Artist: Greg Capullo
This has been one of my favourite series, and with it featuring my favourite character it makes things even better. Besides that the current Zero Year story has also been very exciting, and unique, and it looks to be getting better, and better.
At the mercy of the Red Hood Gang, Bruce Wayne takes a horrible beating. Meanwhile Philip Kane, and Edward Nigma don't see eye to eye.
Near Norway a 24 year old Bruce is involved in a death match to learn him that sometimes during war you have to kill.
This was a brilliant issue, and the story keeps continuing to amaze me, but this issue wasn't quite as spectacular as the previous two. Scott Snyder does however do a brilliant job of developing this story, keeping the excitement, and drama at a high. Snyder also added plenty of suspense in this issue, as well as some brilliant emotion. I did however feel that there wasn't a lot happening in this issue, as although everything was so dramatic, it all happened rather fast. The dialogue during this issue was also brilliant, with the interactions being very intense, and exciting. I also loved the dark tone that Snyder added to this issue, as with it being an origin story for Batman it needs to have plenty of darkness about it.
The art was simply outstanding, and although when I was initially not a fan of Greg Capullo's art when this series started, it has really suited it, as although he's not the best Batman artist ever, he knows how to add the right tone to the series, whether dark, or light. The detail in Capullo's art is also spectacular, and it's very hard to find any imperfections in it. The layout of Capullo's art also adds plenty of depth, and drama to the issue, as although this isn't the most impressive layout he's done yet, it does it's purpose, adding brilliant tone to the issue. I also liked how he drew the beaten up Bruce, as although I was initially in two minds whether I liked it or not, I came to the conclusion that it was relatively realistic.
This issue would start with the Red Hood Gang beating Bruce to a pulp, with this continuing for about a third of the issue. This was a very exciting sequence, also adding a lot of tone, and suspense to the issue. With Bruce having little chance to do anything in this sequence, it was paramount to add a brilliant atmosphere, and Snyder did this perfectly, as the Red Hood Gang leader had a tremendous presence, with the dialogue that he'd say to Bruce adding a lot of depth, as well as more tone to this amazing sequence.
The other interesting sequence in this issue was a conversation between Philip Kane, and Edward Nigma. Now I won't go into too much detail about this sequence, as to avoid spoilers, but I will say my thoughts, as well as the fact that they had a disagreement. Now I've loved seeing Nigma, better known to Batman fans as the Riddler in this story, as with him being one of my favourite villains I'm happy to see him involved properly in a New 52 story. This sequence itself was however very dramatic, and suspenseful, with the dialogue once again being amazing, and I look forward to seeing how it's developed.
The back-up story would once again be written by Snyder, and James Tynion IV, and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque. This short story didn't really amaze me, as although I've been loving the concept of a younger Bruce in these back-up stories, with this having plenty of action, it didn't do much for me. I did however love Albuquerque's art, as although not quite as good as his previous two additions, it was very gritty, and dark, suiting this story perfectly.
This was a tremendous issue, and although it's the worst in the story so far, it was still amazing, and shows just how good this story has been. The suspense, and drama throughout the story was outstanding, with exciting dialogue. The back-up story was however nothing special, and along with the fact that the everything happened so fast in the main story let the issue down a bit. I would however still highly recommend this issue, as well as the story so far, as it's been very unique, and interesting.