By Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki & FCO Plascensia
Anybody who has been following my reviews on the great All-Comic.com should know that Zero Year just hasn’t worked for me. That opinion puts me in the minority, but so be it. The entire arc is sloppy, tedious, and a little boring. To make matters worse, it also hasn’t given a reason to justify its existence. It’s a good thing that Batman #27 does a lot to buck that trend.
There’s some action in the beginning as Bats escapes from the corrupt police, but this is still a quiet issue. Snyder instead chooses this issue as a time to reflect and further character arcs. Gordon rescues Batman from his unethical coworkers, and from there, their relationship is further established and given a tie for which it exists. Some may not like the changes to the origin of the Batman/Gordon team, but you can’t deny that Snyder’s character work is certainly effective.
The relationship between Bruce and Alfred is also addressed and given a new spin. Like Gordon, there are some purists that may not accept this new angle. Personally, I find it a refreshing and interesting take on the Batman/Pennyworth dynamic that is worth delving into.
Snyder gives us almost everything that we could want from this issue except for a reason for Zero Year to even be here. It’s not Year One and it never will be. We shouldn’t be comparing the two and instead critique Zero Year on its own merits, but even when you do that, it leaves a lot to be desired. A new story that takes place in the present New 52 could accomplish the same character work.
Greg Capullo, is there anything else that can be said? The guy is establishing himself as one of the best Batman artists ever. One particular panel has Batman sitting atop a telephone wire just staring into Gordon’s apartment. Capullo’s work on this panel is minimal, but strikes where it needs to. With the help of Danny Miki (inker) and FCO Plascensia (colorist), this panel is a knockout.
Batman #27 is a beautiful issue that has some wonderful characterization that we have come to expect from Snyder. It’s not a perfect issue, but there is enough juicy bits to make you forget some of the past Zero Year nonsense. Good job, gentlemen.