The last issue of Batman was absolutely amazing in my humble opinion and rivaled “Death of the Family” levels of quality. We move into the second part of Zero Year, Dark City, featuring the Riddler. Is it good?
Batman #25 (DC Comics)
Batman #25 begins with a group of soldiers in Nigeria searching for a mysterious object out in the desert. Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose in Gotham City due to a citywide blackout. While the looters and gangs fight are ravishing everything in sight and the police are too busy trying to hunt down Batman, “a mysterious murderer with a horrific and deadly way of killing.”
Then in the backup story, we see a young Harper Row and her brother during the midst of the blackout.
Also, we get to see the goofy, but awesome looking new Batmobile!
Like the previous issue, Batman #25 was a lot of fun and great to read. It does a fine job of setting up this installment of Zero Year, with the police are hunting down Batman, the murders, and more. We are starting to see the genesis of several classic Batman elements, like the trust between Batman and Gordon (well, trust in one area, but I’m sure we’ll get there soon enough). A few mysteries are established as well, especially in the opening scene. We also get a bunch of cameos and appearances from characters of the Bat mythos in their early days and a couple of nods to other classic Batman stories. All these little facets put a smile on my face as a Batman fan and certainly has me anticipating future issues.
The rest of the writing for the main story is just as impressive. The pacing is tight as the story goes from scene to scene, giving each one plenty of time to invest the audience and get them interested in what is happening. The dialogue is solid this time and has really no signs of Snyder’s long winded speeches and metaphors that people have complained or joked about (well just one, but it is very tiny and goes by quickly, fitting the scene just fine). Sure, there is tons and tons of dialogue, but none of it overwritten or overdramatic, and it works overall. The only bit I can complain about with Snyder’s writing is in the ending when Lucius Fox jabs Bruce with a needle and knocks him out. I’m not sure exactly what that was accomplishing, especially considering who was in the room.
Shh! Quiet little girl. I’m about to do something awesome.
As for the backup story, I mentioned that there were no overly long or big speeches made in the main story; that little element has been moved to the backup story where a young Harper Row gives a speech to her younger brother about overcoming his fear of the dark. It’s a bit hard to buy, considering the fact that she looks about 10 years old in it. Yes, she seems like a child prodigy from what I can tell in this issue and previous appearances, but still — let the kids be kids sometimes. Otherwise, the backup is rather forgettable, though with nothing particularly bad in the writing.
The artwork was done by Greg Capullo as usual and Andy Clarke provided art for the backup. There’s very little I can say about Capullo that I haven’t said already and that you don’t already know: His stuff is just fantastic to look at (especially the creepier parts of this comic) and Danny Miki and Fco Plascencia on inking and coloring duties really make his drawings pop. Andy Clarke’s work has always left me unsure; I have never been a particular fan of his line work regarding character faces or his use of crosshatching for some of the shadow effects. There’s something odd looking about it in comparison to other artists. Clark’s art didn’t bug me here at all though and his characters were drawn well (like the double pages spread he did), save the occasional creepy faces and smiles they flash.
- Good start to the second part of Zero Year.
- Plenty of winks and nudges for Batman fans.
- Very well written and put together.
- The backup is pretty weak in comparison to the main story.
- The ending pages to the main story are a bit confusing.
Is It Good?
Batman #25 was enjoyable and solid way to kick off the next part of Zero Year. Lots of storylines starting up, fun nods and cameos for the fans to see, great artwork, and pretty well constructed as well. With this and the last two issues, this comic is back to being one of the best DC is putting at this moment. Make sure to check this out.
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