Before Bruce Wayne donned the cape and cowl, he actually thought about becoming a politician first. Well, how else was he supposed to stop corruption without playing the bad guys at their own game? HUH? What do you mean I'm talking cr*p? Why don't you check out this very fresh adventure if you don't believe me? One penned by the Writer: Scott Snyder; and the Artist: Greg Capullo; Published by DC Comics, in May, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 5 questions about this FIRST PART of a STORY entitled 'Year Zero'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: Life sure was different for a younger Bruce Wayne six years ago. The Red Hood gang wanted to kill him for messing up one of their schemes. Alfred wanted him to tell the world he's not dead and stop playing silly buggers. And his Uncle Philip wanted him to be the new face of Wayne Enterprises.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: No. Not really. But a start is made. I think.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: We learn how Bruce's Dad, Thomas, inadvertently steered his son's future with a photographic invention. 
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With an enigma revealing an answer to Uncle Phil.
  • WHAT'S THE BACK-UP FEATURE ABOUT: Bruce Wayne learns how to drive real fast from a speed freak in Rio de Janeiro with a criminal record.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
I did get a kick out of reading that scene between Alfred and Bruce, especially that part where they said to each other...

BRUCE: Alfred, can you please just call me Bruce, will you? How many times do I have to ask?
ALFRED: As many as you'd like, sir, but I'm afraid that I can't. When you first asked me to join you in this madness of yours, the truth is, I did so to have your ear. To talk some sense into you.

Ha! What can I say? I agree with Alfred in both cases. It is very difficult to stop calling somebody by a certain name when you've known them by this for years. Also, Bruce does need some help. Doesn't he?

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Bruce Wayne flipping his finger at the Red Hood was bloody priceless. That's what I like to see: a humane Wayne without any shame.
(+) My respect for Greg Capullo's artwork has stepped up a notch after hearing him in a recent podcast he did with Kevin Smith. I mean, what a great guy, and what a f*cking great artist. His layouts are well paced. His visual are clear and crisp. And as for his opening chase scene with Bruce in that truck? Offfff! Wow! Amazing! Just amazing!
(+) I did like how this story started, where we saw a battered up Batman speaking to a kid after he was mugged by some masked-bandits. Good job Scott. You had me at 'fish', Ha!
(+) I quite liked this months 'backup feature' if truth be told. In a funny sort of a way it tied into the main tale in a dual capacity. As it told us something about what Bruce got up to whilst he was away, plus there is the obvious car connection as well.
(+) Did you spot that 'R' emblem on the Waynes hat? Hmmm? A future Robin connection methinks.
(+) Overall this issue was one great issue to read. It told a story. It introduced the characters and the premise. Plus it spun an 'Okay-ish' little 'update' into these proceedings too. Well, I say 'Okay-ish', because even though I didn't mind the idea of Bruce's Uncle Phil, or the Red Hood gang being cleverer than previously thought, there were other things I wasn't very keen on.
(+) No. I'm not talking about this month surprise 'guest star' [I won't tell you who it is; it may spoil the surprise]. Personally speaking, I found his appearance to be the best bit about this storyline so far, and I can't wait to see what he does next.

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) I suppose the only thing I wasn't too keen on where this tale was concerned, was how it appeared to dart all over the place structurally, without having any sort of logic to tie certain parts of the story to other parts of the story [like the transition from the Bruce and Philip scene, to the Thomas and Bruce scene].
(-) Being a big Batman fan, I wasn't happy about Bruce being declared dead by his devious Uncle Philip, when in fact, he was off learning how to fight crime all around the world. It didn't happen this way, did it? That came from 'Batman Begins' not the original source material. Tut-tut-tut, DC Comics. You should be ashamed of yourself. And let's not get me started on the original origins of the giant penny either!!!

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to two ANIMALS.
A HORSE AS ALFRED PENNYWORTH: Now I've made this comparison for one reason, and one reason alone. In this issue he nagged quite a lot. Pun intended.

A SNAKE AS UNCLE PHILIP: OK. So I might be prejudging this pain in the Kane without knowing what he's really up to. Still, for the life of me, at the moment he seems like a right snake in the grass. Hssssss.

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end' -- Seneca

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
THE THEME TUNE FROM 'BACK TO THE FUTURE': Hey! I'm not trying to be ironic comparing this tune to this tale. Yet if you think about it, folks, what they both have in common is a fresh and clean exuberance about beginnings and endings. Agreed?

Hello. My name is Brian Wayne. I'm Bruce Wayne's second cousin from his father's mother's right hand side. OK. I'm sure you are wondering to yourself how big Bruce's family is, right? Well, if I'm going to be honest with you, I don't rightly know myself. All I can say for sure is that there's...

  • Clark Wayne -- Thomas's Hayseed Uncle from Smallville, Kansas.
  • Sugar Kane -- One or Martha's relatives with diabetes.
  • Lung-Wai Wayne San -- I think he's from Asia.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis -- Though I may be mistaken. 
  • Obama Wayne -- Thomas Wayne's Brother from another Mother.
  • Devonshire Davenport Cuthbert Brown Ponsonby Smythe Kane -- I don't really know who this person is. But he does have a nice name, doesn't he?
  • Jock McJimmy McHaggis McWayne -- Well, he's either from Scotland or Burger King.
  • Philip Kane -- b*stard.

Ops! I'm sorry about that, dear reader. I do apologise. All I have left say is that this was a pretty good start for this brand new storyline. The art was amazing. The story was intriguing. And by in large I can't wait to see what's in store for us next month.  

Say no more.

BATMAN #21 BATMAN #21 Reviewed by David Andrews on June 27, 2013 Rating: 5
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