Author: John Bierly (Follow @JOHNBIERLY)
May 31, 2014

SYNOPSIS: The second chapter of “ZERO YEAR – SAVAGE CITY” reveals an entirely new Gotham City. Unraveling the mysteries set forth by The Riddler, The Batman must learn to work with his new ally, Lieutenant Jim Gordon, and do whatever it takes to survive!

This year at C2E2, the Modern Myth Media crew got to see a preview page from BATMAN #31 that Scott Snyder showed off at the Batman panel. It was an image of Batman grappling with a lion, and it drove the crowd into hysterical fits of anticipation and delight.

The image is absolutely insane, and it's entirely indicative of just how beautifully ridiculous and deliriously wonderful the “ZERO YEAR” saga has been so far. It's utterly nutty to fathom how Gotham could have had a post-apocalyptic era that was pre-New 52, and even crazier to imagine a new origin story simultaneously unraveling throughout it. But Snyder and his art team, under the capable command of fellow mad man Greg Capullo, continue to create something that feels completely fresh and new without compromising any of the core elements that make Batman who he is.

That's been Snyder's way from the beginning. He finds new angles that make classic relationships feel new again. Nolan's films reinvigorated the character of Lucius Fox, who plays a huge role in this issue. And while I was originally nervous about the hostility Bruce Wayne showed Jim Gordon in earlier issues, Snyder turned it around to make their bond stronger than ever before. I should have known that was his plan all along.

BATMAN #31 Cover by Gregg Capullo

The verbal interplay between Batman and The Riddler has plenty of fireworks. It's interesting to see which ways Edward Nygma is right about Batman... and which ways he's entirely wrong. But Batman has Gotham's new emperor figured out down to every last thread in his silly green suit, and his riddle for The Riddler is more than just a stalling tactic. It's a brilliant shakedown, and I love that Snyder's not afraid to make Batman a man of words when the situation calls for it.

But he's also a man of action, and that's where Capullo delivers some delicious lunacy with bold, brawny glee bathed in wild colors by FCO Plascencia and accented with precision by inker Danny Miki. There are pages here that will make you want to stand up and cheer, with dense details that just keep on revealing themselves. (There's a shot involving a motorcycle that's one for the ages, immediately taking its place among the most iconic Batman images of all time.)

Two issues to go. I can't wait to see how it ends, even though I kind of never want it to. - John Bierly


John Bierly still can't believe he
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