Batman 33 Review

Posted July 24, 2014 by Henry Varona in Comic Books

Written by: Scott Snyder

Art by: Greg Capullo and Danny Miki

Publisher: DC Comics

I don’t much care for Batman. Full stop. He’s always been cool enough and I watch all of his shows, but he has never hooked me in. The reason I’ve been reading Batman comics for the last ten years or so is that I love his world. I love Jim Gordon. I love Dick Grayson. I love Alfred Pennyworth. I love Gotham. So when Scott Snyder turned the clock backwards and began his Zero Year story, I lost interest. I already knew Batman’s origin and didn’t need to read a twelve-part story that took away so many of the characters I loved. But as a favor to a friend, I decided to read it. In the course of two days, I read through all of Zero Year. And I loved it.

Batman 33 is a battle of the wits. With Batman stuck in the Riddler’s final deathtrap while fighter jets are en route to accidentally cause the destruction of Gotham City, he has no choice but to answer a series of riddles to get out. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon and Lucious Fox try desperately to create a back-up plan, should Batman fail. They know that they need to stop the jets with some kind of signal to know to stop, but with their communications out of commission, what will they do? All of this and a couple more twists and turns at the end of the issue make this issue fill out the 32 pages rather nicely.

Scott Snyder is the architect behind this story and deserves most of the credit. Most people wouldn’t do a twelve-part origin story in today’s market, but not only did Snyder attempt it, he succeeded. One of the reasons I often don’t care for Batman is that I feel like he isn’t cerebral enough. For somebody who is billed as the World’s Greatest Detective, he doesn’t do that much thinking. By ending this twelve part story in a battle of wits, Snyder shows that he can write a smart Batman. As a result, the Riddler comes out of this looking great too, finally having a story to justify his major villain status. My one complaint is that I’m not huge on the way Alfred plays into the end of this story. He literally appears out of nowhere with some lame reasoning and I just expected better given the caliber of the story.

Artistically, Greg Capullo has turned himself in the modern Batman artist. It was Jim Lee, then it was Dustin Nguyen and Tony Daniel, now it is Capullo. I don’t say that lightly, but when you go through his art in this issue it’s easy to see. He understands the tones that are necessary for a Batman title. His art goes through the standard layouts and knows exactly when to break free. He puts so much detail into each panel and is able to do so with ease. No other artist is able to do as many issues a year as Capullo, especially when you consider that many, like this, were of extended length. His Batman is powerful and commands respect. His Alfred is respectable and wise. His Gordon looks ready to fight. Capullo gets it all.

Overall, Zero Year is my favorite story that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have put together. It is a fitting origin for the New 52 Batman and a completely separate beast from Year One. Filled with a smart Batman and great character moments for his villains, it’s actually worth the hype. I didn’t believe in this story, I didn’t believe in this book. But sure enough, it was incredible. And this finale was the perfect ending.

About the Author

Henry Varona

Lover of comics, Legos, and movies, Henry Varona is supremely awesome in every way. He spends his days designing his own comics, and his nights dreaming about Chris Hemsworth and Captain Cold.