Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SPOILERS: Batman #30

After having a "Julie Madison just turned into my dead mother" dream, Bruce wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment, being watched over by a kid named Duke Thomas, aka the kid we saw Bruce rescue in the first issue of Zero Year. Things have gotten bad while Bruce has been out, like post-apoctaliptic bad, and time for Gotham has been set on a new scale by it's ruler The Riddler, welcome to Zero Year (THEY SAID IT!)

The City is in ruins, but some still work to save it, like Jim Gordon, who is out and about, up to something. Bruce calls to Alfred on their special linked phone, and gets all the details. Riddler's taken the city hostage, bombs everywhere, all tech under his control, weather balloons of deadly toxin looming in the sky, the city is truly his... but free for the taking to anyone. The Riddler comes on screen every night and urges Gotham to be better, become smarter, and will give the city back to anyone who can stump him with a riddle, thus Duke's rock solid attention towards crossword puzzles, believing he can find something to help save Gotham.

*Note: I've done five of these posts already, I'm going to just burn through the rest of this*

So, after Bruce leaves Duke's apartment and heads back to his old Brownstone base, some Government special ops guys parachute into the city and meet up with Gordon. Meanwhile someone tries to challenge Riddler, but him being the Riddler, he knows the guy's answer before he even finishes the question, and it was a riddle the dude made up himself.

Riddler then brings attention to the Government ops agents in the city, them having not gone unnoticed, and puts them through a physical test after he doesn't accept their $50 million payoff. He starts a chain reaction of buildings crashing their way, and surrounds them by motion detector gun turret robots, but there's a way out... If Gordon shoots one, they could all go down, but the question is which one, and of course there's wordplay in it. One of the Government guys is all "shoot that one" but Batman shows up in the shadows and tells Gordon to shoot the camera robot because I don't know, read the explanation for yourself, and what do you know, it works... But there's still the buildings coming down towards them. Batman gives them a way out, and with that, Gordon and Batman finally start to work together, for Gotham.


The Good:

Zero Year has been going on for a while, and with breaks such as villains month and #28, it's been going on longer than intended, and I, like many, have start to feel some exhaustion towards it... That said, unlike the last year-long arc we got in this title, Zero Year is much more like The Black Mirror and broken up in very distinct chunks, and Savage City is quite possibly the most distinct of those chunks. Where my enthusiasm may have been waining a bit, this accelerated post-apoctalyptic Gotham is definitely a setting we've hardly seen in Gotham. It's like No Man's Land, but more feral, and obviously under different circumstances. So while fatigue has set in, the finish line is in sight, and the setting along with delivery of key beats (like Gordon and Batman working together) does enough to give me a second (or third wind) and get me right back in for the conclusion.

The Bad:

Kind of hard to believe that Gotham would like those predictions of what cities would look like decades after humanity disappearing, even with the explanation of it being accelerated through Ivy's stolen formula. But other than that, plenty of fun to be had.

The Bottom Line:

Like I said about, Zero Year fatigue is real, and despite how good the story or art is, the fact is, Zero Year has been going on for quite some time, and I'm personally ready for it to be over with Eternal having begun, and whatever is going on with Robin in the summer. That said, despite my fatigue, Savage City quite possibly gave me that last jolt needed to really stay enthused towards Zero Year, with the end closing in. Nothing about Zero Year has been typical so far, and the final arc seems to be the least typical out of all of them, and definitely reignited my interest. 



  1. This comic is awesome, as is the rest of Zero Year so far.

    I think that it says that Riddler put Ivy's formula into the water and that's how it spread and grew so quickly.

    I read in other reviews where they say that Bruce in a coma for months, but that's not how I read it. To me it seemed that he was only out for maybe a week or two. I don't think they gave an actual time frame. What do you think?

  2. Yea I read it like you did. I admit, I did a double take a re-read the page a few times to make sure I was understanding it correctly, but the Ivy line was clever.

    1. Ok cool if you read it like I did then maybe we got it write and those reviewers on other sites got it wrong.

  3. Does anyone know what the next arc will be about after zero year? Just curious

    1. Last I heard (plans can change) there's going to be a 2-issue pallet cleanser that is apparently about a cold case file, and also an opportunity to give the regular art team a rest. Then there's going to be a six issue arc following that, again, that could change. Snyder just mentioned yesterday on Twitter that he had finalized the story of the next arc with the team.

  4. Fhiz, what do you think about the time frame that Bruce was in a coma? I think it was only a few days or a week or two at the most. It doesn't give an actual time frame in the comic, but in almost every other review I've read they seem to think that he was out for months. What's your opinion?

    1. Hard to say. Months seems too long. Maybe a single month, max. Might be worth asking Snyder on Twitter or something, but I don't think it really matters that much.

    2. Yeah, I think a month max too. I know it doesn't matter that much, but it would be nice to have a sense of how long it's been since Gotham was turned into a savage land. Especially since the critics that think he was in a coma for months are calling it a rip off of TDKR, which I don't see at all.

      I think what really confused people is when Duke calls it "the new year" and Bruce says, "But it was summer the last I remember." Duke meant "new year" figuratively and if you look at the splash page, it's clearly still summer outside. The reviewers on other sites took Duke's words literally when they shouldn't have. This irks me.

      Also, there's a line in the comic that says that only the outlining coast of the island is overgrown and that the middle of Gotham is just flooded. To me, that explains how they clean the city back up so quickly after Batman's inevitable win.