Batman 5: Zero Year—Dark City

batman volume 5 zero year dark city
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Great art, solid story

Story sometimes gets bogged down

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Batman (Volume 2)

Publisher:   DC Comics

Writer:   Scott Snyder

Artist:   Greg Capullo

# of Issues:   8

Release Date:   2014

batman #29 cover zero year riddler

Batman (2) #29

Reprints Batman (2) #25-27 and #29-33 (January 2014-September 2014). The Riddler has launched an attack on Gotham City, but Batman is about to discover that there is someone else lurking in the wings. Dr. Death is prowling the streets and a young Bruce Wayne might have to put aside his feelings toward Jim Gordon and the police if he hopes to find him…but the Riddler has a bigger plan and Gotham City could be his greatest hostage!

Written by Scott Snyder, Batman Volume 5: Zero Year—Dark City is part of the New 52 relaunch and contains the bigger Zero Year event series. Following Batman Volume 4: Zero Year—Secret City, the collection features art by Greg Capullo. Not included in this collection is the Batman Eternal tie-in Batman (2) #28 (April 2014) which was included in Batman Volume 6: Graveyard Shift.

Scott Snyder really lit a fire under Batman for me. I was never that big of fan of the character. I liked the goofy Batman as a kid and the dark, brooding Batman of the ’80s and ’90s just always seemed pretty one-dimensional to me. The New 52’s Batman got me reading Batman (which was a feat) and for good or bad, the story is different.

This volume is split into the “Dark City” and “Savage City” storylines. “Dark City” is more about Dr. Death and then turns into the Riddler’s real plan. It kind of muddles the story of “Dark City” and while horrific, it kind of detracts from the overall arc (that and outside DC interferences like Forever Evil leading up to this didn’t help).

batman #30 cover mad magazine variant alfred e newman riddler

Batman (2) #30 Variant

The second part of the story “Savage City” reminds me a lot of an abridged version of Batman: No Man’s Land. Much like that story, Gotham City is isolated from the outside world and under the Joker’s control. It is like a jungle and everyone is fighting for control…but instead of lots of factions, it is essentially Batman and GCPD trying to wrestle control away from Riddler. I’ve always kind of considered the Riddler a joke, and it was nice to have a “serious” Riddler story.

Both stories are combined with Greg Capullo’s great art. It is solid and also has some nice homages to previous Batman entries (especially Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns). Capullo really is able to pull Snyder’s writing up even in the segments that feel a bit weak (plus, they have some great covers).

Batman continues to be one of the best rides of the New 52. For me, the New 52 worked, and I liked the streamlining and jumpstarting aspect of the series. Snyder took Batman and created something both familiar to fans and new and exciting to readers who didn’t follow the character closely. Batman 5: Zero Year—Dark City was followed by Batman 6: Graveyard Shift.

Related Links:

Batman 1:  The Court of Owls

Batman 2:  The City of the Owls

Batman 3:  Death of the Family

Batman 4:  Zero Year—Secret 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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