After a few days of travelling and intensive extended family time I came back home to a new release pile of 13 books and two trades... or maybe that's 12 books and 3 trades... I'm not quite sure if one to a trade or a floppy or an OGN ... but we'll get to that, later, maybe.
I got a lot of great ones this week, some of my favourites but the first read was Batman #22, Scott Snyder's continuation of "Year Zero" and it was a stinkin' delight, just a whole lot of damn fun. There's a young Bruce Wayne trying to find his groove as a crusader for justice (or vengeance or whatever allows him to crack some bad guys skulls) but while he has the technical know how, he's still raw when it comes to using it all together. Clearly Bruce has studied well and Snyder makes it clear that Bruce is intellectually very smart as well as gifted with mechanics and technology, but he's still thinking too much about himself which gets him into trouble at every turn. Poor Alfred.
The question here is: is Red Hood One going to become the Joker? It seems quite obvious that it should work out that way, as not only history but all the story signs pave that pathway, and I hate that "the fake out" has become so prevailent that I even need to second guess that. Let's enjoy about the journey even though we should know the destination. This "Year Zero" seems to be stitching a somewhat elaborate quilt that will showcase the baby steps Gotham and Batman and Bruce Wayne and the Joker and the Riddler and I'm sure many other surprises took to getting the characters to where they are today (and pretty much have been for nearly 40 years).
Snyder nails Bruce Wayne so well his dialogue reads in Kevin Conroy's legendary voice. And Greg Capullo is killing it. His Red Hood is so vibrant and charismatic it underplays his dangerousness, while the first encounter between Edward Nigma and Bruce Wayne was a visual marvel as the two spar in a word of wars designed in an Egyptian board game. Beautiful.