Batman #24 continues the retelling of Bruce’s journey into “The Cowl,” for The New 52, as it kicks off the second story arc, Dark City, where, for the first time, we see Bruce adopt his “true” persona.
Dark City: Part One begins with a very different Bruce. After his life changing experience, we find him more confident, and certain, of the actions he must take. With his new-found presence known, his main objective, The Red Hood Gang, begin to expedite their plan. In a race against time to save Gotham, Bruce find he must take drastic actions, the likes of which will permanently affect those around him, all the while a new threat emerges to take the spotlight.
“Oh, quite, Sir. But the best kind… The kind this city rewards.” Batman #23 promised this issue would bring the “Birth of a Legend” and #24 truly delivers. Scott Snyder is once again on point with this issue as he dances that line of familiar, and new. This double sized issue is filled with so many exciting moments, like the climatic showdown in a certain chemical plant, and while Snyder doesn’t shy away from existing beats, he does manage to carve his own path there, one which goes through the amazing art of Greg Capullo. This issue displays some beautiful artwork, brought to life with the help of Danny Miki’s vibrant colors, the likes of which I would love to frame. Coupled with the many nods that pay tribute to everything from The Animated Series, to the ’66 television series, to simpler nods like purple gloves, and “BK was here,” its hard not to see that this arc is Snyder and Capullo’s love letter to all things Batman.
“All right, Gotham, time to get smart!” While previous issues in the Zero Year story line have featured back up stories that display some parallel between current events with those of Bruce’s training, Dark City: Part One uses those extra pages to continue the story. It may seem strange to not list this as a plus for a book where I find myself wanting more story, but the detraction comes from the fact that it is still treated as a backup, complete with James Tynion IV and Rafael Albuquerque as the writer and artist, respectively. Add to that, the fact that, within those pages lies a crucial plot point, and you’re left with a bit of a head-scratcher.
“And believe me, it’s always something in Gotham. Witches. Owls. None of them are real. Never were… never will be.” Minor gripes aside this issue is another fantastic part of the Dark Knight’s new origin.
Batman #24 is an exciting issue that is filled with so many great moments, both new and old. Snyder and company continue to add their own touches to the Bat-mythos and truly do something great with it. Dark City: Part One is a true example of how you can take familiar elements and not only incorporate them, but also use them as a launching point for a new tale. With the state of Gotham in a very different place than we’ve ever seen during a Batman origin story, it is easy to look forward to the next issue, as Dark City continues.