“Detective Comics” #0 takes readers back to Bruce Wayne’s past and shows an important moment in his creation as Batman. Bruce is in the Himalayas looking for Shihan Matsuda, a zen warrior master. Bruce wants to be trained and is eventually taken in. While there, he trains but later finds just as many lessons in his life surrounding his training as in it. Gregg Hurwitz and Tony Daniel work to showcase an idea and while it stumbles over the hurdles of cliche, it eventually crosses the finish line.
The focus of this issue is split between a Training Montage of Bruce becoming a zen warrior and Bruce’s flirtatious encounters with a local shopkeeper’s daughter. These two worlds of Bruce’s are at odds, but finally come together in a way that Bruce doesn’t foresee or appreciate. There is some heart on these pages, which saves this issue. Hurwitz does make readers care about the situations and characters to some degree. However, it comes at the cost of simplicity. Cramming this whole journey into a one-shot could not have been easy and Hurwitz does make the introduction and the pay off all fit decently.
I would say there is no greater crime than rendering Bruce Wayne with a smooth and hair-free chest, but this issue does one worse. It mostly presents a pre-pubescent look for our Dark Knight, but in a few panels there are obvious hairs on his chest. This disparity even occurs on the one page with Bruce having hair and then suddenly looking dolphin smooth. Other than this oversight, Tony Daniel and Pere Perez intertwine their art well.
“Detective Comics” #0 is a very short story of Bruce Wayne’s past. Most of what is presented has been seen before to some degree. A young couple cloud watching is an extreme cliche, but Hurwitz turns it with Bruce seeing a string of pearls in the clouds and brings the moment down in a character specific way. After all of this simple stuff is established, Hurwitz does work to a decent beat at the end. This issue isn’t essential but it’s a nice slice of the man who will become the Bat.