One of the first Batman origins was The Untold Legends of Batman, this was followed years later by Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Now, in the New 52 DC Comics universe, Batman has a new origin. This is the Zero Year, and it gives new takes on so many Batman characters.
Batman Zero Year: Secret City is the first graphic novel in the Zero Year series.
A young Bruce Wayne is trying to avoid the spotlight. He’s letting his Uncle Philip Kane (a pre-Crisis character brought back, although altered to be Martha’s brother instead of Thomas’) run Wayne Enterprises and its subsidiaries. He is a vigilante, but not quite Batman. He’s busy trying to infiltrate the Red Hood Gang, a violent and dangerous gang trying to usurp power from Carmine Falcone, the city’s Mafia don.
As Alfred tries to get him to continue to move into Wayne Manor, the city is crumbling to pieces thanks to the imaginings of Edward Nigma, who is secretly allied with Philip Kane.
However, after almost being killed by the Red Hood Gang, Bruce stumbles into the mansion of his childhood, and after discovering a secret hologram his father left behind, he sees the image of a bat. Thus, the Batman is born.
I still believe that Batman: Year One is a better origin (though it does focus more on James Gordon), this story focuses on Bruce and his desire to figure out who killed his parents, but also to just do the right thing.
Storytelling wise, it’s a great story. At times, it was a bit confusing what Bruce’s motivations were. One character shines in particular: Alfred Pennyworth. He, as usual, is the reason behind Bruce’s desire to do the right thing. He’s a great character and done perfectly in the story.
Check it out and enjoy it!