If a vigilante is offering up their real identity, you learn it. There’s really no good reason not to know, which makes what Commissioner Gordon did in this issue all the more strange. Batgirl, after months (maybe weeks in comic book time) of emotional turmoil, decides to open up about her secret life to her father, only to have him rebuff her confession. In the long run it’s probably for the better, especially considering James Jr. isn’t even dead. However, in the short run it’s a ridiculous decision on Gordon’s part as a law enforcement officer. It also touches on the long running debate of whether or not Gordon knows Batman’s identity and is keeping his identity a secret. This arc has been the strongest arc since this series began. The story was interesting, the plot was steady and concise, the art was fantastic, but most of all it highlighted Barbara as a hero. 4/5
While a whole year of flashback stories does still seem excessive, Scott Snyder has done an excellent job of keeping this book interesting and exciting. Zero Year may have been when Bruce Wayne became Batman, but he is nothing like the Batman we’ve all come to know and love. He is inexperienced, eager to act instead of plan, basically everything you’d expect, but with Snyder it is still tremendously fun to read. The Riddler, who most likely hasn’t even begun his reign of terror, is always a fascinating villain, because he attacks Batman’s mind. Not literally, like Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, or even Ivy, but he challenges Batman on a mental level that almost no one else is capable of doing. He plans about as much as Batman does, and that makes him unpredictable. Greg Capullo, with Danny Miki and FCO, produce yet another stunning book. Their art is vibrant and exudes energy, which is fantastically paired with the tone and direction of the story. 4.5/5
If you haven’t been reading this book because “it’s for kids,” then you have been missing out on some great times. Issue after issue, Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen create a remarkably fun comic book that works for all ages. The topics range from wacky to serious at the turn of a page, but at the end of the day the heroes win. If you’re afraid there’s nothing in it for adults, you’re wrong. This issue itself had a great part about how characters come and go and chance, but your favorite iteration of that character is yours forever and no one can take that away. And given the filth aimed towards comic creators these days, maybe more people should be reading this book. Nguyen’s art is ridiculously cute and perfectly suited for this comic book. Out of a pull list of over 50 books a month, this one is one I always look forward to. 4.5/5
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