Wednesday, January 7, 2015

*Challenge Review* Graphic Novel - Batman: Zero Year - Dark City by Scott Snyder

If you read most of my blog posts, then you know that this year I am participating in two different reading challenges. The first one is from Popsugar, with 50 different categories that will result in 52 books being read (because one of the categories is a trilogy). The second is a book bingo challenge I found on Thoughts From the Midwest blog that will result in a total of 46 books being read. I feel confident in my ability to finish both of these challenges as there is a fair amount of overlap, and the book bingo is pretty flexible. 

The aspect of these challenges that I figured I would have the most difficult time with was the graphic novel, so I wanted to get that out of the way first. I was never a comic book reader, and that's what a graphic novel really is, just a big comic book, with sections that resemble chapters. This experience has not converted me. 

Genre: Graphic Novel
Published: October 15, 2014
Pages: 240
Ages: 12+
(My Estimate)


Before the Batcave and Robin, The Joker and the Batmobile, there was ZERO YEAR. The Riddler has plunged Gotham City into darkness. How will a young Dark Knight bring his beloved hometown from the brink of chaos and madness and back into the light? This final ZERO YEAR volume collects BATMAN #25-27 and 29-33.


How does a person review a graphic novel? Should I review it like I would a children's book, since there are pictures? Or should I review it like I would a "normal" book because it uses the word "novel." I'm guessing I should probably do a little bit of both. 

The illustrations (is that what they're called in comic books?) were well done, I think, although I had a really hard time dealing with the high and tight on Batman. My exposure to Batman prior to this was entirely through movies and cartoons, but in all of those that I've seen, Batman has had more hair than your average soldier. Talking about it, this seems silly, but it really was a big deal to me while I was reading. Beyond that, the pictures were crisp, and when I remembered that I was actually supposed to be looking at them, they did a pretty good job of helping to tell the story. 

The writing is where I tend to have issues with comic books/graphic novels. Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out which little box I'm supposed to read next, and if you don't read them in the right order, the story doesn't make much sense. I think this is something that may just take practice, because it seemed to get easier to figure out as I got further into the book, but it's not a skill I have any desire to practice because I am just not really a fan of comic books/graphic novels.

Overall I give this book 3 out of 5 stars because I didn't really enjoy it, and had a difficult time reading it due to it's nature, but I am not a normal reader of the genre, so I don't really feel like I am qualified to rate it, so it gets the neutral rating. 

Buy the Book:

Other Categories this book would fit:

A book you can finish in a day
A book with a number in the title
A book set in a different country (technically since I'm in Germany)
A book at the bottom of your to-read list (won it through Goodreads)
A book by an author you've never read before
A book you own but have never read
A book that became a movie (Kind of, I think, maybe)


  1. Oh I hope you give graphic novels a second chance. I read Batman for the challenge as well but I'm familiar with comics. In the past I read Superman, secret identity, which I absolutely adored. I know you didn't ask for recommendations but the walking dead and Scott pilgrim are good ones as well.

  2. I'm actually reading one to my son right now, it's a MegaMan graphic novel that he picked up at the book store because he's five and as far as he's concerned it's just like any of his other picture books. I currently don't understand why Megaman keeps changing colors in the pictures. It's confusing me and I don't like it. - Katie