Given the seminal "Year One" by Frank Millar I was slightly dubious about the decision to have a "Year Two" work set immediately after it.
This story revolves around the return of Gotham's previous terrifying vigilante "The Reaper" and takes in major events concerning both Wayne and the Batman, such as his parent's murderer and new-found love.
The Reaper provides a challenging enemy and an interesting comparison given his means over the Batman's. I found his rhetoric a touch repetitive so it was hard to become as easily involved and interested in such a character as is it with The Joker or Two-Face.
What I didn't like about the approach of the story was how lightly it handled the hugely important issues in Wayne's life.
The meeting with (and unexpected partnership with) his parent's murderer, Joe Chill. Batman's taking up of firing arms, a huge taboo given the history of his fighting style, and of course his hatred for them given the trauma of his childhood. The love interest, which drives Wayne to give up fighting crime. The eventual showdown between Wayne and Chill.
I feel it's all handled too lightly and given neither enough thought nor suspence.
The artwork works well with the Reaper's daunting appearance and acts of savage brutality, and Batman has still to quite refine all of his supreme skills in crime fighting (witness his first contest with The Reaper) which reflects the setting and timing of Year Two.
However faithful fans may be slightly disappointed and may prefer to read the follow-ups by Loeb, Sale, Kane and Godfrey; "The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory", both of which evoke the darker sterner tone which suits the Batman so well.