Batman #21

Event\Storyline: Batman: Zero Year Writer: Scott Snyder Artist: Greg Capullo Publisher: DC Comics Release Date: June 12, 2013 Cover Price: $3.99 Critic Reviews: 41 User Reviews: 28
8.5Critic Rating
8.2User Rating

Witness The New 52 origin of The Dark Knight in BATMAN: ZERO YEAR! Twists and turns are around every corner as Bruce Wayne takes the final steps toward his destiny! And in the backup story, learn more about how different Gotham City was at this dangerous point in time.

  • 10
    WhatCulture - Christopher Jones Jun 13, 2013

    So how does Zero Year stack up to Year One? While it's entirely too early to tell if Snyder's origin will eventually hold the same kind of importance to the mythology of Batman, what can be said is that it's shaping up to be just as good. Zero Year is going to be a huge, year long, eleven issue arc, and if it can maintain the momentum of the first issue then the next year is going to be something very special. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Vine - Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero Jun 11, 2013

    If there was any doubt that pulling Batman out of modern continuity and exploring his early days could work, this issue immediately proves it does. Seeing Bruce Wayne starting his career, going up against the Red Hood Gang and just the fact that some crazy stuff is going down, I can easily see this lasting eleven issues. Zero Year is off to a great start and right away, I don't want it to end. There's a deep mystery bubbling on the surface and the glimpses we get into Gotham in this time period is fascinating. Capullo, Miki and Plascencia make the visuals shine. This is not your typical Batman story and it shows. We get a great backup by Snyder, Tynion IV and Albuquerque that is highly enjoyable and makes the issue fun. Zero Year may be a visit to the past but I am on board with this being an extended stay. Snyder may have taken a risk by setting a long story in the past but it completely works. It's comics like this that make me excited to be a Batman fan. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Imagination Centre - John McCubbin Sep 10, 2013

    This was the perfect start to Zero Year, and Snyder really seems to be on a role, with a decent start to the Wake, and a phenomenal start to Superman Unchained. This issue had a little action, but besides that it was very dramatic, with brilliant dialogue, and great hints. The shocking end, along with the speculation as to how Snyder will develop this story has me hooked, and I can't wait for the next issue. I would highly recommend this issue, and as much of this series as you can get, as although it's had the odd blip, overall it's been amazing, and one of the best series DC produces. Read Full Review

  • 10
    DC Comics News - Z Jun 13, 2013

    What were you expecting? This book goes above and beyond my expectations. There is so much set up that you can't help but be excited for the next 10 or so issues. Snyder, Capullo and friends have set up something really special that should be a treat for all Bat-Fans old or new. This is the perfect jumping-on point for people who were waiting for the perfect time to start reading Batman. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Major Spoilers - Wayne Hall Jun 13, 2013

    ProsFilling in some of the gaps in Batman's history will help us understand the hero better.Both Capullo and Albuquerque deliver strong art matching the stories.ConsReaders should learn as much as you can about the Dark Knight's past to get as much out of the book as possible. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Behind The Panels - Richard Gray Jun 12, 2013

    As a classic villain is introduced in the final pages of the primary story, we realise that "Year Zero" is not simply the origin of Batman, but of his entire world. Giving greater strength to the argument that present day Gotham is a a result of the escalation that started the moment Bruce Wayne put on the cowl, Snyder fans the flames on a city that is just starting to hot up. We can't wait to see them ignite and blow the powder keg sky high. This is essential reading for any Batman fan. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Batman-News - Andrew Asberry Jun 12, 2013

    There are a few changes that might bother me in the future, but, as it stands, Zero Year is off to an amazing start. Not only does it live up to the hype, but I would go so far as to say it's one of the best issues of Snyder'sBatman yet. Look out for the embossed cover but the variant by Jock is really awesome too. An absolute must-buy comic. Read Full Review

  • 10
    The Comic Book Revue - Jay Mattson Jun 14, 2013

    Batman: Year Onewas bout Batman's relationship with Jim Gordon. "Zero Year" is about Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. It's a simple concept that bears a lot of weight because with the condensed nature of the 'New 52', this is the year of Batman's career when he establishes his rogues gallery. Yes, there seems to be a central antagonist here at the starting point, but it would be folly to assume Snyder will only stick to one villain for eleven issues that spans a year of Batman's life. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Gotham Spoilers - Gotham Spoilers Jun 12, 2013

    I came into Zero Year both barely knowing anything about it and very cautious of it, as any hardcore Batman fan would be. When someone starts to say "Batman" and "Origin story" red flags are automatically thrown, but Snyder and company manage to tip toe around the sleeping beast, and tell their own story that so far, promises to be wildly different and crazy. Yeah, I'm sold. I'm in. Bring on more Zero Year! Read Full Review

  • 9.6
    Chuck's Comic Of The Day - Chuck Jun 15, 2013

    It's a sharp, fast-moving story, and features terrific art by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki - a great start to a tale that manages to be bold, even when walking gingerly on hallowed ground. Read Full Review

  • 9.5
    Dark Knight News - Gilbert Rivera Jul 1, 2013

    Batman #21 is an amazing issue. Snyder is once again right on point in constructing a wonderful start to a story arc, all the whileeliminating any concern of re-treading. The teases, glimpses, and hints at things to come serve to excite readers, both new and old, and have me chomping at the bit for the next issue. Capullo's art is amazing and its exciting to see him work with such vibrant colors. This issue is an absolute must read. Read Full Review

  • 9.3
    Multiversity Comics - Sam LeBas Jun 13, 2013

    The team seems fully aware of the importance that this subject holds for many longtime fans of Batman, as they are approaching in ‘Zero Year.' Their tone is one of reverence as they step on this hallowed ground. They make a concentrated effort to account for everything we have embraced about the history of Gotham's favorite son and his alter ego. Look out for the Batmobile, the giant penny kept in the Batcave, the Batcave itself, and those fabulous, fabulous purple gloves as you make your way through this issue. Sure to be a wild ride that makes the old seem new again, ‘Zero Year' promises to be a memorable and worthwhile read. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Newsarama - Forrest C. Helvie Jun 11, 2013

    For my part, I enjoy seeing bits info introduced early on in a story to see it come back seemingly from left field (a la "Chekhov's Gun"). While some may not appreciate the broken chronology of the narrative, it does create the effect of keeping the reader constantly guessing what's coming next. And after reading Batman #21, it's clear Snyder is setting readers up for a big payoff down the road at the conclusion of "Zero Year." Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    IGN - Melissa Grey Jun 12, 2013

    This younger, more innocent (if he could ever be called such a thing) Bruce Wayne tries to balance respecting his parent's legacy with his desire to do good outside the system. It's an honest portrait of a man between worlds trying to find himself. What he's about to find instead is that old family friends aren't what they appear, and any man whose first initial plus last name phonetically spell out "enigma" is definitely up to no good. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    16BitMonster - Hamilton Ortiz Jun 13, 2013

    All and all I am happy Snyder is trying to deliver something new and fresh with a story thats never been done before. Readers will get a kick out of seeing some of Batman's earlier style and take with combating crime. Bruce was pretty unorthodox during a few skirmishs which got a little more extreme in Snyder's back up story which also elaborates further on some details Snyder referenced in the main story. Honestly I loved it. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Following The Nerd - Sarah Barclay Jun 14, 2013

    The backup was equally entertaining, a bit of a mini-story going into Bruce's training days. I hope these types of simple one-and-done narratives continue throughout the Zero Year arc Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Modern Age Comics - Alexander Moser Jun 13, 2013

    The one complaint that readers might have is that this is yet again an origin story. To me this means that we're getting an entire year of stories set in the past. For a few months, a story like this can work, but I foresee readers getting tired of "Zero Year" and not even some more glorious artwork can save that. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Crave Online - Iann Robinson Jun 12, 2013

    Batman: Zero Year is well on its way to establishing itself as the new origin gospel in the new DC Universe. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comicosity - Gavin Craig Jun 12, 2013

    Every night for Batman is the very first night, and Batman #21 is something special in that it gives us a glimpse of what happens before the first first night, and a Bruce Wayne who not only isn't Batman yet, he isn't even quite Bruce Wayne. Yet. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    The Pop Cultist - Josh Elliott Jun 12, 2013

    All the groundwork is there for Batman, and the fun is going to be seeing how Snyder assembles the pieces. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Den Of Geek! - Mike Cecchini Jun 14, 2013

    It's too early to say things like "a classic in the making" and I wouldn't be doing my job if I did. But to take Batman's origin, which is one of the most oft-told, retold, referenced, and, at this point, downright dull stories in comics, and make it feel brand-new, well, that's quite an accomplishment. "Zero Year" may just be the comic to do all of that and more. I can't wait to meet the rest of Batman's cast for the first time. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Read Comic Books - Corey Fryia Jun 12, 2013

    What more needs to be said about Batman #21? Zero Year is off to an incredible start and Snyder has already sown the seeds that will leave readers craving for more. If you had any doubts about whether or not this story arc was for you then leave them at the door. Youd be crazy not to at least read this! Read Full Review

  • 8.7
    Analog Addiction - Jideobi Odunze Jun 13, 2013

    So overall it feels like Batman and is another look into the world they created for him at the start of the New 52. As I said before, a bit predictable aside from those few inclusions that bring about an interesting twist. Of course there's much more to expect from the story to come and Snyder sure does show that he has something planned. Read Full Review

  • 8.6
    Nerds On The Rocks - Josh Raj Jun 12, 2013

    What occurs in this issue is something great. It is always tough to review the first issue in a new story arc but this seems to set up something excellent. I will at first it seemed very "wordy" at least more then a normal Snyder issue, but the artwork was beautiful and made gotham "pop". It was nice seeing gotham in the daylight for once, with Bruce wanting to save Gotham on his own. Things heated up toward the end with the reveal of the possible villain, which I remember reading in an article but the way he was presented still kind of shocked and had me excited. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Hyper Geeky - ClumsyG Jun 13, 2013

    Readers will hopefully get to see a clearer picture of the mold Batman was created from. If brains and brawn are Batman's skills, his superpower is sheer determination. It's the driving force that carries him toward his goal. He's a man with great capabilities and with tremendous faults and failures, and unlike his counterpart, Superman, who inspires hope and represents the kind of human people can aspire to be, Batman is an empathetic character who more closely represents who we are. Read Full Review

  • 8.4
    Weekly Comic Book Review - Dean Stell Jun 13, 2013

    A really good opening issue. Just don't make my mistake and try to slot the story into all the other Bat-stories that you've read. Read Full Review

  • 8.2
    Graphic Policy - Brett Schenker Jun 15, 2013

    Overall, this is a solid start in the story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman, but also how he became the Bruce Wayne we know. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Therapy - Cody "The Thorverine" Ferrell Jun 12, 2013

    Snyder and Capullo live up to what they've been preaching about this new story. They go big and offer up a fresh and new take on the New 52 Batman. It pays homage to what came before and is chocked full of Easter Eggs, but it does something different. They start off strong and promise something great with this huge new storyline. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Population Go - Population Go Staff Jun 16, 2013

    'Surprisingly good' doesn't cover this issue of Batman. Zero Year seems to have been judged before it even began, so those who wrote it off probably don't care if it's any good or not " that's not going to stop me saying how good it is, however. If you're still reading Batman, you'll know what I mean. If you're not, you're missing out. In Snyder we trust, surely you know that by now. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Book Resources - Greg McElhatton Jun 11, 2013

    In the end, "Batman" #21 is pretty good. People who are already prejudiced against "Zero Year" for merely existing probably won't agree, and while I see where they're coming from, I don't see why you can't simultaneously love "Year One" and appreciate "Zero Year" for what it is, at least so far. It's a good first chapter, and it holds a lot of promise for the next ten installments to come. If nothing else, I feel I got my money's worth in the first five pages. Snyder and Capullo's vision of "Zero Year" feels large and compelling right off the bat, and it makes you want to read more. This is how I want all of my epics to begin. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Eye On Comics - Don MacPherson Jun 15, 2013

    Capullo's exaggerated style continues to suit the property quite well, but I have to admit I was a little more impressed with his performance on this particular issue. The reason: there's little Batman for him to illustrate and mainly just a lot of Bruce. He appropriately instills a more youthful look in this vision of Bruce Wayne from six years ago. I was also impressed with how bright Gotham seems to be here. Bruce seems to walk through the dayside of the city, whereas he'll later embrace the night. I like the creepy intensity Capullo brings to Edward Nygma and the monstrous quality that quietly lurks in the Red Hood's misaligned teeth. Rafael Albuquerque's lithe figures and blurred lines bring the high-speed chase in the backup story to life incredibly well. His style is such a marked departure from Capullo's, it brings an added sense of artistic diversity to the book, while the plot boasts a natural link to the main story. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Henchman-4-Hire - Sean Ian Mills Jun 15, 2013

    I liked this issue and the work Snyder is doing to Batman's origin. Obviously, Batman: Year One is irreplaceable, but Zero Year is going to be very different from Year One. For one thing, Year One focused a heck of a lot on Commissioner Gordon, and intercut his story with segments of Bruce Wayne. Zero Year seems focused on the nuts and bolts of what exactly Bruce Wayne did with his time and how his crime-fighting crusade came together. So far, it's a fun story. Snyder works in all sorts of cute little nods to the fans, like the giant penny and the Batmobile, while still telling an interesting story. Capullo's art is as great as ever, so I'm definitely in to see how all this plays out, and to see what other neat ideas Snyder has to add. Plus the backups showing off different forms of Bruce's training sound like a good idea to me, though I don't know why Bruce would use his real name. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Comic Booked - Jeff Hill Jun 12, 2013

    So my gripe (actually, gripes) aside, this issue has some great dialogue and the art is just an added bonus. Intelligent portrayals of characters from the 1930s that come off as fresh and new, inclusion of little nuggets of lore into modern-day stories (such as where that giant penny came from and a little more background in terms of the Kane-Wayne family tree), and enough mystery of how things will turn out and who will become who keep this a fast-paced, albeit somewhat confusing read. Perhaps my complaints are a little over-critical, but that is only because this has been (and will hopefully become again) a perfect book throughout its almost two-year run. I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment of the origin story that I never thought I'd actually get to read. Next month cannot come soon enough. Read Full Review

  • 7.5
    AIPT - Jordan Richards Jun 12, 2013

    The art on this comic is very good as usual with the combo of Greg Capullo on the main stuff while Rafael Albuquerque does the backup. The expressions and emotions from the characters are great as usual, the action scenes are nice, and the worlds they draw are very eye catching at points, especially during the car chase in the backup. Not a bad thing at all to say about it. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    One Quest - Chris Cobb Jun 14, 2013

    Throughout the issue a lot of plot lines were setup and I just hope as this year long story continues things start to get more focused and we see Bruce deal with one problem at a time. It says something for the creators even when a person has a problem with the book, it's still one of the best books on the shelves! Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comics Are Not Dead - Comics Are Not Dead Jun 17, 2013

    Batman #21 has very hit-or-miss writing, but the art is stunning and the backup is one of Snyder's best stories yet. If you're on a tight budget, skip it, but if you have $4 to spare, buy it. Read Full Review

  • 7.0
    Comic Book Revolution - Kevin Jun 14, 2013

    I came into Batman #21 wanting to love Zero Year and it had all of the pieces in place for that to happen. Unfortunately everything Scott Snyder introduces in the main feature and in the back-up, which he co-wrote with James Tynion IV, fails to fuse everything together in order to tell a compelling story. The fact that Bruces road to become Batman is not presented with many hardships does not help. So far Snyder has handed everything to Bruce instead of letting us see the evolution the character as he creates the Batman persona. There is still a long way to go and things can quickly turn around given that this is only the first chapter. The great artwork from Greg Capullo and Rafael Albuquerque is already here. Now all we need is for the pieces that were introduced to come together and form a story in which we can immerse ourselves in. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    PopMatters - Michael D. Stewart Jun 17, 2013

    Batman #21 is a bold beginning for this new origin story. While “Zero Year” owes much to the origins in various media that have come before, it is its own comic to certain degrees. “Zero Year's” relationship to our current understanding of city life will be its ultimate trademark. This is easily the best understanding of the hallmarks of Snyder's Batman run: Gotham as character and as contemporary urban center. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    Comics: The Gathering - kanchilr1 Jun 12, 2013

    Snyder delivers a sequence later on in the book that shows he has a few long form plans with the characters. This shoes the horror side brimming within the writer, that has led to the great points in his stories. The backup also does a good job showcasing one of the brighter moments of Bruce's adulthood and shows him making the right decisions at the end of the day. You can see how a man like this could turn into the Batman in a few years. Even with a first issue that is slightly underwhelming this Zero Year story-arc could turn into an interesting tale in a moments notice. Also considering the talent involved, you are going to want to be here when the sparks start flying. Read Full Review

  • 6.0
    ComicList - Brandon Borzelli Jun 15, 2013

    Snyder launches a very ambitious arc with this issue. It's a long story and it really seems to trample a lot of continuity in the process. If you can look past that and just sit back and relax you will probably end up with a really entertaining storyline. This is a good opening issue. Read Full Review

  • 5.0
    Comics Crux - Cal Cleary Jun 13, 2013

    Look, I understand the need to update Frank Miller's iconic, much-lovedBatman: Year One for the modern age, especially with the New 52 explicitly changing pretty much everything about the DCU. It's a good idea. What's more,"Zero Year" has some promise " again, those opening 5 pages herald some awesome stuff to come. But this was a flabby first issue from a storyteller who already has severe pacing issues when he's given too much space to sprawl. I'm not saying that "Zero Year" is going to be a bad story " I suspect this will be a very enjoyable graphic novel one day " but, as an issue of comics,Batman #21 fails to excite. Read Full Review

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