This morning, DC Comics answered their question. Kicking off this spring, BATMAN: ZERO YEAR is an epic and grand 11-issue arc that chronicles the untold details of the Dark Knight’s origin story within DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.
“It’s not ‘let’s redo the origin.’ It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in the New 52,” series writer Scott Snyder explained. “We tried to preserve as much of Batman’s history as we could and keep what we could of this history intact. It’s ‘The Zero Year,’ the one that no one has told the story of before. We see how Bruce became the Batman, built the cave, faced off with his first super villain … It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in The New 52. It builds up the mythology.”
Illustrated by series artist Greg Capullo, BATMAN: ZERO YEAR begins in June’s BATMAN #21. Attached for inclusion in your coverage, please find Capullo’s cover for BATMAN #21. Please credit this image as courtesy of DC Entertainment. For more information, please visit DC Comics’ official blog, THE SOURCE.
That does seem excessive. But the fact that it's an odd number suggests that he's got it planned where it needs that much, and it's not just a "Oh, let's do it for a year" or "Oh, let's do the right amount for a trade paperback." I thought Court of Owls required a strange number -- I think it was 10 -- where it had to be broken up in two TPBs, with a few other odd issues throw into the second one to round it out. But I when I read them, it read like it was written organically, and felt like the right amount. Upshot is that I think Snyder writes the length he feels his story needs, not for commercial or other reasons.
Geez, Cap, now you've just about convinced me to give it a shot...