Writer- Scott Snyder
Artist- Greg Capullo
Jim Gordon’s adventures as the new Batman in Gotham continue in the latest installment of the Superheavy story arc. Whenever a long running title gets a new status quo, it’s always a curiosity as to how long before readership starts craving the series in its original form. While I know that Bruce Wayne will eventually don the cowl again before too long, Scott Snyder has continued to provide an interesting enough story to keep Gordon in the driver’s seat a while longer, and fandom at bay.
At issue’s open, Gordon is still fighting off the tandem of Mr. Bloom and the robotic armor he uses in his guise as Batman, currently under the villainous Bloom’s control. Severely outmatched, and thrown through a roof at the spinning blades of a news helicopter, Gordon finds himself on the wrong end of a severe beating. In another continuing storyline, the hyper amnesia suffering Bruce Wayne saves one of the Robins, Duke from The Penguin and his men. In return, Duke does his best to try to jog Wayne’s memory in terms of who he really is, or was. As he begins to touch upon the memories of his life as Gotham’s Dark Knight, a familiar face to readers but not Bruce in his current condition shows up. Returning to the main action, Gordon regains the upper hand momentarily in his battle with Bloom, but the drug pedaling ghoul proves to have more surprises in store for the Bat.
Snyder maintains a strong A story, as Gordon and Bloom’s fight plays out. Despite being seen in the Batman title in a small capacity for some time, the Duke aspect feels unexplained, as most of his story regarding his adopting of the Robin mantle has taken place in We Are Robin, a different title that has not crossed into this series yet. It feels a bit jammed in, yet his interactions with Bruce are a good way of helping the former hero regain his true persona. Greg Capullo puts on another good showing, particularly in the grotesquerie that is Bloom. All thin limbs and distorted hands and feet, the character is what the best villains in Batman’s rogues gallery are, a freak. Capullo also excels at action sequences, as the entirety of the opening fight scene is quite dynamic, yet very clear in what is happening. Too often artists with a lesser storytelling sense make sequences like that too muddled to see what is going on.
This issue opens a big door to the foregone conclusion that Bruce Wayne will at the very least remember his time as Batman. I for one hope that Snyder keeps his return to the title role a slow burn, as Gordon has grown on me in the suit. No, he is not our Batman, but in the 75 year history of the character, a few stories featuring a different man under the mask have produced interesting moments. Not to mention that getting to see a longtime supporting character like Gordon in a different light can only add to his appeal. And I kind of dig that capeless black suit, but that could be just me.
3.5 Rookies of 5