Kudos to James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder for providing adequate infodump for new readers – that, after all, is one of the things these “Zero Issues” are supposed to be for. What they’ve sadly failed to do is make us care about the subject of all this data.
Against the standards Nolan has set himself, Dark Knight Rises doesn’t rise far enough, and must be considered the least of the trilogy, and the worst of all of Nolan’s movies. The problem is that he has said everything he wants to say about Batman in Batman Begins and Dark Knight, and, especially in the latter movie, set the bar very high for himself, and left himself with nowhere to go. Dark Knight redefined what could be achieved in the superhero genre. Dark Knight Rises is merely a good example of that genre, and that’s no longer really good enough.
For those who favour soundbite explanations, this final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes across as a mash-up of David Fincher’s Fight Club and Brecht’s anti-Nazi allegory The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. (Contains spoilers.)