Last year, DC launched what they called a soft reboot of their universe and dubbed it the New 52. I did a few posts on the first few issues. Two in October (September and October) and one in November.
This year, they celebrated the one year anniversary of the reboot with a series of #0 issues, which were essentially origin stories of their most popular characters. In Justice League #0, for instance, they told the origin of Captain Marvel (aka Shazam). I did a review on that title in October titled Shazam Gets an Overhaul.
This article is a series of short reviews over each of the #0 titles that I have read. I am warning you now, there are probably going to be some spoilers in here so read at your own risk.
In Batman #0, which is written by Scott Snyder, a tale is told of a younger Bruce Wayne in a time period where he has not quite yet become Batman but has already started his crusade against crime. It tells a story of him chasing after the Red Hood gang and includes what is probably the first meeting between Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon.
Written by Gregg Hurwitz, The Dark Knight #0 tells the story of Bruce Wayne from the time his parents are murdered until the time he decides to leave the country in search of...something else. During this story, young Bruce goes on a quest looking for the man that killed his parents and finally tracks down Joe Chill, who is a homeless bum. This disappoints Bruce, who thought all this time his parents murder had a deeper meaning.
Another one written by Gregg Hurwitz is Detective Comics #0. The main story in this one is actually my favorite of the 3 Batman titles. It tells the story of Bruce Wayne training in the Himalayas. The side story, which is written by James Tynion is called The Long Wait and tells the story, from Alfred Pennyworth's perspective, about the return of Bruce Wayne from his year's long disappearance and how Alfred had clung to the hope that Bruce would one day return.
Nightwing #0, written by Tom DeFalco, is obviously about Dick Grayson's origin. It tells the story from before his parents are killed in the circus up to the time he "officially" becomes Batman's junior partner, Robin.
Scott Lobdell writes the origin of Tim Drake in Teen Titans #0. Tim bumps into Batman a few times while trying to figure out who he is. His parents end up in the witness protection program and wanting the very best for Tim, they ask Bruce Wayne to look after him. Out of respect for Batman's previous Robin, Jason Todd, Tim dons a completely new costume and decides to go by the name Red Robin.
Scott Lobdell also writes the Red Hood and the Outlaws title so he obviously wrote the #0 which was to be an origin story for Jason Todd. I was really looking forward to this one and although the story writing was good and the story itself was actually really good, I was hoping to see an origin in the manner of getting to see Jason Todd's training. Instead we get a real origin. What made Jason Todd the person he is. It tells his story from his birth up until his "death" and resurrection and tells very little of his time as Robin.
Green Arrow #0 was written by Ann Nocenti. Unfortunately, the Green Arrow title is, in my opinion, one of the most disappointing titles in the New 52 lineup. Mostly because I had such high expectations for what they were going to do with this character as he is one of my favorites. The #0 issue is indicative of this disappointment. It is one of the weakest stories in the #0 series that I have read. It touches on his life as a playboy and touches on his life on the island and touches on him being Green Arrow but really doesn't give much information on him actually becoming Green Arrow.
All Star Western is one of my favorite titles in the New 52 line and I was sure to pick this one up, which is written by Jimmy Palmiottie and Justin Gray. It was very interesting to read about the circumstances of his birth and what his life was like growing up. It also told the story of how he was raised by an Indian tribe and about his life in the Confederate army. Good storytelling. Although I did enjoy the movie Jonah Hex, I would have liked to have seen this story as the basis for that movie instead.
The Flash, to me, is also a disappointing title in the New 52 line and that in and of itself is pretty disappointing. Nevertheless, I had to get the #0 to see what they do with his origin. This one was written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. This one shares the role of weakest story in the #0 series with the Green Arrow #0. This story was really lame and really does not go into the origin of Flash. Instead it just tells a history lesson about pre-Flash Barry Allen. Again, lame. Wasn't impressed at all.