Batman #22

Rating: ★★★★☆

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo continue their eleven issue story arc, Zero Year, in Batman #22. In part two of the creative team’s tale of Batman’s origin, Snyder and Capullo continue to distance their take from the dark atmosphere of Frank Miller’s Year One by presenting a different interpretation while remaining faithful to the Batman mythology. Year One focused as much on Commissioner Gordon as Bruce Wayne but if the first two issues of Zero Year are an indication, the primary focus of this story will be Bruce Wayne. Many familiar supporting characters such as Alfred and Commissioner Gordon will be featured but this modern storytelling of Bruce Wayne’s origin will undoubtedly make Batman the main character at the conclusion of this arc.

A young Bruce Wayne continues his battle against the primary threat to Gotham City, the Red Hood Gang. Snyder makes a subtle reference to the Falcone family regarding to the criminal gang and the Penguin makes a brief appearance in this issue. The Red Hood Gang continues to prove why they are a danger to Gotham at this time from capturing one of the most famous Batman villains, the Penguin. The Red Hood Gang continues to get away from Bruce Wayne and it is evident Bruce’s frustration is growing during his heated verbal exchange with Alfred. Bruce continues to experience difficulties in his life as his uncle, Philip Kane, reveals that Bruce is alive at a surprise celebration to which Bruce quickly flees from. Bruce will eventually come to the realization that he can’t hide forever as he prefers to early on in the beginning of this story arc. It is clear Bruce will become aware that there is more of a benefit to him being alive and helping Gotham instead of choosing to remain legally dead.

The most interesting panel in the issue by Capullo is during a conversation between Bruce and Edward Nygma. Nygma tells Bruce of his fascination with Egyptian designs of board games. The panel is in the shape of the Oroboros, which Nygma explains to Bruce is a large creature that creates itself by eating its own parts. The unique panel continues to delve into the complex mind of Edward Nygma, who is famously known as the Riddler. However, Nygma has yet to embrace that persona at this point in the story arc just like Bruce Wayne has yet to become Batman for the first time.

Snyder and Capullo continue to form the beginning of their in-depth eleven issue story arc of the origin of one of the most greatest superheroes. This second nearly yearlong tale by the creative team will continue to present readers with a different but a faithful interpretation of Bruce Wayne and the challenges he will face just as Snyder and Capullo did in the eleven issue Court of Owls story arc.

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This article was first posted on July 10, 2013