Scott Snyder continues to show us all that there are still plenty of amazing stories left to be told to broaden the mythos of the Caped Crusader, whether he dons the costume or not!
Though "the Bat" makes a minimal appearance this issue, Snyder weaves layer after layer of intrigue throughout his tale, building the richness of his two year take on the Batman to an even higher level than before.
The "Zero Year" storyline, that is making it's way through several books this month, truly takes off in this issue. We have young Bruce dealing with the Riddler's Gotham blackout and an even worse scenario of twisted death by a new threat that brings Jim Gordon face to face with Bruce. This part of the tale is where Snyder shines his brightest. He adds a level of mystery and intrigue to the tale that cannot be played out soon enough for ravenous readers. A mystery that harkens back to the day Bruce Wayne lost everything, a mystery that changes everything we knew, or thought we knew, about Bruce and Jim's working relationship. It is something that I found unsettling, not because it is revealed, but because it is not and I NEED it to be!
This is not the only mystery that Snyder opens either. The tale is book ended by another, one that begins with a door and ends in fire, and is no less tantalizing than the other one. Plus, somehow, Snyder sneaks in some action sequences that have been flawlessly rendered by Greg Capullo, satisfying your "need for speed" in a book that is more about the building of a larger tale that pure action.
As the back-up tale goes, it was nice but by no means do you need to have it in this book. It is a subtle tale of a brother and sister having to deal with their own darkened corner of Gotham and realizing there is always a light when you need it most. Subtle and effective but not necessarily needed.
What is NEEDED is next month to get here to see what outstanding tale Scott Snyder has in store for us next!