
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
There is a surprise at the end of this issue, or rather there is a surprise when
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.