This morning something pretty big was announced. DC Comics (via Associated Press) announced the next storyline for Scott Snyder's flagship Batman Book. Batman: The Zero Year. This is something I'm very excited about.
Snyder, along with artist Greg Capullo, has done a really good job on the book ever since he came on at the start of the New 52 DC Relaunch back in 2011. He's written two major arcs: The Court of Owls, and Death of The Family. Both were satisfying for a couple of reasons.
First, they felt big and important. This was not "Batman fights the riddler.....again." Snyder has a way of setting the stakes high and getting the reader to buy in.
Capullo's visuals have been top notch and aided the pacing and tone tremendously. I always hate to see a talented writer paired with an artist that doesn't fit his style. However, that is not an issue here.
Finally, Snyder is a man who is talented at big arcs. It has been tremendously rewarding to watch these stories develop over a fairly large timespan, and yet feel not only internally consistent, but infused with a sense of constant forward momentum.
If there is to be any criticism, it simultaneously is not Snyder's fault, but more promisingly, may be alleviated, at least temporarily, by this new arc. DC needs to sell bat-books, and so you need bat characters. Although the New 52 was supposed to be a fresh reboot of the entire DC Universe, because of this aforementioned need, the Batman title was saddled with a murky, unclear continuity (analyzed as effectively as is possible here) in which he has a ten year old son conceived while he was Batman (probably), 3-4 Robins, some of which have died and come back to life, and only been operating as Batman for, seemingly, a couple of years. Because: Comics.
Zero Year ( A clever hat tip to Frank Miller's Batman:Year One...available in movie form on Netflix) has the opportunity to pare all this silliness down by taking us back to Bat Basics. Batman in his simplest form. No Robins 1-4. No pre-existing rogue's gallery. No "Bat Family" to be saddled with.
(Interesting Thought: In Death of the Family, Joker's point to Batman is this extended Bat Family has made him weak and diluted. The Joker wants to, in essence, remove him of these burdens so he can go back to being the Batman, Joker loves. Good writing or Snyder actually BLOWING YOUR MIND WITH META COMMENTARY?)
Let's see what Snyder does. I, for one, am really looking forward to it.