The gameboard is set
Snyder isn't wasting any time. Despite the fact that this issue, like the last one, consists of mostly setup, it was very entertaining to see where many of these familiar characters are starting to fit within the new origin. Like previous arcs he's done, Snyder is dropping clues left and right, daring us to speculate what is actually going on. Who is this Red Hood leader? Is he really the Joker or am I just supposed to think that? What is going on with Bruce's uncle? How deep in with the sharks is he? Does Nygma's commentary mean more than what Bruce interpreted? Is there a hidden message somewhere?
The issue opens up with more bombastic action, and Capullo is just nailing it. This is some of his best work. Considering he's been killing it already on this series, that's saying a lot. It's also cool to see the Gotham regular who makes his first Zero Year appearance in this scene. While action is always good, the crux of this issue revolves around two conversations that Bruce has. One is with Alfred and the other is with Edward Nygma. Both are pretty significant conversations and demonstrate Snyder's level of comfort with these characters.
I'm generally hesitant in following arcs this long (11 issues) in single issue format, but Snyder and Capullo are really good at packing each chapter with as many meaningful moments as possible. I still deducted a star because what we're mainly dealing with here is more posturing, but the issue is quite effective at doing what it set out to. I have to mention also that the the backups have been fabulous. Didn't care too much for them in the Death of the Family or Court of Owls arcs, but they seem to be working quite nicely in conjunction with this story.