By Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Fco Plascencia
“RRRRIDDLE ME THIS, BATMAN…”
Scott Snyder finishes his Zero Year run in perfect form. A tale presenting the Riddler as a dominate threat towards Gotham pushes the notion that Batman will always be there to protect it. Snyder is known for producing stories containing bits of history – (Court of Owls) – and this story pulls from those same archetypes.
In issue #33 of Batman we see Snyder once again weaving stories from the past into Gotham’s present, going back and forth between the two and showing Bruce at other pivotal moments in his life and how they’ve impacted how he is today. This issue incorporates a lot of mind games via the Riddler as he has Batman trapped in a web of lasers. If he touches any of them Gotham is doomed! Getting the better of Batman isn’t an easy task however and the scenes building from the past make for a parallel that puts classis Batman attitude at the forefront.
Greg Capullo has been the penciler working with Snyder on this (and others) run. His details are intricate within every panel, often compelling the reader to stare and gather all of the images. A scene depicting Jim Gordon climbing his way through Savage City Gotham has a white owl flying past him, a subtle nod to the Court of Owls storyline he worked on with Snyder previously. This scene is also where we see a lot of the detail Capullo is known for. Behind Gordon as he climbs up the vines we can see Gotham far below him, the details of the city portrayed far into the distance, yet still intricate. Something else he does well is introducing a lot of play between the panels, some of the scenes depicted between two separate panels but showing that same character’s progression.
Danny Miki and Fco Plascencia are the two other contributing artists to this Batman series. Miki is the inker and Plascencia the colorist. Colors in the Zero Year story have been a major part. Plascencia has been using a lot of bright and intense colors whenever Batman is facing off. The Riddler is shown in his trademark colors, but the green is a bright lime, and his gloves resembling a similar look to Batman’s purple pair. The scene with Batman and the Riddler facing off in a match of wits shows a lot of the play between Miki’s inks and Plascencia’s bright colors. The lighting of the scene also comes into effect a lot where Riddler’s eyes glow green in the darkness as the red beams shoot across Batman – whose standing still trying not to make contact with them.
It’s clear Snyder is a writer capable of bringing new life to a seventy-five year old city as Batman reaches his anniversary this year. He’s successfully created a story that not only brings the mythology of Batman to the present, but also adds new energy to the city as he builds up his own version of Gotham. He’s managed to go from Secret City to Dark City to Savage City and keep it fine-tuned the whole way through. With a character full of iconic stories Snyder has successfully created a well-crafted story of his own with Zero Year.