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Comic Review: Batman #23

New 52 DC Comics Batman #23 Red Hood

Batman #23 sees Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo put their own spin on the formative bat moment from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One.

But can they possibly improve on such a pivotal moment in Batman history?

The answer is no.

In choosing to directly take on Miller’s iconic origin scene, Snyder’s Zero Year only shows itself as a pretender next to the original.

Batman Year One Frank Miller Yes Father

Miller’s original.

That’s not to say it’s not appreciated, and Snyder and Capullo manage to mix in a clever element of technology to make the scene visually appealing in a new way.

The little hologram ball from last issue essentially maps the batcave onto Thomas Wayne’s study so Bruce can both stand in the cave and stand before the bust of his father. Add in some phantom bats flying straight through Bruce and you’ve got a stunning display in its own right.

That bit of technology, however, steals a bit of the primal appeal of the moment. The tech angle might work for some people, given how high tech Batman is, but it’s not going to have the universal appeal such a moment should.

As for the rest of the issue, Bruce gets a thorough beat down by Red Hood and his gang after falling into their trap at the end of Batman #22. His downtown bunker goes kaboom and our gravely wounded hero stumbles to his old haunt, Wayne Manor, where he has his vision.

There’s some more pre-Riddler Riddler and Uncle Philip worked in there, but mostly it’s about Bruce having his vision.

Snyder is always engaging to read, so while this doesn’t quite hit the heights he usually reaches, the story is still well-told.

Capullo hits all the notes he’s been so good with thusfar: great Red Hood, good battered Bruce, awesome batcave.

Batman #23 plants the seed for Batman. How long will it take Zero Year Bruce to become the Dark Knight?

7 out of 10

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