Saturday, December 28, 2013

Batman #25

"Zero Year: Dark City"

Scott Snyder Writer
Greg Capullo Penciller
Danny Miki Inker
FCO Plascencia Colorist
Nick Napolitano Letterer
Katie Kubert Associate Editor
Mike Marts Group Editor
Batman created by Bob Kane

The cover is by Greg Capullo and FCO Plascencia, and I actually love it. It is incredibly simple, yet powerful. I don't think designs like this should be used a lot, but every once in a while it is a cool, bold choice.

Now I must confess that I have a rather strange relationship with Batman right now. My all-time favorite TV show is Batman: The Animated Series and my favorite movies are the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. I have a handful of Batman graphic novels on my shelf that I love, yet I have never had any interest to read this current Batman title. Tons of other people love it, though, as it's currently one of the best-selling comics out there. But it just hasn't appealed to me. I mostly blame the continuity issues. I didn't care for what Grant Morrison did with Batman Inc. and Damian Wayne, and I was quite dismayed to see those things continued into the New 52. I also didn't like the idea of the Joker cutting off his face, so I've stayed away, even though this Zero Year storyline is a great place to start reading Batman. Well, I finally relented when I heard Barry Allen appears in this issue. But nothing here has inspired me to keep reading or go back to catch up on what I missed.

Barry Allen doesn't appear in the main story, so I'll be brief. The Riddler has caused a massive blackout in Gotham City, which has kept a young Batman very busy. To make matters worse, the police is hot on his trail, and a man named Doctor Death is injecting people with a serum that causes their bones to grotesquely grow out of control.

Well, that didn't give the story enough credit, but I can see why it's so popular. It's not my cup of tea, though, and that's alright. But I will make an odd complaint you normally won't hear me make: The coloring is bad. I've seen some people praise the coloring in Batman, but it drives me nuts. Everything is pink, blue and purple. It completely takes me out of the story. Anyway, enough with that and on to the backup story — the only reason I'm here.

"People in the Dark"

Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV Story
Andy Clarke Art
Blond Colorist
Dezi Sienty Letterer
Katie Kubert Associate Editor
Mike Marts Group Editor
Batman created by Bob Kane

Neglected by their father, a young Harper Row teaches herself how to make a battery-powered light so her little brother, Cullen, won't be afraid of the dark. She also comforts him by saying that there are a lot of special people out there, trying to save Gotham, including Green Arrow, Superman and Barry Allen.

The Good:

Epic Batman story. Even though I don't necessarily love this, I can appreciate the enormity of the event. And who can't help but get excited when characters like Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock, Pamela Isley and Lucius Fox show up? Even if you come into this story like me — not really knowing what's going on and hating the coloring — you can't help but find some enjoyment in this issue.

The Bad:

No Flash. The backup story in this issue primarily served as a reminder that there are a ton of tie-in issues to the Zero Year event. But I don't think that was really necessary, since all of those issues are clearly marked with a Zero Year banner on the cover, not to mention all the advertising DC's been doing for them. And I don't think this backup taught us anything new about Harper Row, either. And remember, since I'm reviewing this issue as a Flash fan and grading it based on how well it portrayed the Flash, I have to say that most Flash fans should pass up on this issue. I ended up paying extra for one panel of Barry Allen that didn't look particularly amazing. Now, if you're a Batman fan, then you might want to consider this. But for a purely Flash reason, skip this issue.

Final score: 5 out of 10

Next time: I recently discovered that there are a handful of passive Flash appearances I missed the first time around, so I'm going to be playing catchup, starting with Superman #7.

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