Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #0
DC Comics, (October, 1994)
WRITER: Alan Grant
ARTIST: Bret Blevins
COLORIST: Adrienne Roy
COVER PAINTER: Brian Stelfreeze
LETTERER: Todd Klein
Batman comes upon a group of thieves, but leaves a tracking device on one while he stops a mob hit on another mobster. Unaware of this, the thieves slowly panic, waiting for Batman to find the small room they’re hiding out in. When Batman finally does have time to track them down, he finds the quartet already giving up. All of this is the backdrop to another interpretation of Bruce’s early day, including his trip to learn his skills, his short stint with the FBI, and his trying to fulfill his plan until that bat flies into his window.
What they got right: Of the origins seen thus far this is the better one. Batman isn’t romanticized like the other one, and while there’s proof Bruce hates guns, it’s more subtle and no talk of “the hated gun”, or other such lines. We get to see that Batman, despite his reputation, is quite human.
What they got wrong: However, it’s getting harder to believe that the average person could become Batman, like I keep hearing. He has Scrooge McDuck levels of money (it sounds like Gotham City is actually leasing Main Street from the Wayne estate since his ancestors owned the land it’s built on), a genius-level intellect right out of the box, and an obsession that no normal person would ever have. Also, we have the cape with the spikes again. I hate that thing. It looks stupid.
Recommendation: The better of the two origin comics thus far, but we all know Batman’s origin by now, and the half-story we get may be worth a read but not a must-own at this point.