BATMAN #0 Review by Jamie Dunst

MAIN STORY: Scott Snyder: Writer; Greg Capullo: Penciler; Jonathan Glapton: Inker; FCO Plascencia: Colorist; Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt: Lettering; Capulo & Plascencia: Cover
BACKUP STORY: James Tynion IV: Writer; Andy Clarke: Artist; FCO Plascencia: Colorist; Patrick Brosseau: Letterer

The issue beings 6 years ago with the opening of the Old Gotham Bank when a bunch of thugs wearing very familiar Red masks break in and rob the place.  When the manager tries to stand up to them, on of the Red Hoods (Red Hood Five to be exact) knocks him out with his gun.  The Red Hood leader gives Red Hood Five, his gun since it looks like Red Hood Five’s gun is broken.  The leader then tells Red Hood Five to put the gun to in his mouth.  The Red Hood leader starts to tell Red Hood Five all the things he knows about the real Red Hood Five to know that this one is a fake.  Red Hood Five then fights all the other Red Hoods and makes his escape as the cops show up.

In the sewer, we see that Red Hood Five is really Bruce Wayne and escapes with the other Red Hoods following him on foot.  He easily loses them and we see what looks to be Bruce’s first “Batcave” of sorts which he calls home.  Bruce and Alfred have a conversation about the importance of being Bruce Wayne but Bruce considers that identity the mask and this is who he is now.  While Bruce is testing an automated boomerang, he gets a unexpected visit from Commissioner Gordon who talks about the possible shady business of one Phillip Kane who Bruce reminds Gordon is family.  He also wants to talk about a vigilante that’s been running around the streets of Gotham but Bruce tells Gordon he can’t help him.  They both go back into the building elevator just as the boomerang comes back.  The mains story ends with the Red Hoods finding where Bruce Wayne is staying and decide to blow up his brownstone.

The back-up story begins 5 years ago with a debate between Barbara Gordon and her father about how Batman is good for Gotham but Barbara doesn’t quite see it.  Elsewhere, we see Tim Drake about to be expelled from Graystone Academy when Tim turns things on the Principal, Mr. Reinfeld.  Being the master computer hacker that Tim is, he’s discovered that Mr. Reinfeld has embezzled $1.6 million dollars from the academy, and Tim has set him up.  The last panel of the scene are the cops coming into Mr. Reinfeld’s office to arrest him.  Elsewhere, we see two teens dressed in Red Hoods holding up a convenience store.  One of the burglars tells the woman not to worry and it will be over soon and tells her his name which happens to be Jason.  The other guy not happy with what Jason just did kills the woman and leaves.  Outside, Jason attacks his partner for killing the woman.  A cop stops him from doing more damage to the kid and Jason tells the cops what his partner did.  Yet elsewhere, we see young Dick Grayson stopping a mugger at Hayley’s Circus.  He hams it up a bit and tells the crowd about the big performance this weekend where even Bruce Wayne will be in attendance.  However, everyone seems to mesmerized to hear what he’s saying.  At the same time, Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Barbara Gordon see the Bat-Signal for the first time and we get to see them in different states of awe.

The main story was pretty good.  I’m always a fan of seeing the beginnings of Bruce’s crusade to fight crime in Gotham however, it’s the back-up story that really had me intrigued.  It would appear from looking at these small segments of Dick, Barbara, Jason and Tim, their times as Robin and Batgirl might be altered.  This back-up story has me very interested in seeing their origins told in their own books.  A great issue overall.


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