Final Showdown with the Red Hood Gang
This has been a series that I've enjoying since it first started, and this Zero Year storyline has been simply amazing so far. I have enjoyed how it's managed to give an unique origin for the Dark Knight, also giving exciting and entertaining events along the way.
After Bruce Wayne reveals himself to still be alive, Batman faces off against the Red Hood Gang once again.
This was an amazing issue, and quite possibly the best in the storyline so far. Scott Snyder has done a brilliant job of bringing the first part of his epic tale to an end, with this issue being very dramatic and suspenseful, also being extremely exciting. I also felt that for an oversized issue that Snyder managed to keep the story at a brilliant pace, as it would be very easy with such a big issue to allow it to slow down a lot. Snyder also managed to do great justice to the Batman mythos in this issue, both showing homage to previous Batman work, as well as adding his own uniqueness to this retelling of Batman's origin. On top of that Snyder also wrote some fantastic dialogue in this issue, and if he continues like this the storyline could become one of the greatest Batman stories of all time.
The artwork on this issue was also once again phenomenal, and Greg Capullo continues to impress me. The detail in his artwork throughout this issue was simply amazing, with it being very consistent throughout, and that's saying something considering the amount of pages he had to draw (lucky he had the extra time during Villains Month). The layouts of Capullo's art were also brilliant, adding a lot of depth and tone to the issue. I also really enjoyed how Batman was hidden in shadows throughout most of this issue, and how the ears on the cowl were slightly pointier, reminding me of the earlier years of Batman, whilst still keeping it modern and fresh. Rafael Albuquerque also once again did a great job of his portion of the artwork, with his ten pages looking fantastic.
This issue would start with Batman stopping members of the Red Hood Gang from stealing chemicals. Now I really enjoyed this sequence as it was extremely fun and exciting, and kind of reminded me of my childhood with it having a similar style to Batman: The Animated Series from the 90's. I also loved how this showed Batman at his best, as although I have loved all the gadgets, and tools that he has acquired over the years, it was nice to see a more simplistic approach. I also loved how this also emphasised the fear that Batman puts into his foes, and the way that Batman would be clocked in darkness really helped this.
Bruce would also take some drastic steps in his normal life, deciding to make it public knowledge that he's not dead. Now I thought that this was a brilliant development point for the story, as not only does it help tie-up loose ends by revealing how Bruce is currently a public figure, it would also help build-up further parts of this issue. I also enjoyed the interaction between Bruce and his uncle Philip in this issue, with the sequence being very dramatic, revealing things that I've been expecting sine the start of the story. I did however find Bruce's new hair cut in this issue to be rather weird and silly looking, as although there was a good explanation for it, it still didn't look right for him.
My favourite sequence in this issue would come about half way through the issue, seeing a very dramatic and exciting sequence that took place in the A.C.E. Chemical Factory. Now I won't go into any details of the plot line, though I will say that the sequence would involved both Batman and the Red Hood Gang. The sequence was very entertaining and exciting, having some of the best artwork that I've ever seen from Capullo. It also had some brilliant homage points within, and left a lot of questions as to whether the sequence was as it seemed. I also loved the aftermath to this sequence that would come from Snyder, James Tynion IV and Albuquerque at the end of the issue, with it having me extremely excited for the next issue.
Snyder ends the first half of Zero Year on a high, with this issue quite possibly being the best in the storyline yet. It had a lot of excitement, as well as tons of drama and suspense, and was overall a fantastic read. It also did a lot for the Batman mythos, and giving him a fresh new origin that pays homage to previous stories. Due to all this I'd highly recommend this issue, and the story so far, and can't wait to read the next issue.