After his parent’s death, Bruce spends years trying to find the meaning behind their murder. He grows up, goes to school, graduates, always trying to find the reason behind his parents deaths. He reasons that someone must be responsible. His father was a powerful man that stepped on a lot of toes. But once Bruce tracks their killer, Joe Chill, down he discovers the man to be a drunk. Not a mob killer, an assassin, or a gunman. The reason his parents died is because one man was down on his luck and needed some money to buy another bottle. His world view shattered, Bruce sets out to find meaning in the world, beginning the training that would lead to him becoming Batman.
This story has been repeated to exhaustion. The horse is no longer just dead, it’s been resurrected and kept alive long enough for its flesh to rot away in undead putrification. THEN they started beating it again.
That being said, this is a very good rendition of the story. I can’t deny that a lot of skill and talent went into crafting this story. Not just as a prequel, but as its own story. The biggest flaw in the other Zero Issues is that most of them ended on a cliffhanger, or introduced new elements that we don’t know when they’ll be resolved. This issue on the other hand took what we already had, showed it from a different perspective, and ended on what could only be considered a cliffhanger if one knew absolutely nothing about Batman.
The reason this issue feels so complete is that it does in fact tell a complete story. The entire focus is on Bruce’s growth as a person. From his belief that there was reason behind his parents’ death, to his honoring their memory by ultimately doing what his father would have done. The only complaint I have with this is that I’m not entirely sure Bruce at that point in his life would have spared Joe. Granted other versions have shown him planning to go through with it, and it speaks to his character that he made the decision himself rather than having a mob assassin steal the kill from him. Still, considering how much anger he had in him at the time I would have liked to have seen just a little more development behind his decision to spare Chill.
Though that is of course a minor complaint. The story is well developed, and ties in well to what Scott Snyder developed in his Court of Owls story. So far I consider this the best of the Zero Issues.
I was going to give this a four out of five, but after thinking about it, and considering that I like this issue a lot more than the other ones I’ve read, I have to recommend this to anyone that is a Batman fan and give it…