Batman #30 begins with the first part of the final act of ‘Zero Year’ and it kicks off with a nearly perfect issue. Writer Scott Snyder fills the issue with intrigue, deep human emotional connections and a version of the Riddler, as ruler of Gotham, we have never seen.
Official description from DC:
‘ZERO YEAR – SAVAGE CITY’ begins!
This is the story Snyder and Greg Capullo were waiting to tell and the amount of quality that spills out of this issue shows their passion for it. This book is so strong on so many levels it’s hard to pin it all down. Batman #30 gives us brief insight into Bruce’s mental state when it comes to the women he holds closest, the great fall Gotham has taken at the hands of the Riddler and a full understanding of the moment Lieutenant Jim Gordon and Batman form the solidarity and strength of their bond as protectors of Gotham City.
Snyder kicks off the issue with a brief but poignant moment when he is scaling the side of a building not to fight crime but to surprise his girlfriend, Julie, and sweep her off her feet for some fun and romance. Where it gets interesting, if not slightly confusing, is when Bruce’s vision of her turns into a tragic horror. Without spoiling the reveal let’s just say that it will represent and mirror the tragedy that befell his own mother. Cut to Bruce waking up from a long winter’s nap only to find Gotham overrun and in the grips of the Riddler and it’s a city and a people trapped. There’s no way in or out of Gotham as the Riddler holds the city and it’s people as hostages to his demented game of outsmarting him with a riddle he can’t solve proving Gotham is worthy of being relinquished to it’s citizens.
It’s all quite mad and intricate and Snyder uses well thought out and timed dialogue to suck the reader in. While Bruce is busy reestablishing himself to the current state of Gotham, Jim Gordon is the man actively fighting for Gotham’s soul. The story plays out so smoothly and eloquently that the ending action scenes almost come as a shock. The suspense that is not only written on the page but so smartly illustrated by Capullo that is as equally intense and dramatic as any high octane action film. That’s how good Snyder and Capullo are as a team. The end seals the deal on Gordon’s relationship to Batman and it’s a beautiful moment that brings them together.
I don’t feel any shame in coming across as a gushing fanboy on this one simply because this is such a great overall story and a superb kick off to the final act. If you have abandoned ‘Zero Year’ at any point before issue #30 then you are doing yourself a disservice. Get back on board immediately! This is the story Snyder and Capullo were meant to tell and it is simply the best overall origin story in the New 52 and is poised to be a classic Batman story for all time! Don’t miss this issue as it set’s up what’s sure to be one hell of a final act!