Review of Batman #21 – ZERO YEAR BEGINS! Secret City Part 1


Batman #21 begins the 11 issue arc ZERO YEAR!!!! Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo craft The NEW 52 Origin of The Batman! Steve/Megatron and TFG1Mike team up to give you a SPOILER FREE review of the first chapter. Let the ZERO YEAR Begin, and here we go!


Most of us know the origin of Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. His parents were killed in front of him, by some punk with a gun. This would put him on the path to becoming Batman! Batman is a man that has saved the day dozens of times with nothing but his wits, body, and will. So where can Scott Snyder take the Origin to….. ? Well over the next 11 months we will find out as ZERO YEAR is upon us. This is THE NEW 52 ORIGIN OF BATMAN!!!!

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Mike’s Review of Batman #21:

If you’ve listened to the DEATH OF THE FAMILY podcast episodes over on GeekCast Radio, you’ll know that is the EVENT that got me into comics full time. When I read Batman #13, my jaw was on the floor for days, and my brain hurt for a week. Just thinking of how that issue ends….. As Death of the Family moved forward I found myself liking the story, and also at times not liking the story. As everyone should know I loathe Damian Wayne, that snot nosed little Ras Al Ghul grandson, need to be smacked around a few times. At the end of DOTF I just found it very anticlimactic. I was actually let down that THE JOKER wasn’t the one to kill Damian.

I soon got over that, and got very excited for Zero Year. This is Gotham City Six years ago…. and we find a not so armored up Batman saving a youngster from a coupla crooks. In Secret City Part One we see the beginnings of Bruce Wayne’s journey into becoming the Bat. I really enjoyed Scott Snyder’s writing in this issue. It was fluid, informative, and at times both funny and serious. The story that is told through the writing is just awesome. While I’m also talking about the writing, the backup story was damn good too. I never got into the backup stories before, but since Zero Year is a new EVENT in Batman, I thought I could get into them from the beginning. In the backup story it takes place as Bruce Wayne is age nineteen, and he’s in Rio De Janiero. I love the title of the story… Where The Hell Did He Learn to Drive? Kinda reminds me of Where does he get those wonderful toys” line from The joker in Batman 89.

Again ever since I started reading Batman, I’ve loved Greg Capullo’s art. Everything the man does is just amazing. What I loved so much about his style and designs for Zero Year in Batman #21 is that he makes Gotham BRIGHT!!! I love the early Batman costume, and just the overall look of what happens in the issue is awesome. It has left me on the edge of my seat to see what happens in issue #22! …And now for Steve/Megatron’s thoughts on Batman #21…..

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Steve’s Review of Batman #21:

Getting right to it, I restarted my comic adventure with the end of the Pre-NEW  52 and continued on through. I’ve enjoyed everything to do with this “new” continuity with the exception of one thing, timing. What do I mean? Well the NEW 52 Batman is 6 years after he became Batman which leaves many plot issues.

If Bruce had only been Batman for 6 years then how does it account for having 3 previous Robins who now hold their own identities, a death AND revival of one of them, and a son by Talia Al Ghul who is roughly 10 years old? Like I said a lot of timing issues. That aside, I enjoyed this for what it was. I enjoyed the story of him more or less honing skills to become Batman.

The back stories again I usually do not care for but in this instance I could see where it was pertinent to the mythos of Batman. He learns his crazy driving skills from a professional con.

I do love the fact that Gotham isn’t dark, dying or murky but Bright, colorful and full of life. It adds a flipside to the typical coin we usually see and gives added depth to the home of Batman. I could even compare it to Young Bruce who is fresh to the hero business and is hopeful. Whereas Older Bruce now Batman is a veteran of sorts, and he is just as dark and tainted as his beloved city.

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Mike’s Final Thoughts:

Zero Year will be an epic event. I know I said that about Death of the Family, there were parts that were epic, but it wasn’t as epic as it was advertised. however because Zero Year is the new 52 origin of Batman… I’m very interested to see how Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo twist and turn with the Batman origin. If you haven’t been reading Batman… you better start right the HELL NOW!!!!

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Steve’s Final Thoughts:

My issues aside, it really was a good issue where Bruce is raw and watching to see what he can fix with a fresh un-wavered perspective. Greg Capullo is as usual awesome with his art and Scott tells a great story. I just wish there was a way to explain the timing issues above without making the storyline more of a trainwreck than it has to be since the reboot. But seeing a new take on Batman’s origins not focusing on the death or the first appearance is kind of nice.

Mike’s Final Rating: 


Steve’s Final Rating:


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TFG1Mike is a geek with many interests. He has been podcasting for over a decade, and sees no stopping point in sight. From Transformers, He-Man, Batman, Comics, movies, video games, cartoons, and so much more, Mike has a zeal for the things he loves, and he will bring the hammer down on the things that he has a disdain for. He's generally a postive person, but negativity can creep in there. Mike is all about the innuendos and innuendon'ts too. You'll hear him on many of The GCRN podcasts!

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