From the day DC announced the “#0” issues, it was inevitable that one of the many Bat-books would have to tackle the actual origin of the Batman. It’s a comic book moment that almost everyone knows, even people that don’t read comics. Bruce and his parents go out to enjoy a show, they leave early, a Joe nobody kills Mr. and Mrs. Wayne, and the Batman is born. The story itself has been told and retold countless times, and for readers who have read each of those issues, this issue presents nothing new. From its inception, this issue was doomed to be the one issue released by DC this month that was irrelevant. That being said, as far as retelling this specific story, Hurwitz did a solid job. Suayan, Ryp, Cifuentes, and Oback did a fantastic job with the art, which often kept this reader’s interest long after realizing not much was going to change regarding the origin. 3/5
Batman: Incorporated #0 serves as an introduction to the Batman’s international team of heroes in the new DC Universe. While at times the issue struggles having to reintroduce a large cast of characters, it is for the most part a strong issue. Each member of Batman’s team gets a solid moment or two of air time, but more importantly, these characters make their New DC debuts in an introductory fashion, which is helpful for a team as large as this one is. Frazer Irving’s art works really well in this issue, serving to enhance the very straightforward story by Morrison and Burnham. Basically, if you haven’t been following Morrison’s entire run on Batman, you should probably pick this up, and if you have been following, you should probably still pick it up, because a refresher never hurt anyone. 4/5
When it comes to retelling an origin with limited changes, to the most recent origin, no creative team has done it as well as Manapul and Buccellato. Driven by a desire to prove his father’s innocence, Barry Allen grows up to be a well educated, brilliant forensic scientist. Then one fateful night, a flash of lightning turns him into the fastest man alive. Are there any changes? Sure there are, otherwise it would have been a pointless issue. Barry’s parents’ marriage was struggling, Iris was nowhere to be seen, and the lightning strike left Barry gravely injured. But none of those things make too much of a difference. This issue focuses almost entirely on Barry’s familial bonds and how that drives him to be a better person, a better hero. Manapul and Buccellato drag you on a tumultuous emotional roller coaster as they chronicle Barry’s mother’s death, his reaction to it (which is heartbreaking by the way), and into his life as an adult. The issue is well paced, entertaining, emotionally driven, and all in all a fantastic read. 4.5/5
DC’s attempt at making Tim Drake irrelevant continues in this month’s issue of Teen Titans. Gone are the days when Tim was one of the only characters, in DC’s huge database of characters, to uncover Batman’s identity. Instead, Tim Drake is now a highly dedicated gymnast and computer genius. His attempts at drawing Batman’s attention end up drawing the Penguin’s ire, forcing his parents to go into witness protection. This origin changes key aspects that have defined who this character is for the past 23 years. He’s no longer the Robin that deduced Batman’s identity, he’s no longer the Robin that chose to fight even though he had a family, and to top it all off he’s no longer even a Robin. To make matters worse, he’s not even really Tim Drake, that was just a name given to him. Tim Drake is arguably the best Robin that has ever been and certainly the best Robin to Bruce’s Batman, but with this origin story, coupled with everything else that has happened since the launch of the New 52, it’s clear that DC intends for him to be nothing but a footnote in Batman’s career. 1.5/5
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