So, as you know, I have not been buying Batman since Jim Gordon took over the role. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like the idea, and I like it even less with Powers Industries and the GCPD following his every move. There ARE stories where it KINDA works, like in the last issue of Batgirl, but otherwise, not so much. However, I HAVE been following along with what’s going on, and I know what was revealed in today’s issue regarding how Bruce can still be alive and yet not have retaken the role of Batman. If you haven’t read today’s issue and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading this article and go read the comic. Otherwise, here’s what’s happened.
Apparently, Batman DID die in that cave with the Joker. However, his body was regenerated by the chemicals that Joker had used to regrow his face, give himself temporary Wolverine-esque healing powers, and trick people into thinking he was immortal. So, all’s good, right? Well, the thing is, the chemicals may have dropped the ball on one point. See, they brought back Bruce Wayne. They did NOT, however, bring back Batman. Right now, Bruce believes what the public believes: That he FUNDED Batman for years. He’s not sure exactly what happened to him recently, but he remembers pretty much all of his assets being taken up by the government following Batman Eternal, and that he’s pretty much broke. That’s why he’s currently working at a teen centre with Julie Madison: He wants to continue to do what he can to help people, but he’s also having to rebuild his life from ground zero. He’s also told Jim Gordon that he can’t help him figure out how to stop Powers from tracking his every move, saying that’s not his life anymore.
As we find out, Alfred is well aware of what’s happened, and Superman’s figured it out too. However, there’s kinda this problem in the way of them telling him the truth: Even if they told him the truth and he put the cowl back on, his training to become Batman is gone. His body might be able to do the job, but not his mind. He’d likely get himself killed, only this time there’d be no way to bring him back. Now, as Superman brought up, Bruce always has a plan, and must’ve had something in mind in case he couldn’t continue to operate as Batman. Problem is, said contingency plan was the cloning machine from Batman: Detective Comics #27 and Future’s End: Batman #1, and he never got it to work. So, until they find a way to restore his memories, the real Batman’s dead, and he’s not coming back.
So yeah, this is a good explanation for why Bruce isn’t Batman right now, and presents a decent dilemma for how to bring him back. Mind you, Bruce having amnesia isn’t exactly a new story, but whatever, it nonetheless works here… … …Here’s where the problem is: Why the hell did they let Powers and the GCPD create a new Batman that worked for them? See, you’ve got I dunno how many different operatives in Batman Incorporated, all of whom were trained to operate using Batman’s methodology. Why couldn’t you just PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THEM?! What is the point of having so many characters that work with Batman, that know how he operates, that were trained by him to BE Batman in different regions of the world, if you’re not gonna use them in situations like this?! Hell, to the best of my knowledge, Superman knows that Dick Grayson is alive! Call him and tell him that Bruce has amnesia and needs someone to stand in for him! There is no reason to leave this up to Gordon to deal with the weight of all of this!
Anyway, that’s the plot hole in this story. Whether or not this is a mistake on Scott Snyder’s part is up to debate, though, since he could’ve overlooked all of this or is simply having to ignore it for the sake of the story. And frankly, I honestly don’t know if Jimbo becoming Batman is really his idea, or if it, combined with Superman’s new status quo and Wonder Woman’s new look, are part of an ill-fated attempt by DC to copy what Marvel has done with their big three. In addition, Jim Gordon becoming Batman could also be an attempt to promote the show Gotham, where he is oftentimes considered the main protagonist…which I don’t even understand why you’d wanna do that, since Gotham is a piece of shit show that doesn’t even understand its own fucking mythos. Regardless, this plot hole makes things problematic at best, and hopefully, Snyder addresses this issue in-story sooner than later.
Before I call it a day on this post, though, there’s one other thing I wanna address, concerning the new enemy, Mr. Bloom. A theory I’ve heard about the villain is that he’s actually the Joker, who was likewise brought back to life by the chemicals in the cave and is lacking parts of his personality. I REALLY hope that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, a similar story could be done to bring Joker back while also erasing his memory of Batman’s identity and possibly bringing back more…charming aspects of his personality beyond being a simple horror villain. However, I’d much rather that be done much LATER from now, and have Mr. Bloom be his own unique character that simply represents the kind of foe Joker was to Bruce in his relation to Gordon. Not to mention, bringing both Bruce and Joker back so quickly would make Endgame seem so small in the grand scheme of things. Mind you, Mr. Bloom is kind of a dumb name for a supervillain we’re supposed to take seriously, and we’ve already done the plant-based rogue for Batman, but he nonetheless has potential as his own character.
Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say about this. Hopefully, we get some good answers pretty soon. Ja né!
So, I promised I’d do this. Even though I’m not reading Batman from here on out due to my own personal dislike of the idea of Jim Gordon being Batman, I nonetheless have great respect for Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and want to encourage good reading. So, here’s the preview for Batman #41.
- The all-new Batman makes his debut! Who is he, and what happens next? Find out here as a new era begins in Gotham City!
Also, here’s a link to an interview Scott Snyder did regarding the issue.
So, let’s get the Batman #40 preview out of the way first, because I got a lot to talk about afterward.
- The finale of “Endgame” is here! Batman risks everything against The Joker! Who will laugh last?
Now that that’s outta the way, I should probably clarify something I talked about this past Monday. If you haven’t heard, following the DC event Convergence, there’s gonna be a massive change to the Bat-related books. Long story short, Bruce Wayne is apparently being replaced by someone in a GCPD-owned Batman mech suit of sorts. And, according to information that was leaked from the Free Comic Book Day special, Divergence, the person replacing him is none other than the individual guessed and feared it would be: James Gordon, and for some reason, he’s apparently shaved off his mustache and has a mohawk. WHAT?! O_O
Okay, real talk: Of all the points where they could potentially do something like this with Jim Gordon, now is probably one of the better ones. Why? Because he’s not Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon anymore. That position is now held by Maggie Sawyer. Why does that factor into this at all? Because otherwise, we’d have him as a stand-in for Batman AND be Commissioner. And let’s be honest, that’d be stupid as all hell. On top of that, this move could conceivably be where Jim finally finds out about Babs being Batgirl. And, again, of all times where he could find out “OMG, you’ve been a costumed vigilante this whole time and never told me?!”, this is the best time for it, because she can literally just look at him in the robo Batsuit and go “…Really?”
With all of that said, the question I’m sure everyone that reads my blog and has heard me go on and on about how much I love Scott Snyder’s Batman and how great it is, to the point where I’m sure I’ve made someone’s ear bleed, is probably “So, are you gonna be reading this?”…….No. No, I’m not gonna be reading this. Why? Because just because this is the best timing if you were to do this, that doesn’t mean you should do it at all. And while I’m sure it’ll be well written, because it IS Scott Snyder after all, it nonetheless is not a concept that clicks with me personally. And I don’t know whose idea this was, be it Snyder or DC higher-ups. Frankly, either way wouldn’t shock me. And I don’t want you to think that I’m some Bruce Wayne purist who can’t see anyone else in the cowl. I liked the idea of Dick Grayson standing in when he did, especially in his team-up with Damian as Robin. I liked the idea of Flashpoint universe Batman being Thomas Wayne (though not so much in Earth 2). And do I even need to bring up Terry McGinnis? But Jim Gordon? REALLY? I’d sooner read about Tim Drake as Batman, albeit probably not in the upcoming Batman Beyond book. But the point is, of all the people I can see as a potential replacement/stand-in as Batman for Bruce Wayne, Gordon’s near the bottom of the list.
So, yeah, as much as it pains me to do this, because Scott Snyder is still one of my favourite writers, I’m gonna be dropping Batman after next week’s issue. Will it be forever? Probably not, mainly because I don’t see this change lasting for too long. I give it a year tops. And y’know, it’s funny that this is happening, given my previous statements regarding the All-New, All-Different Avengers book, and how, when it came to this book, you could either get on board or get out of the way. Well, this is me saying I’m getting out of the way. That said, though, because Scott Snyder IS still one of my favourite writers, I will still be posting links to the exclusive previews for Batman, since I’m sure others might wish to remain on board with this new direction.
Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. Lemme know what you think about all of this, and we’ll see how this pans out in the months to come. Ja né!