Batman 4: Zero Year—Secret City

batman volume 4 zero year secret city cover
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Strong Batman origin story

Hurt by Villains Month breaking up the read for people who read individual issues

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Batman (Volume 2)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder/James Tynion IV

Artist:  Greg Capullo/Danny Miki/Rafael Albuquerque

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2014


Batman (2) #21

Reprints Batman (2) #21-24 and Batman Zero Year:  The Director’s Cut #1 (September 2013-December 2013).  The Red Hood has taken over Gotham and no one seems to be able to stop him…no one but Bruce Wayne.  Bruce has recently returned to Gotham and has set out as a one-man fighting machine against crime.  The world doesn’t know Bruce Wayne is alive and Bruce wants to keep it that way.  What Bruce wants and what Bruce gets will be two different things as Bruce must decide why he is trying to save Gotham while a greater threat could lurk in the horizon.

Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret City is the fourth volume in the New 52 reboot of the Batman title.  Following Batman 3:  Death of the Family, Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret City kicks off the Batman event of Zero Year and also includes a Director’s Cut issue with scripts and a short story.  The collection features art by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, and Rafael Albuquerque.  The series skips Batman (2) #18-20 which are included in Batman 6:  Graveyard Shift.  Also not included in the collection are the four Villain Month issues #23.1 (Joker), #23.2 (Riddler), #23.3 (Penguin), or #23.4 (Bane) which were included in other collections.

I really have to say that I’m enjoying the New 52’s Batman.  I am not the biggest Batman fan and the gruff “Batman” mythos that has made the character popular never did much for me in comic book form (I do feel Batman is a good movie character).  Snyder’s tight storytelling of his version of Batman has given more depth to the character and with the Zero Year, there is more origin.


Batman (2) #23

The Red Hood storyline tries to give more origin to the Joker.  DC has always danced around the Joker’s origin and it has been held as one of those necessary mysteries.  Like Wolverine, the Joker needs mystery, and I think Wolverine’s origin didn’t really endear me to the character so I hope that DC doesn’t delve much deeper than the Red Hood.

The series also sets up the next Zero Year storyline involving the Riddler.  Though Batman (2) #24 is included in this volume, it is technically the first part of Dark City which has the Riddler taking over the town.  This is a nice segue, but the comic was hurt by the DC big event format.

As a reader, this is where I kind of fell off Batman.  The flow of the story was shattered by four unnecessary “Villain” issues that pushed the wallet.  Though I like the Zero Year story and this collection is good, I kind of forgot what was going on after the month hiatus of Villains Month.  Rereading the issues shows that the comic does flow, but I think the makers also need to remember that not everyone is reading the comic as trades and sometimes individual issue readers need to be catered to.  It is a minor complaint and rectified by the collection, but it is still valid.  Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret City was followed by Batman 5:  Zero Year—Dark City.

Related Links:

Batman 1:  The Court of Owls

Batman 2:  The City of Owls

Batman 3:  Death of the Family

Batman 5:  Zero Year—Dark City

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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