Bruce’s travels take him to Canada where he aims to receive training from a master hunter who is skilled in marksmanship. Aiming to hone his skills Bruce and Anton are taken under the hunter’s wing, but Anton has other plans. What is Anton planning? And what will Bruce do when he discovers Anton’s true intentions?

Although Batman’s origin has been explored many times, through Frank Miller’s Year One, and many other books, it hasn’t been explored at such depth that cements Bruce’s convictions as Batman until now. Zdarsky goes to great lengths to explore Bruce’s no kill rule, and why it sets him apart from his colleague Anton, and why his ethics as a character is iconic for those very reasons. Zdarsky takes the time to expand on Bruce’s motivations and how it would eventually impact his fate down the line. It’s refreshing to read an origin series that ventures into spaces that are more nuanced.

Each issue has done a good job focusing on Bruce’s training in specific skills that eventually contribute to his future that readers would come to know. Bruce and Anton’s clashing ideals and their correlation to their trainer’s ethics, marksmanship and beliefs is effectively executed by Zdarsky. Given that Zdarsky has explored some of these themes in his Daredevil series at Marvel, it’s interesting seeing how he applies some of those themes to Batman and how it impacts him as a character that is sensible and unique to him.

Carmine Di Giandomenico is delivering what could possibly be some of the best illustrative work of his career. His line work is lush with energy and detail, and his choreographic compositions are smooth and seamless. Ivan Plascencia’s color work is exuberant and propels Giandomenico’s linework to cinematic heights, visually enhancing the tone of the book as it services the script. Pat Brosseau’s lettering compliments the art of the book, cohesively pairing the art and writing together perfectly. This issue is possibly the best distillation to Bruce’s values as a crime fighter more so than other iterations of Batman stories, making it worth having on your pull list for new comic book day.

By Anthony Andujar Jr.

Anthony Andujar Jr. is an NYC cartoonist and lover of comics and music. So much so that it led him to writing comic book reviews in between it all.