DC Zero Month, Week Three Reviews: ‘Batwoman,’ ‘Birds of Prey’, And ‘Blue Beetle’

This September, DC Comics is turning it all the way back to zero, taking a look at what went on in the DCU before the New 52. Like we did a year ago with the first month of DC’s new universe, we’re going to give you some looks at all the “Zero Month” titles coming out over the next few weeks.

So here we go:

BATWOMAN #0
Written by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, Art By J.H. Williams III and Dave Stewart

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? About to head out on a dangerous mission, Batwoman explains to her estranged father just how – and when – she decided to put on a cape and cowl… And why she needed to be on her own.

BEST BIT: Several years down the road, and the design of this book still doesn’t get old. Also, this book is told almost entirely in narration, yet unlike other “Zero Month” books, here it works; mostly because of the emotional immediacy of the writing.

WORST BIT: The ultimate conclusion of the book has played out a number of times, so it’s not really as impactful as it might be.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? The more times they show us Alice’s death scene, the more it feels like a “death” scene.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? This is a tough one, because what this issue does so brilliantly is bring Batwoman back to basics. Her relationship with her father, her military training, and her background are what make her unique in Gotham. But like she says at the end of the story, she’s moved past that, and is now fighting supernatural menaces. It’s not that I want the writers – or Kate – to move backwards, but as a reader the mystical aspects of this book are far less interesting to me than the more real world aspects. I’ll give this book another try, as I hope this zero issue does show we’re returning to some of the older ideas soon.

BIRDS OF PREY #0
Written by Duane Swierczynski, Art By Romano Molenaar

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? After the mysterious, terrible end of Team 7, Dinah Lance sets up an undercover operation at The Penguin’s club. There, she meets Starling, and gets the first idea for Birds of Prey.

BEST BIT: How Starling and Black Canary got their names is a bit of a hilarious jaw-dropper.

WORST BIT: There’s a few sequences that just don’t connect in the art, jumping from one action to another with no connective fiber.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Heck yeah. I won’t ruin it, but beyond seeing a LOT more about Starling in this issue, there’s a huge revelation on the last page that should have “BoP” fans squawking for more. Because they are birds.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Yup! Duane Swierczynski has made this one of the most consistently fun titles in the New 52, and Starling is the best addition to the universe since, probably, the star of our next comic.

BLUE BEETLE #0
Written by Keith Giffen and Tony Bedard, Art By Ig Guara

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? How did the scarab end up on Earth? How was it created? And who are The Reach? Also, didn’t we already cover this a few years ago?

BEST BIT: Ancient Aztec Blue Beetle is a bad-ass.

WORST BIT: The Scarab doesn’t seem THAT deadly or dangerous in this issue, despite everyone telling us it is.

ANY BIG REVELATIONS/TEASES? Yeah, probably a ton, but because we’re jerks we’re having a hard time parsing what we already learned in the original “Blue Beetle” series, versus here.

ARE WE BACK FOR ISSUE #13? Yes, and mainly because we had no idea Keith Giffen and Tony Bedard were writing this book. However, in case it isn’t abundantly clear: this is one of those New 52 books that initially lost us because things changed for changes sake. Rather than playing out like “Ultimate Blue Beetle,” hopefully in Year Two this can forge a path as its own book.

“Batwoman” #0, “Birds of Prey” #0, and “Blue Beetle” #0 all hit comic book stores on September 19th from DC Comics!