Like many of DC’s #0 issues this month, ‘Batman’ #0 is a “before New 52” tale. These prequel tales give us a glimpse of the history of the New 52 universe by presenting fresh takes on the updated origins of old characters or, in the case of this issue, a look at many Bat-family members before they evolved into the heroes that they are now.
The tale opens on a bank robbery six years ago. The Red Hood Gang (with an oddly familiar sounding leader) arrives at the reopening of the Gotham National Bank. Things seem to be going smoothly until one of the Hood’s members turns out to be not who he appeared to be.
After the Red Hood incident, we follow a young Bruce Wayne back to the Batcave (well… it’s not called that just yet) where he discusses his new mission with Alfred. Bruce has all the training, the equipment, and the drive… but something is missing. What could it be?
After their chat, Bruce heads to the roof to test his new timed boomerang. It’s designed to fire and then return once a preset time has passed. After Bruce tosses his boomerang, Alfred informs him that Lieutenant Gordon has paid a visit and would like to speak to Bruce.
Gordon asks Bruce what his agenda is now that he’s returned to Gotham. The man hasn’t been running his family’s company. Gordon also drops a bit about a new vigilante that’s been seen around the city and asks if Bruce knows anything about it. Bruce blows off all of Gordon’s questions while nervously glancing in the direction of the boomerang which is set to return in mere minutes. Does it? I won’t spoil that for you.
The backup story this issue gives us very brief glimpses into the lives of Dick Greyson, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, and Barbara Gordon in their lives before they became Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl respectively. It also gives us a look at the origin of the bat-signal. Not much really goes on in this story but it shows the spark of how Batman is to inspire this group to greatness.
Scott Snyder has delivered a solid flashback issue to the New 52. The first story drops hints of things that are sure to have repercussions in the modern storylines and the backup tale is just a quick fun read. The artwork from Capullo and Glapion is very good (although I actually prefer Glapion’s pencils here). In the end, this could probably be skipped without missing much, but if you like Batman or his extended family, it’s worth a look.
Written by Scott Snyder
Backup Written by Scott Snyder and James T Tynion IV
Art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Backup Art by Andy Clarke
Cover by Greg Capullo