Rayzor’s Ultimate Batman Chronology – Scott Snyder and the New 52 Batman

Ultimate Chronology Scott Snyder

Happy Comic Book Wednesday, the best day of the week.  Comics have been a big part of my life and the very first comic I read was the very first issue leading in to the even leading to the death of Jason Todd, A Death in the Family.  Now I get to do my own Batman Chronology,  which is tough, especially with call the different things going on in comics.  But Batman seems to have a more linear story than most.  Green Lantern may be the second easiest to do.

I have been up and down, back and forth about Scott Snyder’s time on Batman.  But I keep thinking of it in a different way, I keep thinking his work is in its own Batman Universe.  Sure there have been cross-overs and but there could still be a Bat family and he has to follow some of the rules from DC Comics.  I really think DC should stop whatever weird stuff they have planned with Snyder and develop Scott Snyder’s Batman Universe.  It could pick up from Zero Year and follow the next five years and finish before the Court of Owls or Gates of Gotham or hell, the Black Mirror.

Since I consider Scott Snyder’s work on Batman its own universe, I am going to strike, the Black Mirror and Gates of Gotham from the record, especially since Dick Grayson is Batman in each story.  The reason I am doing this, the New 52 was kind of a reboot of the DC universe and Scott Snyder was paired with a great artist in Greg Capullo.  In reading Scott Snyder’s work, sometimes feels like he ignores a lot of the other things going on in the rest of the Batman books, unless there is a cross-over event.  It seems everything takes place within five years from when Bruce Wayne becomes Batman to End Game.  The problem would be the Robins, all seem to be present and so many events would have had to happen over the course of 5 years.  So many questions come up.

How long was Dick Grayson, Robin?

At what point did Jason Todd die and come back?

Was Damian Wayne born before Bruce Wayne was Batman, he was created in a tube, but grew to age like everyone else, I do believe?

Where does Batman Eternal fit?  I am guessing before Endgame or right after.

One great thing, Greg Capullo’s Batman is great, the art behind the story really fits Scott Snyder’s stories perfectly.  Capullo really knows how to set the tone, but it does not stop with him, the color work is very cool, it shows Batman does not only have to be dark but we get to see different colors that make Gotham look more interesting.

Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year-Secret City

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The first part of the Zero year event and when it began, it was strange to me and really gives you the feeling that something big is going to hap

pen.  It begins with a flooded Gotham and Batman is believed dead.  Then we fall back in the story to five months before the flood and the return of Bruce Wayne.  During the arc, we see Bruce use different disguises before becoming Batman and we get to see the early days of the Red Hood, gang.  It was an interesting take of the legacy of Red Hood.  Not to mention Bruce’s uncle Philip on his mother’s side who is working with the main bad guy of the story, Edward Nigma aka, the Riddler.  The final part of this story ends with what brings Bruce to become the bat.

At first read, it was difficult to get into, but is show something.  It really shows what I do like about Scott Snyder, this man can create history.  It really shows in the Secret City.  He did a great job of showing what Bruce Wayne was dealing with, with-in himself and Gotham City.  Overall it is a different story and a different take from Year One by Frank Miller.  It is zero year colors definitely an update and for sure made for the New 52.  I do think, like Year One, it is a great way to start its own Batman chronology.  This is the start of something separate the rest of the Batman comics that are currently and formerly out.

If you are wanting the beginning of the Scott Snyderverse of Batman, this is the beginning.  If you have read the other 40 issues of Batman since 2011, you know this is a great start.  Check it out.

Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year – Dark City

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Part two of Zero year is called Dark City, it collects Dark City and Savage City and it is about Bruce Wayne’s first few months as Batman.  First, let me mention the costume and how great Capullo took the classic, first appearance look and made it modern.

The first part is so strange and bizarre, but really good.  This seems like Snyder has his best, he would be a fantastic horror writer, well he is very good anyway.  But the key part is the Ace Chemicals when Batman is fighting Red Hood One and when he attempts to escape pulls him in to a vat of chemicals. This we can assume is the birth of the Joker.  But later in the story, the horror begins with Doctor Death, who actually appeared in the 3rd issue Batman appears in Detective Comics #29.   Doctor Death joins forces with the Riddler to try and seize control of Gotham City during a super-storm.  Doctor Death battles Batman aboard a blimp in the midst of the storm.  He is beaten by his own bones over growing, it was so bizarre and so Snyder.

The second part or the third of Zero Year is called “Savage City”.  This is where things get crazy, Bruce wakes up in a kid, Duke’s house.  The boy Duke saved him from Riddler, before Riddler took Gotham.  Through this story Batman has to stop Riddler and retake Gotham.  I did not like this chapter, there is much to like, but parts reminded me of other things I had read, Superman: Secret Origin and the Dark Knight Rises.  Savage City, Jim Gordon is leading a team searching Gotham and all of that reminds me of The Dark Knight Rises.  But overall it is a fitting way to end the story.  I really loved to see the Riddler, who has kind of lost his way in the last 10 years.  He is the first of the Rogues to take Gotham and in a big way.

Overall, Zero Year was an interesting story, I do not like it as THE definitive origin for Batman or the New 52, which doesn’t even matter anymore.  I want this to be the definitive origin for Scott Snyder’s Batman.  I would love to see how he could fill in the five years between Zero Year and the Court of Owls, which started the new 52 and is next on the Scott Snyder chronology.

Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls

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I had trouble dealing with the New 52 and I know I am not alone.  It took me about 6 months to sit down and read these comics, the first run for Batman in the New 52.  I read a lot of different things about these books and one thing stuck out was from Dan Didio, you know since we’re Facebook friends and all.

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So when he said, “Who said anything about the storylines being gone?” It made me think about the Multiverse.  But later it seemed all the good stuff from Batman was still there, it did not start over, along with Green Lantern.  Everything else did and now with Convergence, he was right and so was I.  It was a multiverse thing.  So I went back to this and finally began to read Scott Snyder’s Batman.  I did like it, it was very dark, very different, well in some ways.

The Court of Owls is interesting, it really picks up where the Gates of Gotham leaves off, but i discount the Gates of Gotham, because of the characters involved and Dick Grayson was Batman.  This delves deep into Gotham’s history.  The Court of Owls is an ancient conspiracy that has controlled Gotham City for centuries. They are a violent group of Gotham City’s oldest and wealthiest families.  They use murder by the hands of their agents, known as Talons and money to wield political influence throughout history, but little is known about them or who they really are under their creepy owl masks. Their bases of operation are hidden beneath some of the city’s oldest structures.

A very creepy and totally Scott Snyder, nursery rhyme describing them has been passed down through Gotham’s generations:

Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time,

Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.

They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed.

Speak not a whispered word about them, or they’ll send the Talon for your head.

How messed up is that?  The story goes deep into the heart of Gotham.  It is a very good story that really breaks Batman down.  This may have been the best way to introduce the New 52.  Scott Snyder had already written Batman before, but this to me is his finest chapter, well the entire Court of Owls story, including City of Owls and Night of the Owls which is a crossover event.

Batman vol 2 The City of Owls and Night of the Owls

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After the event of the Court of Owls, which leaves off with a great cliffhanger, only had to wait one month, it was followed up by the City of Owls.  This is captured here in two volumes.  The City of Owls has extra content and the Night of the Owls if a big crossover event with all Batman titles.  Both are worth owning.  It also captures the full vision of the Court of Owls and what can happen when the time comes.  Scott Snyder was brilliant in his story telling here.

To me this is the height of Scott Snyder’s work on Batman.  The Court of Owls and the City of Owls is original and really hits me with the history he creates for Gotham.  There is a spoiler situation I do not want to spoil, but it was an interesting take and I would like to see more.  This again brings me back to wanting to fill in the years between Zero Year and the Court of Owls.

The crossover between the entire Bat family books was really cool.  Each story had to deal with the attack from the Court of Owls, Talons, who were like unstoppable forces of nature.

Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family

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This story, to me was a little over hyped and again it was a big crossover event.  I think everyone was excited to see what Scott Snyder could do with the Joker.  I feel like this was not as good, the idea was awesome, but the title itself was misleading.  I will not cast a spoiler stone, but it was not what I expected.  There were many cool things and I think Snyder really has a grasp on the Joker.  Maybe even more than he does with Batman, because this is where be begins to lose my faith.

I do not know what it is, but seems like he does not understand Batman or Bruce Wayne.  He is overly angered at all times and over protective of his team.  The relationship with Alfred is awful and when reading, I was thinking, Batman/Bruce would never do that or talk like that to Alfred.

It is really good to see the Joker back in the New 52.  It was very strange in Detective Comics, Tony Daniel had the Joker’s face peeled off and it created this devilish look when he added straps to his own skin and wore his own face as a mask.  It started with Daniel and ended with the Joker.  It is a gruesome thing even within the panels of a comic book, I do think it is out of character for the Joker.  That may be my biggest issue with Scott Snyder’s work on Batman, characters, out of character from the norm.

Batman Vol. 6: Graveyard Shift

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These are a collection of “filler issues” for lack of better term.  Between bigger story arcs there sometimes is a single issue and Graveyard Shift.  The lead in to Batman Eternal, number 28 is also in this book.

From DC comics,

In these tales from BATMAN #0, 18-20, 28, 34 and BATMAN ANNUAL #2, look back to the early days of the Dark Knight, then see the impact of the wake of the death of his son Damian! Plus, has Batman’s worst foe become…Bruce Wayne? This title also includes three pivotal chapters from the epic ZERO YEAR, and a chapter that ties in to BATMAN ETERNAL!

If you own the single issues, you may not need this, but issues 18-20 do talk about Zero Year and are very interesting, that is for sure.  We do get to see a couple of different villains and the Zero issue is really cool.  Worth having in the collection?  Yes.

Batman Eternal Vol. 1 and Eternal Vol. 2

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To me this is no very essential at all.  It is a fun look at Gotham and most of the Bat-family.  I do not know if this is will continue, I have heard there will be a Batman Eternal part 2, but I do not know how concrete it is after Convergence.

I will say it was cool following the story and there are some very cool things that happen, I just don’t know where it belongs.  It was planned and written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, Tim Seeley and John Layman.

Batman Vol. 7: Endgame

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Is this the Ultimate Joker story?  That is the question, it was very big and it really did deliver.  Finally, Scott Snyder may have brought the best Joker story since Death in the Family or the Killing Joke.  There was so much the Joker did.  He took…spoilers, nope not here.  This is Snyder’s best work on Batman since the Court of Owls, which sounds strange, but that was 2011- 2012 and Endgame came out in 2014 – 2015.

This could be the defining book for Scott Snyder.  I do love the Court of Owls, but this is the Joker.  The Joker vs Batman, Batman vs the Joker.  This is what the fans want and all the way to the end it is worth every panel, every word.   This books could be the end of Scott Snyder’s Batman epic.  What starts with Zero year could end with, well, Endgame.

If you have avoided Scott Snyder or the new 52, avoid this book, until you read the rest of the books listed above.  Go ahead and click on the titles, buy every trade and read in this order.  Then come back and tell me what you think.

Why should Scott Snyder’s Batman be its own universe?

Zero year is a really cool and interesting way to kick off Bruce Wayne’s time as Batman.

Endgame is the perfect way to end Scott Snyder’s Batman.  I want DC comics to hire Snyder to fill in the gap between Zero Year and Court of Owls.  Do not label it as the New 52 or post Convergence, none of that.  It should be its own thing, separate from everything else and not lost in the New 52 and post-Convergence.  He would have 5 years to play with in the Batman timeline, there is a beginning, a middle and an ending to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.  Sign Snyder and Capullo for another 50 issues to produce the the missing pieces.

What do you think internet, would you like to see Scott Snyder take a stab at other villains, Scarecrow, Bane, Two-face and Killer Croc.  How cool would that be.  We should start a petition.

Thanks for reading, check out these books and get back to me on my idea.  Please follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.

2 comments

  1. Hey thanks for this, was looking for where Batman Eternal went in relation to Snyder’s main Batman series and I buy in trade. This was just what I needed!

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