Top critical review
Familiar and Entertaining, But Empty
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2019
This volume flashes back to the beginning of Batman's career, where an untested but determined Bruce Wayne has to find his footing after returning to Gotham for the first time in years. All in all, this is an entertaining story that hits familiar beats--throwbacks to iconic images, a few of Batman's first villains like the Red Hood, becoming the Bat etc. The problem is that if you've read or seen even the broad strokes of any Batman origin story in his first few years, this is pretty much that. Yes, Snyder puts in his own stylistic flourishes and complexities in a few places, but most Batman readers pretty much know this story. If anything, this is mostly slow setup for the following volume and the Riddler's arc in Zero Year, which feels like the new origin story Snyder really wanted to tell--one where everything is thrown into chaos and Batman (and Gotham) really have to pull together from the ground up. This is more like a preamble to that than a truly memorable retelling of Batman's origins.