Batman #34 | Writer: Gerry Duggan, Scott Snyder | Artist: Matteo Scalera | Colorist: Lee Loughridge | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $3.99 | From my column at Forces of Geek.com
The first issue in a post in a post-Zero Year world brings self-contained tale without Greg Capullo and only a dash of Scott Snyder. I know, I know, I did the same, “aww man, gosh darn it, and that’s whack” when I heard the news as well. However, it turns out that absence of elite talent brings about the inclusion of some great creativity.
The street level stories often show Batman at his best because you get all of the classic elements that made us fall in love with the Caped Crusader. Superheroes handle the big catastrophes so it’s nice to see some of the non-headline grabbing crimes get some attention, too.
The killer this time around is murdering those who he feels no one will remember. His motive is a reflection of how he looks at himself, which makes his obsession infinite.
Gerry Duggan does an excellent job at making this new character interesting by relaying how badly Batman wants to catch him. There is no big reveal, no shocking turn of events. The reason is pure, simple, and makes you cheer Batman even more, if that’s possible.
Batman doesn’t just save the day, he also turns the tide on the killer by reversing his ideology on him. It was easy, but so ridiculously effective. There is a panel in the lower left hand corner of a page near the end of the book where Batman smiles at his own handy work that made me say “YES” because that was his way of spitting in the face this maniacal presence. The ending was powerful because Batman did something he didn’t need to do which honored the forgotten. Thinking about whether or not you could do the same makes the moment stand out even more.
Zero Year had some hits and misses along the way, but I think it’s always a good proposition to have the main Bat title telling stories in the present.