Comic Vine Review


Batman #23 - Zero Year: Secret City, Part Three; The Pit Review


Zero Year continues but it looks like this could be the end for Bruce Wayne. And get ready for a pretty insane backup story as well.

The Good

Last issue ended with an explosive cliffhanger. Going back to the Zero Year, we're seeing Bruce Wayne begin his war against crime before he officially became Batman. Having just returned to Gotham City, he's found the Red Hood Gang running amok and after a couple run ins, things have escalated.

One of the amazing things about this arc is seeing a less experienced (and less perfect) Batman. We're seeing a rawer version and he is taking quite a beating. But he is determined to carry on his mission. The encounter with the Red Hood Gang is a pretty big turning point. You absolutely will not want to miss this issue. One scene in particular really should get you to jump out of your seat and cheer. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it. It's a very classic moment done in a really cool way that makes much more sense in this fashion.

Of course it's not just about the Red Hood Gang. We also have Edward Nigma running around plus more on Uncle Philip's plans.

Greg Capullo's art continues to impress along with Danny Miki's inks and FCO Plascencia's colors. I've mentioned it before but throughout this arc, we've been exposed to some very non-typical Batman scenes. The colors have been jumping off the page in the daytime scenes and even in this issue, pretty full of darkness, it all looks so incredible.

If the issue ended with the main story, this would still be a great issue. But instead, it continues. Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV continue the stories that journey even further back into Bruce's training. Taking place near Norway, we get an amazing story of Bruce Wayne fighting in death match. Rafael Albuquerque's art is so good it almost makes you cry.

The Bad

Nothing bad here. This just might be my favorite issue of the arc. Maybe my favorite issue of the series (so far).

The Verdict

If you thought Zero Year couldn't get any better, you were mistaken. Scott Snyder is taking Bruce Wayne on a rough journey as he is on the verge of becoming Batman. You can see the story meticulously being laid out. We may not be used to seeing this less experienced hero but we are seeing the determination and tenacity that will shape him into the hero we know and love. A certain key scene is laid out with such extraordinary care, you'll be in awe as it plays out. Greg Capullo's art with Danny Miki's inks and FCO Plascencia's colors continue to make this a visual feast for our eyes. In the backup, Snyder, James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque show us a remarkable chapter in young Bruce's life. I didn't think I could like a BATMAN comic more than I have before until I read this one. It just keeps getting better and better.

39 Comments Refresh
Posted by AllStarSuperman

First! I can't wait to read this!

Posted by TheManWithNoName

Pretty high praise and with 24 being a double issue and 25 also being extended it seems like the story is going to get better from here and it was already amazing

Posted by Cyborg6971

Can we please get rid of the new 52 banner!

Posted by G-Man

@themanwithnoname: haha. That's sorta why I added the "so far" part. There was just something about this. It's far from a "typical" Batman issue. I just loved seeing the mechanics of what is making Bruce who he is. It's like getting a behind the scenes look. And that scene I mentioned, it's perfect in capturing the essence of a scene in the pre-New 52 and having it make (even more) sense in the New 52. IT's a nice homage.

Edited by Amaryllis

Yeah, this issue was brilliant and it did make a hell of a lot more sense. You could see the progression for Bruce's change and it's necessity way better than pre-52. And yes as a true fan girl, I still got chills at the end when he said "the words".

Edited by Mucklefluga

Best so far? Wow. Cant wait to read.

Edited by Lvenger

What's the deal with the changed nature of how Snyder's executed the bat in the study scene? He seemed to indicate that it would be controversial, be different from past origin scenes and might annoy some people.

Posted by G-Man

@lvenger: Well, I'd imagine YEAR ONE is sacred to many. Look at the outcry when Zero Year was first announced. There were some that immediately jumped all over the idea of "going back" and looking at the early days. The reality is, as Scott has pointed out in interviews, it's become necessary to take another look at things because of the timeline in the New 52 now. So to take a classic scene and make adjustments (which I feel makes so much more sense here), there's bound to be those that will want to complain. I don't see it as controversial myself. It's a great homage and is almost more chilling this way.

Edited by Omnicrono

Man! Snyder and Capullo are ENFUEGO with this series. Haha!

Posted by batmannflash

Don't like Zero Year as much as Death of the Family or Night/Court of Owls, but still good nonetheless. This is definitely the strongest issue of Zero Year, so far. Things are started to get interesting here!

Edited by mksystem74

Enjoyed it a lot. Not sure what scene was suppose to make me jump and cheer. Oh well, still a good issue. The back up was a lot of fun.

Edited by Lvenger

@g_man: Ah that makes sense. Still, I've found out what the scene entails and I don't see it as that controversial really. It's not enough to annoy the Year One Purists.. I would have thought the Red Hood Gang would fill that criteria already.


Just finished it, beautiful ending. I was beyond happy to see Bruce speak his legendary quote from Year One.

Posted by superior_prime_maybe

This is going so great!
al though i kinda wish it was less high tech...but thats me.

And im a bit skeptical about the changes in the scenes.... Im still glad it was there.

Posted by CaptainHoopla

I still love this, but actually thought the middle of the issue dragged a bit too much. I still can't decide who I think is behind the red hood. Loved the backup, it was like the birth of a legendary warrior.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I hope it's good. Last two issues were alright.

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

snyder again up to bat ....a swing and a......GRAND SLAM!!!! great work again by the team of Snyder and Capullo

Edited by spinningbirdcake

snyder again up to bat ....a swing and a......GRAND SLAM!!!! great work again by the team of Snyder and Capullo

haha...up to bat...

Posted by manwithoutshame

Incredible issue. Snyder and Capullo are up to something really special on Zero Year.

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm loving the Edward Nigma bits in this arc. Not only is it a Zero Year for Batman but for the Riddler as well. This issue's backup was probably the best yet. We really saw who Bruce was going to become in this one.

Edited by Jake Fury

@cyborg6971 said:

Can we please get rid of the new 52 banner!


Good issue. I liked the tribute to Year One and some of the little things that Snyder is doing differently.

Edited by dagmar_merrill

I really think Zero Year could turn out to be one of those classic stories about Batman any and every Batman fan should own.

Posted by SOG7dc

Yeah, this issue was brilliant and it did make a hell of a lot more sense. You could see the progression for Bruce's change and it's necessity way better than pre-52. And yes as a true fan girl, I still got chills at the end when he said "the words".

what words??? I mustve missed something

Posted by Amaryllis

@sog7dc: "Yes Father, I shall become a bat".

Iconic. It's from Year One as well.

Edited by rctroh

so.... when did issue 0 occurred....? i am so confuse...

Posted by SOG7dc
Edited by marvelftw

I'm sorry but I didn't care for this issue. The whole hologram of the Batcave (or hallucination) confused me and didn't an issue from the Court of Owls show a flashback to this yet Bruce was in a different outfit? And I don't get how the magnetic floor would get rid of the Riddler.

Posted by marvelftw

Nvm, I answered one of my own questions. Bruce was wearing a suit in the flashback, not a bathrobe like he is in this issue. Zero Year is confusing me :/

Edited by Fenderxx

I haven't read year one yet, but man, this is making me want to go get in ASAP ! I also want to see more of the Riddler, I really enjoy the way he is written so far.

Edited by braynehurricane

@marvelftw: If I remember correctly, the magnet in the floor would wipe out Nigma's computer and thus erase any traces of his nefarious connections with Cain. Cain would've killed Nigma himself. That's how it would've gotten rid of the Riddler.

Posted by bennyq

@braynehurricane: Has Cain actually been in this series yet? I thought Cain was the password that activated the magnet under the floor. I am excited for Cain to come in though. And perhaps a certain daughter of his..

Posted by marvelftw

@braynehurricane: well thanks for clearing that up for me. The whole hologram ball thing still confuses me though. Honestly, so far, Year One is better than Zero Year imo.

Posted by derf_jenkins

I have enjoyed most of the Batman issues very much, but this was probably one of my favorite ones so far.

Posted by braynehurricane

@bennyq: Oh my mistake. I was thinking Cain like Kane! Thanks for clearing that up.

Edited by braynehurricane

@marvelftw: Yeah, I agree that I'm extremely confused about whatever that hologram ball thing was and whether it was actually real or just a hallucination. I'm not really comparing Year One and Zero Year, which is maybe why I'm enjoying Zero Year so far. I'm pretty pumped for the eventual blackout. And you've got to enjoy the good Riddler stories when you get them! Hell, at the rate he's used I guess you even need to enjoy the bad ones too.

Edited by XSpectreGreyX

@marvelftw: The ball thing came the hell out of nowhere! I was so confused as to what was going on! This was the big pay off that you absolutely had to get right! Would a little dialogue explaining the ball thing ruin that? Also, the bat is absolutely tiny! And, story-wise, why were the bats red? Overall, the payoff is muddled by the confusion which would have easily been avoided with some exposition. I agree, so far, Year One is the superior story.

Posted by mickeymayhew

don't get the ball at all either; so is it that Bruce's dad wanted him to find the cave or was he hallucinating? not sure I'd give this issue the glowing review G-Man did, as I found that part a little confusing, esp. for such a key moment

Posted by yo_yo_fun

I'm lovin' the crap out of Zero Year!

This issue was awesome!

Posted by Wilbertus

I am loving Zero Year so far. It feels like Snyder and Capullo are onto something very special here. I don't mind the retelling of classic Batman stories as long as it is done right, and man oh man is this done right.
I can't wait for # 24!