Batman #26: Zero Year continues with another strong issue.
For the past two years, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have enthralled, shocked and surprised us with a much needed rejuvenation of the flagship Batman title. Now at the mid-point of Zero Year, their Dark Knight origin redux, with Gotham shut into complete darkness by the Riddler two issues ago, it’s clear that this isn’t Year One all over again like many thought. If it wasn’t already clear months ago.
This chapter sees Batman go up against anold foe, Dr. Death, as he horrifyingly murders Wayne Enterprises employees. Despite the big “Batman” slapped on the cover, however, there’s not a lot of the Caped Crusader here; as with much of this arc, Snyder sticks with the younger, cockier Bruce Wayne as we see the Bat-verse get redefined more and more. We get insight into Bruce’s feelings towards Jim Gordon, freaky hallucinations and not one single mention of the Riddler. It’s definitely not what you expected.
As with The Court of Owls and Death of the Family, the story has taken a turn for the twisted and grotesque, giving Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia another chance to shine. The rich colour pallet of the last few issues returns, but things turn creepier as the action ramps up. By this point, it’s difficult to come up with new things to say about this fantastic art team. While it’s not the highlight of Zero Year, this issue is another strong one.