BATMAN: ZERO YEAR Offers Unexpected Tie-Ins

Zero Year was originally intended as a a yearlong retelling of Batman’s origin by comic-scribe superstar Scott Snyder. However, as the story was developed, other writers wanted in on the action, so tie-ins were planned with other DC titles. Aside from a sketch of Barbara Gordon in “Zero-Year” attire, we hadn’t heard much about what was planned for these books until now.

Today, DC Comics released the solicits of the Zero Year books being released November, and while some were expected like “Batgirl,” “Catowman,” “Detective Comics,” and “Nightwing,” others are quite unexpected. Titles like “Action Comics,” “Green Lantern Corps,” “The Flash” and “Green Arrow” will be getting the Zero Year treatment as well.

As with Batman, these one-shots will not only focus on the lives of these characters six years in the past, but also their connections to Gotham City. Batman group editor Mike Marts explained to MTV the concept of adding these characters into the fray.

All of these characters existed in or around Gotham six years in the past. The individual stories are more about how the environment of Zero Year affected these characters and a little less about how Batman or Bruce Wayne touched their lives. We’re not rewriting these characters’ histories or continuities. We’re simply examining chapters of their lives we’ve never previously seen.

Personally, I feel that this is an unnecessary move on DC’s part. I can understand wanting to explore the lives of characters like Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. These are people with strong ties to the Batman universe. I just don’t think we need to see characters like John Stewart or Barry Allen develop a relationship with a city that they not only don’t live in, but hardly ever visit either. I don’t mind single issues exploring a character’s past like they did with the Issue #0 month last year, but this seems to be more of a case of shock over substance, and I’m almost certain these stories will involve the collapse of Gotham City that was hinted at in Batman #21.

Still, I follow many of these titles, so I can only hope that the writers can offer quality tales without selling out. Otherwise, I may have to switch to getting Marvel titles monthly. Ha ha, no, that’s not happening.

(Cue Marvel vs. DC Internet battle)