Imagine you're a rich orphan with all the resources in the world at your fingertips, and you're now on a sacred quest to rid your hometown of ruin. How would you go about beginning this thankless task, you may ask yourself? Would you dress up? Make new friends? Or do something zany? As seen in this adventure created by Scott Snyder, and Greg Capullo; Published by DC Comics, in June, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 5 questions about this SECOND PART of 'Zero Year'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: Not so long after he saves Cobblepot from the Red Hood gang, Bruce Wayne tries to figure out who has supplied them with their Wayne-Tech weaponry.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Surprisingly enough, yes, yes he does. Because Edward Nigma points him in the right direction.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yeah. Two things actually. Alfred slaps Bruce in the face during an argument, and his Uncle, Philip, thrusts Bruce into the media spotlight.
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With the Red Hood gang throwing Bruce a right... BOOOOOM... surprise?
  • WHAT'S THE BACK-UP FEATURE ABOUT: A young Bruce Wayne learns how to escape from a deadly death trap thanks to a mad Russian with a monkey.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Picture the scene. Alfred and Bruce are having an argument back at Wayne HQ. When suddenly -- THWAK -- Alfred slaps Bruce across the face and calls him a...


Wow! Will wonders never cease?  There is a God. And his name is Snyder.

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) OK. I know I don't want to repeat myself too soon, but seeing Alfred slap Bruce in the face and then calling him a coward afterwards, really took me by surprise. In fact, not only was this scene very surprising in content, but it was also very personable and original too, and well worth the price of admission on its own.
(+) Wasn't The Penguin's cameo in this comic a right sight for sore eyes? Huh? What do you mean 'no'? Screw you then. Wak-Wak-Wak.
(+) Although Bruce may not think the same as me, I did like the fact that he was finally ousted in the press by his Uncle Philip. Well, let's face it; we all know this was bound to happen sooner or later. So why not sooner? Just so we can all enjoy the ride without anymore minor plot-threads.
(+) Another scene I loved in this issue was the one between Bruce Wayne and Edward Nigma. From my point of view, I enjoyed it for a number of reasons. Firstly, that 'map image' was very innovative I thought. Secondly, it introduced Bruce to Ed, and set up an impending dual. Thirdly, it allowed the story to progress a step or two in the right direction. And fourthly, it was fun.
(+) Gregg and Scott are a brilliant creative team. Say no more.

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) My only slight gripe about this adventure was how the overall story was structured. Aesthetically, it was all over the place where the main through-line was concerned, and this gave it a sort of bumbling and mumbling tone that dipped and parried like a fencer with a stutter. Very lop-sided.

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to SOMETHING YOU CAN BUY ON EBAY .
A RED HOODIE AS THE RED HOOD: Oh! Is this comparison too obvious, folks? Sorry. I'll try better next time.

A BASEBALL BAT AS BATMAN: Sh*t! I've done it again, haven't I? Still. At least in this case this young bat has some swing to it. (Yes. You may groan if you so wish).

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable' -- Jane Austen

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
THE THEME TUNE TO CILLA BLACKS 'SURPRISE SURPSISE': Back in the nineteen-eighties England had a television show where lost members of someone's family were reunited with them live on screen. But don't fret though, folks. This isn't the reason why I'm comparing this tune to this tale. Instead, it's because they're both timely, and about surprises. Simple as that.

Now the one thing I've failed to mention up above was my opinions on this 'old school' Red Hood character. Or to be more precise, who the f*ck is he? As could it be...

  • Philip Kane -- Possible. Yet this might be too obvious.
  • Lex Luthor -- Maybe it was the helmet that made him bald, huh?
  • The Joker -- I hope not. As that wouldn't really add anything to anybodies mythos.
  • Alfred Pennyworth -- Ha! Now that would be a shocker!
  • One of Bruce's Secret Teachers -- Hmmm. I'm not too sure. It would depend on who the teacher was I suppose.  
  • Edward Nigma -- Wow! What a double bluff that would be!
  • An Asparagus -- Errr? I think it best I stop there.

Anyway. That's enough of my sh*t for this month, folks. All I have left to say is that this issue of Batman was a pretty good read all in all. The art was detailed yet original. The story was as bold as a slap in the face. And overall, I can't wait for what's in store for us next month.

Don't you?