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

SYNOPSIS: The penultimate issue of ZERO YEAR is here! Batman gets one step closer to the endgame with The Riddler as the final chapter of ZERO YEAR: SAVAGE CITY draws closer to its stunning finale!

Coming between the gleefully bat-$#!+ crazy BATMAN #31 and next month's eagerly anticipated ZERO YEAR finale is no easy task, but BATMAN #32 rumbles over the challenge like a Tumbler -- it's a bridging vehicle that exceeds its original purpose, but in this case the bridge really works.

As Lucius Fox and Jim Gordon work hard to locate and infiltrate the secret base from which The Riddler now controls Gotham, The Batman races against time and an impending airstrike to confront Edward Nygma face to face. Nothing comes close to the insanity of last issue's gladiatorial throw-down with a lion, but writer Scott Snyder delivers an emotional core built around Batman's belief in the skills of his compatriots and a letter he dictates for Alfred as he walks into a guaranteed trap.


BATMAN #32 Cover by Gregg Capullo

It all moves so quickly that it seemingly ends before it begins, but Greg Capullo's transcendent art team ensures there's plenty for us to see and enjoy along the way. Danny Miki defines Capullo's brawny pencils with pinpoint accuracy, while FCO Plascencia's wild, wonderful colors create a Gotham that looks far brighter than what its dire predicament truly entails. The final splash page in particular is a powerful explosion of palette and precision.

Based on all we've gotten thus far, there's no reason to wonder if next month's conclusion will deliver. If I could change anything, it would be to have made this fun, fresh run the true beginning of Batman's adventures in DC's New 52. Let's hope things remain this interesting when we get back to the future and business as usual. Though with Snyder and his team, is there really any such thing? - 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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