Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo have been working and building upon this Zero Year epic for a year know. It's hard to believe it's been that long. Of everything that they have covered in Zero Year, I'm actually surprised how tightly the story has been done. Usually going back, and telling a story this big, would contradict some previous stories that they have told. This has not been the case, though, and that is impressive.
Capullo has done so well with the art, even doing a few double sized issues, and never missing a beat. FCO Plascencia has made a name for himself on colors with this story arc. Giving us bright, and vibrant colors that we haven't seen in a Batman book until now. To my tastes, however, it's distracted from the art work, at times. It stands out to me more when he does the bright colors in a few scenes, and tones it down in others so that the rest of the art team shines. His flashback coloring has also been just as impressive, if not more so to me. Allowing you to get the point that it's a flashback, without actually having to tell you so.
This first scene confused me. We open with a homeless man, who is playing a ukulele for money, when Bruce drops a roll of $100s like a G, and tells him he needs him for just one thing. It also appears to be either snowing, or it's ash raining down from the sky. I think this may be something that will be explained next issue. Snyder likes to open his comics with flashes of what is to come, and this also isn't the current state outside, as we will see later on. And since we only have one issue of ZY left, I hope it's answered there.
We then get to take a trip back to Old Wayne Tower, which is where Bruce met up with Lincoln March in the Court of Owls story. Batman is sneaking around, trying to get to the Riddler. Lucius is in a van, keeping in contact with everyone. And Gordon is in the subway with the strike team. Batman accesses the elevator shaft, and begins to make his way down while Gordon heads down the subway system. The plan is to corner Riddler, who they have traced beneath Old Wayne Tower.
Batman realizes that it was a set up, but Riddler has cut off their com links so that he can't inform anyone else. Riddler's robots are firing at Batman, and he dives out a window and begins riding one that can fly, but then destroys it, and he falls. Meanwhile Lucius is attacked in his van, but is saved at the last moment by Batman. Don't know how he didn't fall to his death. Which was a downer.
Gordon and the strike team have been passing several Riddler boxes. Batman tells Lucius that these are explosives. And the strike team is planning to have some jets come in, and shoot missiles once they send in Riddler's location. Riddler will use this against them to sink the city into the ocean. Batman believes he knows where Riddler is and makes his way there, while sending a sweet message to Alfred keying The Dark Knight trilogy's "why do we fall?" speech. He goes to the museum where he and Nygma first met – The Sphinx.
Riddler walks out, golf clapping, and tells Batman that the game is just starting as he turns on the lighting to reveal the ancient Seteth game board. Although, it looks like he and Riddler are going to have a mo-town dance-off.
This was another solid issue to the ZY story. How memorable it will be will greatly depend on if Snyder sticks the landing to the end of the story, next month.
Reviewed by Corbin Pool