BATMAN #22
Author: John Bierly (Follow @JOHNBIERLY)
July 11, 2013

SYNOPSIS: The second chapter of “Zero Year” delves into Bruce Wayne’s past with the Red Hood Gang and his run-ins with aspiring District Attorney Harvey Dent! And in the backup story, a secret moment from Bruce’s training abroad is revealed for the first time! - DCCOMICS.COM

BATMAN #22 continues Scott Snyder's new take on Batman's origin for the New 52 with more cinematic visuals by Greg Capullo's art team, and it's even better than its stellar predecessor. While #21 boldly established the players and plot, #22 digs in deeply with even more innovation, emotion, action, and intrigue.

"Nothing like sirens where they shouldn't be on a sunny afternoon, is there?" That's probably my favorite line, spoken by the leader of the Red Hood Gang who's most certainly going to become The Joker. (It's so obvious. So maybe that means he's not The Joker? Nah. He's got to be The Joker!) You'll also find lots of little nods to Nolan's Batman films in the details and dialogue, with Snyder writing his own vigorous take on the exchange from BATMAN BEGINS where Alfred implores Bruce not to destroy his father's name. It's a scene that ends on a killer punctuation mark.


BATMAN #22 Cover

Bruce's Uncle Philip (who's kind of this story's version of Mr. Earle) ups the stakes on Bruce in a shocking way before the future Batman finds himself face to face with a man who'll soon be a cornerstone of his Rogue's gallery. Capullo's depiction of their conversation as a tightly wound serpent is genius, with plenty of credit going to Nick Napolitano's intricate letters. Snyder's already working wonders with this character that far too many writers haven't known what to do with for far, far too long.

FCO Plascencia's colors pop during the issue's big action sequence and drop to clear, clean shades of shadow as the dangers surrounding Bruce deepen. Especially effective are the blasts of white light that bathe little Bruce's unknowing rebirth in what will one day because his Bat Cave.

We also get another cool backup story co-written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Snyder's AMERICAN VAMPIRE collaborator Rafael Albuquerque that shows us another of the lessons Bruce learned on the way to legend. This one's about not only believing in the impossible but actually wielding it.

Great stuff.

I didn't think Batman needed yet another origin tale until I started reading this one. Snyder's truly something special, with Capullo's art the perfect complement. These guys are hungry to keep topping themselves, with no signs of slowing down. Don't miss this. - John Bierly

GRADE: A+

John Bierly still can't believe he
gets to write for BOF.
Check out JOHNBIERLY.COM to read about the other things he writes about.


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