I know there’s kind of a running gag/cry for help about how many bat-books we need to cover over here at Batman News, but I can genuinely say that this is one book I have been nothing but excited for since it was announced. This is largely in part due to the incredible pitch: a Batman story centered entirely on Bruce Wayne’s journey to become Batman? Sign me up!
Before we hop in, I actually got the chance to interview Chip Zdarsky about this series, and you can read about it here!
Alright, let’s do this.
A fresh and intriguing take
I’ve gotta say, I initially thought this was going to be another origin story, but after hearing Zdarsky talk about this book, and reading it for myself, I’m super in love with this idea. This issue follows a young Bruce Wayne, still in school, as he figures out the ins and outs of who he wants to be. It’s a super intriguing premise, and is executed wonderfully throughout the issue. There’s plenty of times when Bruce will jump into action, showing that “I know what must be done, for justice.” vibe that Batman is known for, only to be called out by another character for the consequences of his actions. It’s absolutely enthralling to watch little punk Bruce get in trouble because he was overly dedicated to a raw, unrefined version of “the mission”.
I mean, when ALFRED is giving you the silent treatment, you KNOW you messed up.
The art is fantastic too. The team of Carmine Di Giandomenico and Ivan Plascencia give us one of my favorite looks on a Batman book since Capullo and FCO Plascencia’s take back in the new 52 (not counting Dan Mora’s recent stint on Detective Comics, of course, but that’s an entire article of gushing on its own). The colors alone set the mood perfectly, bathing different scenes in lighting appropriate to the amount of tension or emotion, and the pencils are more than effective at drawing the reader’s eye in and engrossing them in the action.
Everything has this uncertain, dark vibe that I think perfectly enacapsulates Bruce’s headspace throughout the book. This honest to god might be my favorite Bat book I’ve read in a while.
- A fresh take on Batman’s early years intrigues you.
- Seeing a writer’s genuine love of a character ooze from that page makes your heart happy.
- You’re a fan of early Batman stories where he just absolutely sucks at being Batman.
Book good. Buy book.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.