Review of Batman #23 – ZERO YEAR! Secret City Part 3

B23 Banner

Batman #23 continues to teach us how Bruce Wayne Became The Batman in 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 third chapter. Let the ZERO YEAR continue, and here we go!

B23 Cover

Batman #23’s cover is very misleading. It’s the Bat Glove, Bat Gauntlet, whatever, and yet we never see it used in the issue. It’s a damn cool cover, but strange that they would tease this, without any payoff.

B23 #1

Mike’s Review of Batman #23:

ZERO YEAR is slower than the friggin’ tortoise trying to win the race against the hare. Yes I know the lesson from that tale, slow and steady wins the race. however Batman ZERO YEAR by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, is like waiting for a 100 car train to cross the damn tracks. Issue #21 was damn awesome, I loved nearly every minute of it. Issue #22 was a bit slower, but I still enjoyed it. However issue #23 is the slowest so far….

The first 14 pages of story… I was so lost, even after reading it twice. THE FIRST FOURTEEN FRIGGIN PAGES PEOPLE….. outta a 40 page book, granted I’m counting the ads when I say 40 pages. however you get the idea. I consider myself to be somewhat of a “fast” learner, and I catch on quick. BUT… I have no idea what the hell the story was trying to tell me. It’s the Red Hood Gang, that have apparently captured Bruce…? I honestly have no freakin’ idea! During all this, and from the start of the issue there is this strange voice “talking” to Bruce. I know who it’s supposed to be, but the problem I have is that I can’t tell if this is a dream, hallucination, or if it’s happening in real time…? PLUS we’ve seen Bruce in a makeshift batsuit in issue #21, so WHY in this is he JUST NOW discovering the symbol in which he will strike fear into the hearts of criminals????? MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!!!!

So after the 14th page of WTF am I reading here…. I caught onto what the rest of the story was trying to tell me. I enjoyed it, but not as much as some of the other comics I’ve read this month. I’ll say again where I’m having the most fun in the writing is the backup story. This time it’s Bruce at age 24, and he’s fighting a buncha people. THAT I could follow no problem.

Greg Capullo’s art is amazing as always. I have absolutely no complaints about the art in the issue. Every panel is eye popping, and will hook you into the events when you see them unfold. His character designs are great, the way Alfred and Bruce are drawn, it’s all very smooth, clean, and elegant. Even in the parts where it isn’t supposed to be, it just is. For me with Batman #23 the art wins out over the events of the writing. Here’s Steve…. with his thoughts on the issue.

B23 #2

Steve’s Review of Batman #23:

When I first picked this issue up I was about a week late into it. I wasn’t in much of a hurry due to knowing the story would be slow. I was however interested to see how Bruce got out of the battle with the Red Hood. Despite the massive ass whooping and fire, I knew he’d get out. I almost guessed this would be within the inch of his life style of fight. And I wasn’t disappointed here as I saw him going back to Wayne manor where we see he is stitched back up by Alfred. I also was surprised with Alfred stating had he been there, he may have been able to save Bruce’s parents and he’d always be there. So that I really enjoyed. We see later Bruce’s Uncle and Edward Nygma arguing and out thinking each other and I figured Nygma had a plan but didn’t forsee the one he played out. I did like how he more or less struck out on his own and went to work for Derek Powers. Nice touch.

However as it progressed, I felt as Mike had said, it was very very slow going. I am so far not blown away with the Bat Zero Year saga. I enjoyed Snyder’s previous Batman stories but this is the slowest. I understand his bringing in of little elements of the background throughout showing things have been happening before and after Bruce became Batman. But I honestly can’t really recommend the story. Art is always great but again it seemed to drag.

The side story was better and more straightforward. I enjoyed what seemed to be the League of Assassins battles and him taking them all down but these side stories are all out of context leaving me confused where they place.

B23 #3

Mike’s Final Thoughts:

ZERO YEAR needs to pick up the pace damnit, or I’ll drop Batman from my Pull Bag. Seriously I know it’s a YEAR LONG event, but Christ NOTHING happens in this issue. We get hints from The Red Hood gang leader, as to events in the past, but outside of the “dream sequence” or whatever the hell the first 14 pages are, there is no action what so ever. I’m slowly losing faith in the “awesomeness” of this story. Because of the strange story, and the fact that I had to read the thing twice, and even then I didn’t get it. Below you will find my rating a 3 star rating. Honestly the more I think about it, I almost wanna rate it lower than that, but Capullo’s art saves it… The art is wonderful, superb, and amazing. However I did not enjoy the story that much. If I were just reviewing the backup story it would be a 5 star prefect. Sadly that’s not the case….. Now let us see what Steve/Megatron has for his final thoughts.

B23 #4

Steve’s Final Thoughts:

My final thoughts are not impressed with the story so far but will keep tuned in. If I could change one thing, it’d be removing the 3 pages of 52 News, and the side stories of 6 pages. This would allow for more than 9 pages of added story to the MAIN issues. 52 News is a waste and the side stories I could care less. Back in the day, old comics had a FULL 32 page story. Suffice it to say I maybe harsh but I am not blown away and am hopeful for the future of this comic.

B23 #5

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!

One Comment

  1. Guys i think you’re being to harsh on the story. Snyder isn’t really trying to blow you away with this one, it’s a lot more personal with a more introspective on why Gotham (including Bruce) needs Batman. Slow isn’t a problem you’re given a lot. The problem here is that you guys seem to rush a lot without taking a closer look at the pages.

    “PLUS we’ve seen Bruce in a makeshift batsuit in issue #21, so WHY in
    this is he JUST NOW discovering the symbol in which he will strike fear
    into the hearts of criminals????? MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!!!!”

    Mike, you can clearly read in issue 21 that this part takes 5 months before that moment with the makeshift costume. I know you liked that issue, so why can’t you at least remember that.

    and Steve, i know you guys are pretty new but this “it’d be removing the 3 pages of 52 News, and the side stories of 6
    pages. This would allow for more than 9 pages of added story to the MAIN
    issues. 52 News is a waste and the side stories I could care less. Back
    in the day, old comics had a FULL 32 page story”

    Is not a good criticism, first of all, all books have the 52 News thing and that’s just a replacement for DC All Access (And DC Nation before it) and 2 advertisement pages.

    That’s how it looked. They’re there to tease for other readers what happening in other books. Yes i know they’re stupid but you can’t bring them up every review. About the page count, comics haven never been fully 32 pages, only anthologies which usually housed 3 or 4 artists had those page counts. In the golden age, comics usually were 24 to 26 pages, but ever since the 80’s it dwindled down to 22 and ever since 00’s it’s been 20. First of all no artist can keep making 32 story pages these days, hell most have a hard time with 20 so putting that strain on artists is to unfair. Second the back-up is there to justify the 3.99 cost. I mean if you want they could just remove it and have a 3.99 book with only 20 pages like most Marvel books seems to have become.

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