Stone Washington
Batman Zero Year: Savage America
By Stone Washington
October 15, 2015

"Just a war of the mind. What is war, if not a battle between two strategies?"

~ The Riddler

"Maybe that's what Batman is about. Not winning. But failing, and getting back up. Knowing He'll fail, fail a thousand times, but still won't give up."

~ Batman

Zero Year Savage City-Part 1

The final part of the epic three-part Batman origin trilogy begins with Bruce Wayne waking up on a hospital bed in a mysterious house after the events of the cataclysmic superstorm hit Gotham city. He finds a little boy by the name of Duke Thomas who tells Bruce that he is in his home and that he has been in a comma for nearly a month since the "New Year." But when Bruce is skeptical on how it was still summer, the boy tells him to look out the window. Gazing outside Bruce is horrified to see the entire city covered in a dense foliage of vines much like an unexplored, savage jungle. Cars and buildings are in disrepair and the entire city is surrounded by weather balloons controlled by the Riddler. Duke explains, "Welcome to Zero Year. That's what Mr. Riddler calls it. He says there's just one rule now, get smart or die."

Bruce calls his faithful butler, Alfred and assures him that he is alive and well, after narrowly avoiding the airship crash he was on during the superstorm. Bruce had tossed his Batsuit off just before he lost conscious. Alfred tells him how the entire city is in a dystopian state of disrepair with the flood of the storm activating a chemical stolen by a Wayne botanist turning the city into an overgrown jungle. The border of Gotham city (an island modelled after Manhattan) is irreparable from the floods. The Riddler has flooded all the train tunnels and rigged all the bridges leading in and out of the city with explosives. Alfred explains that the worst of it are the many weather balloons over the skyline filled with deadly chemicals. Bruce concocts that Riddler had stolen all the technology from previous villains, scientists, and socialites. He has taken over the city's power grid and turned off the power, leaving its inhabitants to suffer his revenge and rage.

Despite many citizens of Gotham rebelling against Riddler in the beginning, all uprisings have failed. Bruce admits that he has lost to the Riddler twice before, and speculates on if he will be able to challenge the villain again. Alfred warns him that he will die if he challenges the Riddler and tells him to sneak out of the city through the secret tunnel beneath his old apartment in order to save Gotham from the outside. When Bruce tries to have Duke and his family come with Wayne to escape from Gotham, Duke rebukes the idea and tells him that he will stand his ground. He tells Wayne how the Riddler appears on a large TV screen in midtown every sunset and challenges the people to ask a riddle that he can't answer; if they do he will free the city. Elsewhere in Gotham, it is revealed that the police Lt. Jim Gordon is alive and planning a counterattack against the Riddler. He has secretly called in a group of navy seals, but is shocked when only five drop in by parachute. Elsewhere, miles away the Riddler appears on the large TV screen in midtown.

The Riddler opens up the opportunity for any Gotham citizen to free the city from his control by giving him a riddle he can't answer. When none of the frightened people answer (as many have failed to outsmart him due to the Riddler's genius intellect), Riddler explains his disappointment in how he only sought to make them into the "Prometheans the world needs." He explains how humans are only dominant from animals because of their superior brains assures their survival,

"At this moment we are in need of some outthinking. Rising tides. Dwindling resources Overpopulation. Pan-global conflict. The World's largest economies running on fumes. All I've done is speed up the circumstances."

Elsewhere it is shown that Bruce is in the process of escaping the city through his secret tunnel in the sewers. Suddenly the Riddler detects Gordon and the five navy seals miles away atop a building and surrounds the men with security drones. When the seals offer to give Riddler fifty million non-traceable dollars from the government, he tells him there are no deals in his game and activates a wrecking ball crane that smashes into a large building causing it to fall into other smaller buildings that eventually will crush the building they are currently on. If either of them move the robot drones will open fire.

Suddenly a voice from the shadows orders Gordon to shoot the camera drone, and to not move a muscle afterward. When he does, all the other drones begin opening fire on each other detecting the first thing that moved (themselves). Suddenly a mysterious rocket is fired shooting down a water silo that provides a bridge to a safe building. The men all escape to safety just as the buildings behind them crash into each other. Wondering who just saved them, Gordon reveals their shadowed savior to be none other than Batman (Bruce Wayne), who in spectacular and dramatic fashion, has returned from defeat to save Gotham city.

Zero Year Savage City-Part 2

In an abandoned basement, Batman and Lt. Gordon meet with the former Wayne scientist, Lucius Fox. They discuss possible hiding spots the Riddler could be using to control the city. Since Fox helped design the hacking device Riddler is using, he begins working on a device to trace his signal. After devising a plan, Batman ventures out. As the sun sets, Riddler appears on the TV in Gotham square and challenges anyone to defeat him in a battle of wits. Suddenly Batman riding a motorcycle flies over the crowd of onlookers, sparking amazement amongst the citizens and Riddler, whom all deemed him deceased. Batman declares that Riddler's "Zero Year" scheme ends now.

Elsewhere, Lucius Fox searches for Riddler's signal via computer while Lt. Gordon secretly attempts to hack into the giant TV Riddler uses. To avert attention from this, Batman stalls Riddler with a riddle describing the villain's personal life as a man born with genius intellect who squandered his talents hacking data banks and government safe-blocks, despite working for some of the most powerful people in the world. But why has no one recognized his true talents? Batman answers his own riddle – "Because what he can't see, what he'll never see, is that people notice smart when smart changes the world." Angered by this Riddler attempts to identify Batman as an ex-military solider who had been discharged. When Batman declares him completely wrong, the trap hatch opens in the ground dropping Batman deep underground.

In an abandoned underground parking garage Batman awakens to find himself confronted by two wild lions. As Batman is knocked behind a car by the lions, he shoots a burst of fire at one of the beasts using gasoline from the car and a lighter. He then climbs inside the car with the other lion and uses the small space as leverage to tie the beast up in rope. He then strangles the other lion injured by fire and mocks Riddler on his poor security. As the citizens cheer, Riddler activates a switch that drops all the hundreds of cars in the parking garage. Batman narrowly escapes after Gordon shows him a door out right before the cars hit the ground.

Later, Batman regroups with his Seal team and they plot an attack based off of Fox's ability to triangulate Riddle's signal locating his hideout. Gordon and the five Navy Seals search the sewers while Batman breaks into the Old Wayne Tower where the signal is coming from. Suddenly in the sewers, Gordon finds multiple bombs alerting Batman that it is all a setup and that Riddler has hacked into the navy seals radio signals, alerting an army base to send an airstrike on Gotham. Batman is then surrounded by security robots that prepare to open fire. Using a smoke bomb, Batman escapes to an office only to be surrounded by a drone from outside and more robots from inside. Batman jumps out the window onto the drone and smashes it with an axe, causing the drone and Batman to plummet to the ground. Elsewhere Lucius Fox is pinned to the ground by another robot who damages his hacking technology. Batman intervenes just in time to save Fox and destroy Riddler's robot. Fox gives Batman the latest readout on where the Riddler may be, but Batman chooses another location not on the map. With only forty minutes until an airstrike hits Gotham, Batman ventures out with one guess as to where the Riddler is hiding.

Returning to the Wayne History Museum (from part 1) he yells for Riddler's name. Suddenly out of a hidden door in the Egyptian Sphynx statue, the Riddler emerges wondering how Batman found him. Batman anticipated an obvious hideout being a mysterious creature such as the Sphynx befitting Riddler's interests. Right as Batman attempts to grab the villain, Riddler activates a laser security trap surrounding the Dark Knight.

Zero Year Savage City-Part 3

Riddler announces his final game for Batman where he will ask him twelve Riddles during the 16 minutes Batman has before the airstrike hits Gotham. If Batman answers any riddle incorrectly a deadly toxin balloon somewhere over the city will explode amongst the populace. If Batman answers correctly, the security laser in front of him will disappear. The first riddle is, "I am a house without the head of head, knitted deep within the trees. A head that lies without its eyes, stitched silently to tease." Batman correctly answers: "a louse" and moves closer to the Riddler. Meanwhile Gordon flags the three jets hovering over Gotham to standby, using a large Batman sign. Elsewhere Riddler intensifies his questioning after Batman successfully deciphers multiple riddles, "My greatest of my strengths is that I know my worth. I hug myself so tightly at every birth."

Batman answers: "a blade" which Riddler indicates is wrong, as the correct answer was "knot," referring to the Gordian knot from antiquity, one of the world's most famous, unsolvable riddles. Noticing Riddler's security shutting down (courtesy of Lucius Fox blocking the network) Batman walks forward, correcting Riddler that in fact it was Alexander the Great that used a blade to cut through the knot when he couldn't solve it. Batman then punches Riddler down and demands that he turns on the power to the city. Riddler reveals a device that can turn on the power if only attached to a host generating 1,000 volts of electricity. Batman beats the Riddler into unconsciousness and uses a defibrillator to shock the device and himself with electricity, just as the jets prepare to bomb the city outside. Later it is revealed that the power has been restored to Gotham city, and Batman has been revived by his butler Alfred. The jets circling the city are relieved and fly away. The day is saved, Riddler is locked in Arkham Asylum, and the "Zero Year" has ended.

Message for Modern Day: Animals vs. People

The final Batman origin story carries many powerful political and policy correlations to modern day sectors of American society. The Riddler represents the Progressive liberalized education in the nation. Like virtually 100% of college professors, he carries the evolution atheistic views of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), believing that men have evolved from primates, and that the only superior trait a human has compared to animals is a brain. Just how the Liberal-Progressive Academy throws students into a lion's den filled with enormous tuition prices, rising costs of living, while indoctrinating their captive audience with Marxist-Socialist based education (i.e., politicized propaganda), allowing only the "fittest" students to survive (i.e., those students who most effectively regurgitate the Socialist propaganda back to their Marxist Professors).

Riddler threw Gotham into savage jungle, stripping Gothamites of the freedoms and liberties originally allowed. Like modern day pseudo-scientists and demagogic politicians such as President Barack Obama incessantly propagating the Big Lie of anthropogenic (man-caused) Climate Change, Riddler believes the world is ending by the results of man (i.e. Global Warming fueled by pollution of excessive carbon dioxide emissions) and seeks to hasten the end by hijacking the city and forcing people to survive in chaos, just like the Democrat Socialist Party in Washington D.C are exploiting the suffering of We the People and our major economic problems in the nation – i.e. America's $211 trillion national debt, providing American's unsustainable healthcare-Obamacare, increasing income taxes to greater levels, etc....

Batman, Lt. Gordon, and Lucius Fox represent true knowledge strengthened by the laws of nature and of nature's God, the antithesis of Darwin's psychotic Evolution Atheism, a self-serving propagandistic Humanist worldview Progressive educators preach as the laws governing the world. Like the rebelling Batman, We the People must rebel against the hypocrisy of the Left which continually extracts our freedoms and adds the powers we allow them to the overstuffed Big Brother government. Can we as a nation unite against the tyrannical methods of Progressive Democrats? Or will we remain a savage nation, fighting to survive on our own dwindling freedoms as the Left watches us devolve into the anarchy natural selection and nihilism of survival of the fittest – the uncontrollable animal state of nature Progressives believe all Americans really are enslaved to?

© Stone Washington


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Stone Washington

Stone Washington is a PhD student in the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University. Stone is employed as a Research Fellow for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, focusing on economic policy as part of the Center for Advancing Capitalism. Previously, he completed a traineeship with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also a Research Assistant at the Manhattan Institute, serving as an extension from his time in the Collegiate Associate Program. During this time, he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Clemson's Department of Political Science and served as a WAC Practicum Fellow for the Pearce Center for Professional Communication. Stone is also a member of the Steamboat Institute's Emerging Leaders Council.

Stone possesses a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Clemson University, a Juris Master from Emory University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Clemson University. While studying at Emory Law, Stone was featured in an exclusive JM Student Spotlight, highlighting his most memorable law school experience. He has completed a journalism fellowship at The Daily Caller, is an alumnus of the Young Leader's Program at The Heritage Foundation, and served as a former student intern/Editor for Decipher Magazine. Some of Stone's articles can be found at, which often provide a critical analysis of prominent works of classical literature and its correlations to American history and politics. Stone is a member of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, and has written a number of policy-related op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The College Fix, Real Clear Policy, and City Journal. In addition, Stone is listed in the Marquis Who's Who in America and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Friend him on his Facebook page, also his Twitter handle: @StoneZone47 and Instagram. Email him at


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