‘Batman’ must survive a ‘Savage City’ in ‘Zero Year’ finale

(CBR) With “Batman” #30, out later this month from DC Comics, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reach the third act of the year-long “Zero Year” story, a thorough presentation of Batman's origin in the reconfigured world of The New 52.

It's not going to be an easy race to finish line for Bruce Wayne. Like the first two installments — “Secret City” and “Dark City” — the “Zero Year” finale runs four issues, this time subtitled “Savage City.” Using Poison Ivy's technology, The Riddler has flung Gotham City into a disastrous state, in an attempt to truly test the Dark Knight's detective skills — and as an expression of some real-world fears.

CBR News spoke with Snyder this past weekend at Emerald City Comicon, to discuss the “terrifying” prospect of departing from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's seminal “Batman: Year One” origin story, how Capullo helped him overcome the anxieties brought about by writing this story, what to expect from the “Zero Year” finale and the “transformative” story he's planned as a follow-up.

CBR News: Scott, the fact that you had so much room to tell the “Zero Year” story in the main “Batman” title is a rare thing — it wasn't its own miniseries, it was right there in the flagship. How much did you take advantage of that opportunity to tell a full year of stories?

Scott Snyder: I worry almost too much. I was worried that fans would think it was self-indulgent, or drop it after three or four issues, but I really felt it was the only way to do the story — in this modular way, where it would look like it was very long, but it would be very fast paced. Four issues in the “Secret City” section, four issues in “Dark City,” and then four issues in the “Savage City” element, where everything is overgrown and post-apocalyptic.

I kept thinking, “God, we have to just go for it and do it the way it's supposed to be done. I'm sure the sales will go down terribly.” DC was very generous with us, and luckily, the sales have been great. The response has been good. I feel so deeply, deeply grateful to the readers of “Batman” for letting us do this and being supportive.

Nothing I've ever done, work-wise, has caused me as much anxiety as this story. I couldn't be prouder of it, but touching that material is so nerve-wracking. Doing the Bat flying through the window in a different way, or young Bruce in the alley — you get paralyzed. It gets very terrifying. The fact that fans have been so supportive and vocally positive about this story really, really means the world to me and Greg. I know I've said it, but I mean it honestly, on my kids' heads — it really means the world to us. I hope that we've taken full advantage of it. I feel like we have. I think 12 issues is as much as anybody can stomach.

And some were extra-sized issues.

Yeah, the anchor issues of each arc are oversized. This section definitely has some big moments coming. The last issue will be a little oversized, as well.