|BATMAN No. 33, September 2014|
Whilst ending the creative team’s year-long retelling of “the origin of the caped crusader” just as the title’s publisher “meant to commemorate the character’s seventy-fifth anniversary” was undeniably “good timing” on the part of Scott Snyder and “DC Comics”, it is doubtful that all of this comic’s 117,996-strong readership either enjoyed or even understood its narrative. Indeed the American author’s finale, which not only supposedly “sets up who Batman is in the New 52 continuity” but also explains “the origin of the Batcave’s giant penny and the Batarang”, arguably contains some of the most outlandishly nonsensical writing since the Dark Knight donned a pair of inter-galactic boxing gloves and solved “The Mystery Of The Outer Space Olympics” in a 1958 issue of “Detective Comics”; “It is a pity you cannot remain, friends. For your prowess has convinced us all that you could win the Space Olympics!”
To begin with this final instalment of the “Savage City” story-arc’s plot is based upon the illogical premise that the Riddler, despite believing along with the rest of Gotham City that Batman is no more, has still gone to the extreme lengths of constructing a “war of the mind” laser-beam death-trap within his secret hideout which, if bested by his arch-nemesis in fourteen minutes, will undo all of the super-villain’s long-laid plans. The creation of such a device, and it’s reliance upon Nygma having to type in the answers when spoken, simply makes no sense whatsoever except to contrivingly provide this book’s titular character an opportunity to outwit Edward without “feats of physical ferocity,… gizmos or gadgets.”
Equally as preposterous is the domino-mask wearing criminal’s actual downfall, as the Riddler is ultimately defeated by Lucius Fox strapping a giant penny on top of a transit van in order to improvise a new “conductor to… [his] blocker”, rather than being outsmarted by Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego. In fact Snyder incredibly has an even more ludicrous and ignominious role for ‘his’ Batman to play, for in order to save Gotham City from going “true black” the cowled vigilante must place an enormous electrode over his heart and pass an almost certainly lethal thousand volt charge through his body to reboot it!?!
Ultimately this comic frustratingly depicts the New Yorker’s “version of Batman” and consolidates the writer’s “reimagining [of] his purpose… [and] his formative years.” “Love it or hate it” this “Zero Year” incarnation sadly seems a million miles away from the brave, steady and honourable cultural icon of Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s co-creation. Certainly their (original) Caped Crusader would never have been “seconds away” from undergoing electro-therapy in order “to be rebooted” and shocked “until I wasn’t myself anymore” simply because they were having “more than a hard time.”
|The regular cover art of "BATMAN" No. 33 by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki|