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Batman #29

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artist: Greg Capullo

Colors: Danny Miki

Review by Patrick Brennan

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you return with a bang.  After a brief one-issue hiatus, “Zero Year” is back with a story so full of action, plot twists, and expertly written emotional scenes that it’s as if Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo were making up for us having had to wait an extra month for another installment in this fantastic arc.  It’s an expertly crafted book, executed with style and a keen attention to pacing.  With the exception of Batman #24, this might be the strongest “Zero Year” issue to date, and is certainly a highlight of Greg Capullo’s Bat-run.

batman 29 coverWith the city in turmoil, Batman and Gordon have to work together to try and stop the Riddler and Doctor Death from taking over Gotham, all the while battling superstorm Rene and the corrupt GCPD as well.  Will the duo be able to stop Edward Nigma, or will the brilliant young criminal mastermind succeed in taking the city hostage?

First off, a cautionary note about the writing: you’re going to want to have a box of tissues close for this one, folks.  The main story clips along at a great pace and is quite engaging, giving us some more insight into the backstory of Doctor Death in the meatiest parts and some awesomely put together action and suspense sequences in the rest. But what really sticks out, and what will have you reaching for that suggested box of tear-sponges, are the scenes that bookend the issue.  Without giving anything away, it is an iconic moment in Bruce’s life that we’ve all seen again and again, so you would think the sting would be gone by now.  But Snyder breathes new life into it, making the moment hit closer to home than it has in a long time.

Going hand-in-hand with the weight of this scene is Greg Capullo’s stellar artwork.  One of the things that always impresses me about his style is the level of detail put into the facial expressions of characters, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for this.  The emotion he’s able to capture in the simple rendering of a character’s smile or the look in their eyes can be simply gut-wrenching.  The work he does in the opening and closing scenes of Batman #29 is tragically beautiful, startling, and undeniably memorable.

Verdict:

Buy It – “Zero Year” is back and Batman’s Dynamic Duo of Snyder and Capullo are here to offer up an exciting and emotional issue that will surely resonate with readers on a deeper level than they’re used to.

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