Batman #25 continues Bruce’s Zero Year tale for The New 52, where Dark City’s second chapter finds Bruce trying to save Gotham from the grips of The Riddler. As this origin story continues in a new direction, what other surprises will we find?
Dark City: Part Two picks up a bit after where Batman #24’s cliffhanger left us. Gotham is still enveloped by darkness but The GCPD is too focused on catching Batman to worry about the city, which is in both, literal and figurative, flames. While this is no problem for Bruce, the recent death of several Wayne Enterprises scientists is. As Bruce attempts to solve this mystery, we learn a bit of the tumultuous relationship that he has with Lieutenant Gordon, as well as learning that Gordon is not the only one of Bruce’s future allies with a rocky start.
“…Just embrace it.” Batman #25 is a gorgeous book. Greg Capullo continues to be at his finest with this arc, and this is only made more obvious by Danny Miki’s colors. Whether it is the scorching sands of a desert, the powerful flames of a burning Gotham, or even the audaciously gaudy hood ornament on Bruce’s Batmobile, colors pop and shine with incredible beauty. Equally beautiful is Snyder’s clever writing and use of references and nods to the bat lore. Blimps, leaping cars, and bat swarms, fill the book with moments of delight for all fans, with the added highlight of more appearances of familiar Gothamites being the icing on that cake.
“It appears he was just here to look. Nothing more.” After last month’s exciting double issue, it would almost be impossible for this issue to keep up the momentum, and unfortunately, to an extent, it doesn’t. While this issue is by no means bad, it is very exposition heavy. Snyder made it clear that Zero Year would have three sub-arcs and its very evident here, as this is more of a set up for the rest of the Dark City arc.
“Sir, now it’s clinging.” I’m not sure if its DC, or Snyder himself, but someone really wants Harper Row to a thing. While it isn’t a terrible story, it was pretty pointless and I’m guessing they couldn’t figure out a way to give her a full Zero Year tie-in issue, so they just gave her the backup story instead, which, incidentally is only really an ad for said tie-ins.
Batman #25 is an interesting issue. After its fast-paced predecessor, it initially feels like a grinding halt, but is by no means bad. Snyder continues to display his love for Batman as he manages to add more nods and tributes while still carving his own path. Capullo continues to display his A game here, and Miki’s colors continue to take it to triumphant heights. Unfortunately, the backup story seems like a giant ad for this month’s Zero Year tie-ins, and as an off-handed note, Rafael Albuquerque’s absence as the artist for the backup is noticed. Here’s hoping next month’s issue brings back the hard-hitting action, as Death Comes To Gotham.