…So, I was reading DC Comics’ solicitations for March 2016, and I could not help but notice what’s planned for Batman #50. Put simply, he’s baaaaaaaack. 🙂
- Batman has returned to Gotham City! In this extra-sized conclusion to Snyder and Capullo’s epic story “Superheavy,” Bruce Wayne returns to the cape and cowl to battle Mr. Bloom alongside Jim Gordon for the fate of the city they both love.
…Well, it was an interesting break, but I think I’m ready to hop back into the book I loved. Although, this does leave me with a few questions. Specifically, I wonder what this means for Jim Gordon. Is he giving up the superhero biz, or will he continue to carry the cowl? Because my problem, really, is with him being THE Batman. However, I think I’d be alright with him being A Batman. In fact, they could even continue to have Detective Comics be his book while Bruce is the main protagonist for Scott Snyder’s Batman. I’m just saying, if Marvel can have two Hawkeyes and like a half-dozen Spider-Men running around, there’s more than enough room in Gotham City for two Batmen. Plus, it’s not like he’s doing anything else right now.
Also, do I even need to get started with how deep-shit fired Alfred is now that Bruce has his memories back? Let’s see, he lied to Bruce by omission by not telling him he was Batman, he let the GCPD and Powers Industries try to take over Batman’s job and nearly arrest all his allies, he let Jim Gordon go out there night after night and nearly get himself killed, and oh yes, he started a group of kids dressed as Robins to fight criminals without proper training and has already gotten at least a couple of them killed. Good job, Alfie. -_-
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this. Lemme know what you think, and hopefully the wait til March won’t feel TOO long. Ja né!
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, 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!
…It sucks. Ja né!
Actually, that’s not really fair, especially because I can look at everyone in the trailer and can instantly tell they are trying so hard to make us care and like this. It’s failing epically, but they’re trying so hard that it’s actually kinda tragic. And then I see a remake of the trailer with Christopher Reeve and Adam West in place of Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. And I don’t know if that edit was done because the person just wanted to do it for fun, or they legitimately thought that Reeve and West would look better than Cavill and Affleck. Well, if it’s the latter, and I really hope it isn’t, I have this to say: You’re failing to miss the bigger problem. Yes, Reeve and West are legendary as those characters, and the more bright and shining costume for Superman DEFINITELY looks better than the one Cavill’s wearing. However, you can stick all the Reeve and West you want in this trailer, but it will not improve it so long as the overall tone is kept intact, and THAT is where the problem lies. And what’s funny is that I was actually gonna skip out on giving my thoughts and opinions on this trailer, but seeing that edit made me realize all the problems with it all over again, and I had to get it out.
First off, before I go too deep in what’s wrong with the trailer, I’ll go one step better than some people are willing to go in terms of what’s good: I thought Ben Affleck looked AWESOME in this trailer. He looks dark and wounded, not just from the usual standpoint of Bruce Wayne’s tragic past, but as someone who, if we can trust background info on this movie, has been operating as Batman for years now. And he looks great in both of the Batsuits, which also look AWESOME. The main one he wears looks dark and gritty, which Batman works well with, and having the shorter ears was definitely a plus. The armoured suit also looks pretty cool, and I gotta say, it’s nice to see a live-action Batsuit that has default lens built into the cowl.
So, yes, Batman looks awesome in this, as I knew he would………and therein lies a big part of the problem: Batman looks great and very faithful to the character, Superman doesn’t. And here’s where I KNEW they were gonna screw this up. Superman still looks dark as shit, when you have these two characters who, in appearance, should be polar opposites look like they both get their costumes from the same shop, that’s a problem. Do I even need to bring THIS up?
Oh, but don’t think that they didn’t find a way to screw up Batman in this trailer just because Affleck looks awesome. What was that truly inspiring dialogue Batman had for Superman in this movie? “Do you bleed?…You WILL.” WOW, DC. WOW, Warner Bros. The ONE GUY you knew how to market, and you still found a way to fuck it up. Bravo, dear friends, you are truly the corn of the crap. And on top of that, there’s the voice. It’s just WRONG, in every conceivable way. Like, the reason I always bought it with Bale is because he’s supposed to be a younger, more inexperienced Batman who uses dark, growly voices and tries to sound more openly threatening than just being subtly intimidating because he’s still new to the job. Mind you, that only went as far as Dark Knight. Dark Knight Rises, it was eight years later, and he was still doing this shit. Affleck, however, is supposed to be an older Batman who has been doing this for many years, and yet he’s still doing THE VOICE. So, for those wondering who to blame the continuously worsening voice that Christian Bale used in the Dark Knight Trilogy on, I think you’ve got your answer.
And then there’s the bit of what I am assuming (I’m hoping to God I’m wrong for reasons I’ll make clear in a moment) to be the Batwing blowing up a car and presumably the guy standing next to it. Y’know, even ignoring the rule about how Batman shouldn’t kill people, because they clearly didn’t give a shit about that when Supes snapped Zod’s neck, there’s a problem at play: I was under the assumption that Batman was going up against Superman because he felt he was too dangerous, regardless of if his intentions are good or not. However, if that’s Batman, BATMAN, killing a man in an explosion, then clearly, they BOTH have the same reckless, dangerous approach! So why are they even fighting?!
Then there’s stuff about the statue of Superman with “FALSE GOD” spray painted onto it, analysts going into detail about what he is or should be doing with his powers, and the big one to me, the military guys with what appear to be Superman logos on their uniforms kneeling to the Man of Steel…I’m not gonna go into that too much, mainly because Angry Joe pretty much already said everything I could think to say about it, which you should totally go check out. It’s a really good analysis of the trailer, both good and bad points. Although, I DID consider that another possibility, besides this being extremists taking Superman’s status to levels beyond what he personally wants and then having what they do pinned on him by Lex Luthor and the media, is that this COULD be a dream sequence. This could be Batman having nightmares and worrying about where Superman is taking the world. And really, Batman DOES kinda have that paranoia about him where I could conceivably see him worrying over that. I’d need more than just that to justify a confrontation between the two, but it’d be a start at least.
Getting back to Angry Joe’s take on the trailer, though, I will say that, yes, it is possible that this trailer has been doctored up a bit to make this movie seem potentially darker than it could conceivably be. However, with all due love and respect for Joe Vargas, there’s one little problem I think you’ve kinda overlooked: That would imply that the people in charge of making this movie, as well as the cinematic universe they’re attempting to create from it, have any idea what they’re doing, and I think that they’ve conclusively proven that they don’t. I asked the question “Why are they even fighting?” if they apparently are so frigging similar in this movie. Is it because Superman’s a powerful figure and that extremists might be taking his persona, emblem, and status, and doing the wrong thing with them? Yeah, because no one has EVER done that with Batman’s. The Dark Knight, a movie that one can actually make argument for being the best Goddamn superhero movie of all time, which YOU, Warner Bros. and DC, were the ones that fucking MADE IT, had one of its first scenes feature Batman having to confront copycat vigilantes that were taking his attempt to inspire others to fight injustice and going the wrong way with it. Does Superman show up to put the beating on Batman for that? No. Why? Well, for one thing, Superman’s not that naive nor stupid. But for another, he wasn’t in that movie, because they decided to do more than a single movie to establish Batman. Gosh, kinda feels like they shoulda done that with Superman too, instead of making the sequel to Man of Steel be a launching pad for a cinematic universe because DC and Warner Bros. want to compete with Marvel Studios. And it’s COSTING THEM. It’s costing them, because they’re making these decisions without really thinking them out. They have, as the launching pad for their cinematic universe, a movie about Superman and Batman fighting for reasons I don’t totally get, while also having Wonder Woman as a supporting character, and featuring cameos by Aquaman and Cyborg, and at some point, we find out Lex Luthor’s the villain they need to fight. That’s a lot for one movie, especially one that’s just supposed to be the prologue for Justice League. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING.
So, in closing, this trailer sucked in all the ways I feared it would suck, which tells me that the movie is going to suck in all the ways I fear it will suck. And if WB and DC doesn’t figure that out, then their entire cinematic universe will suck. But hey, I suppose it could be a lot worse, right? I mean, we could have Superman without his cape with a military cut and shades of a beard alongside Jim Gordon with a mohawk and no mustache wearing an armoured GCPD Batsuit. But no one would ever be stupid enough to write a story like tha-
……..Y’know, I’m not 100% sure, but I think I kinda hate DC nowadays. -_-
Oh, and is anyone else sick to death of the Hans Zimmer horn yet? lol
So, it is Wednesday, so naturally I went to Heroes Beacon, and have returned to tell you all about…
Regarding what I said last week, I’m still looking over which books I’ll be continuing to buy into next year and which ones I won’t. Pretty sure I’m dropping The Movement, for reasons I gave before, and POSSIBLY Supergirl, since apparently they’re going to be turning her Red Lantern, possibly permanently. Haven’t committed completely to a decision on that one. Either way, though, that change isn’t coming for a while, so the book is still in the safe zone. Two books I can safely say I WON’T be dropping anytime soon (unless something REALLY dumb happens, and I’ll get to that later) are the two I bought today. So, let’s take a look at ’em, starting with Batman #26.
So, apparently Lucius‘ heel turn at the end of last issue was actually a fake-out. He’d actually injected Bruce with a vaccine for Doctor Death‘s serum. The two start to make their escape, after Bruce blows Death down a chamber with the force of a jet aircraft (See Edna? It happens whether you wear capes or not, lol), but apparently even that’s not to beat the guy, who comes back and nearly shatters Bruce Wayne‘s skull. Thankfully, James Gordon is on the scene and says, and I love this quote, “Step away from the billionaire and put your claws in the air”. However, after tending to Bruce’s head, something I think they should do more often, Bruce doesn’t seem too happy to be saved by Gordon and isn’t willing to share info. And here’s the return of my one problem with this part of Zero Year: Jim Gordon. Apparently, in this interpretation, he and his partner took pay-offs for protection, and Jim himself has some kind of secret involving the Crime Alley shooting. Depending on how this goes, this may just screw the idea of Gordon, in that he is supposed to be the one cop in Gotham you cannot buy off and cannot be corrupted. Between this and Batgirl: Wanted, which is thankfully over, I get the feeling that DC is just crapping all over poor Jim Gordon. At this point, I don’t even blame Scott Snyder or Gail Simone for this anymore, this HAS to be higher-ups in DC doing this crap. That said, while I didn’t buy Batgirl #26, I did READ it, and thankfully Gail kind of salvaged him a bit in that book, and I expect Scott will find a way around this too. Otherwise, rest of this comic is frigging great, Doctor Death makes a great villain for the second arc of Zero Year, and we keep flashing back to a death chamber in the Middle East where I’m assuming Bruce, prior to returning to Gotham City, is locked up, and I know this ties in somehow, I just have no clue as to how. lol
Nightwing #26 was awesome. Remember the psychotic mimic woman from earlier, around the time when Nightwing first came to Chicago? Well, she’s stealing anti-psychotics. Frankly, I don’t know why doctors aren’t forcing her to take anti-psychotics, but she’s stealing them illegally, so Nightwing tries to stop her. Oh, and she’s calling herself Marionette now. Thing about her is, as an expert mimic, she’s able to replicate Nightwing’s acrobatics with freaking ease, meaning the best advantage in Dick’s arsenal is being used against him, and any plans he has to use his acrobatic skill against this enemy is out the window. That’s a great match-up! That’s a great scenario to put him in! So, let’s screw that up by having the Mad Hatter show up and reveal that he made Marionette who she is. Okay, to be fair, it’s not a for certain screw-up, provided that Mad Hatter sticks to the background and have Marionette be the one who takes Dick on directly. Otherwise, moving Nightwing out of Gotham makes no sense if they aren’t going to have him build his own rogues gallery of non-Gotham villains. Oh, and apparently we’ve just decided to forget all about how Mad Hatter fridged that one love interest of Bruce’s that nobody cared about until she was HORRIFICALLY MURDERED? Yeah, those were good times. Ugh. Sorry, if it seems like I’m crapping on this book, I’m really not. I just disagree with the decision to bring in Mad Hatter, especially so soon after THAT arc in Batman: The Dark Knight. The rest of the book is awesome, and I REALLY hope it’s sticking around, despite rumours we’ve all been hearing regarding Nightwing.
That’s it for this week. Check in week to see my looks at Adjectiveless X-Men, Batman and Two Face, Red Sonja, and more. Ja né!
- 10 Crazy & Obvious Theories About the Batman Eternal Teaser (comicbooked.com)
- RUMOR: Dick Grayson (Nightwing) To Appear In BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (comicbookmovie.com)
- ‘Batman: Zero Year’: Scott Snyder talks Doctor Death, previews 26 (herocomplex.latimes.com)
- This Week’s Essential Comics: 12/09/13 (comicvine.com)
- Scott Snyder Teases new Bat-Character (comicvine.com)
- Should ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Include Dick Grayson’s Nightwing? (screenrant.com)
- Nightwing joins the growing DC TV universe of Arrow (io9.com)
- COMICS: BATMAN #28 Becomes BATMAN #29 & Harper Row Is NIGHTWING? (comicbookmovie.com)
- Adam Driver Addresses the Rumors He Might Be Nightwing in BATMAN vs. SUPERMAN (collider.com)
- Exclusive: BATMAN #26 Preview (nerdist.com)
So, I was at Heroes’ Beacon today (the shop where I buy my comics), and I got some awesome books, so let’s take a minute to talk about…
Now, as I tend to do many times when one book in particular is just a huge flipping deal, I’m gonna cover it on its own, and then do the others in a second post. With that said, let’s take a look at Batman #24!
This issue kinda marks the halfway point for Zero Year. Not necessarily that it’s halfway done in terms of number of issues, but from a storyline perspective, the first half is done, that being dealing with the Red Hood Gang and becoming Batman. And yes, we do see Bruce Wayne in his first (in the New 52 canon, anyway) Bat suit, in all of its purple-gloved glory! XD And snark aside, I felt they really did a good job of bringing back the classic Batman costume and modernizing it. In fact, the reveal is done in a two-page spread, where Batman is swinging with a Red Hood in a pose meant to harken back to the cover of Detective Comics #27, AKA Batman’s first appearance.
In the Batcave, Bruce and Alfred begin piecing together a plot by Red Hood One, which seems to be slightly rushed with the appearance of the Batman. However, they’re still lacking on some details, so Alfred suggests Bruce go to see Philip, who is overjoyed to see Bruce alive. Philip admits the Red Hood Gang got to him, and while he’s had enough of Red Hood One’s shit, when he wanted to go to the police, the gang kinda branded RH347 on his chest, thus linking him to them. However, he does give Bruce access to the information he needs, and he and Alfred quickly deduce Red Hood One’s plan. However, while Alfred says Batman has to stop them, Bruce replies that Batman can’t, that there’s only one man who can stop the Red Hood Gang this time: Bruce Wayne.
Bruce decides to reveal himself as being alive…again, this time through an impromptu press conference, Commissioner Loeb deciding to send Jim Gordon down to check it out, and here’s where we get something awesome. Bruce asks everyone watching at home why they love Gotham City. And really, when you read Batman comics, you have to wonder why ANYONE would love Gotham. Even without the super-villains, it’s still Hell on Earth. There’s gangbangers, the price of living comfortably is insane, there’s too much rain, and it just seems to bring out the worst in so many people. So why would anyone stay there? For Bruce, the answer is simple: People come to Gotham to become something MORE. Gotham City challenges the people living there to make themselves more than they are. It dares them to become better, and does everything it can to stop them, and if one can take all it can dish out, they become something more as a result.
Anyway, once the speech is over, Bruce points to the building he’s been standing in front of all along, and reveals it to be the Red Hood Gang’s hidden base: A.C.E. Chemical. Red Hood One is creating a flesh-eating poison that they’re going to unleash upon the city, Having given away their position, the Red Hood Gang decide to take out Wayne, but in the confusion of them shooting rockets at him and the GCPD getting involved, Bruce manages to get inside. Red Hood One finds him and holds him at gun-point, but Bruce literally tells him he’s “so full of #$%”, that his concept of ‘life is meaningless if you can die at any time’ is crap, since what matters most is what you do in the time you have. Red Hood One has heard enough and is ready to kill Bruce, but the lights go out, and as can be seen from above in a GCPD helicopter, the whole area has blacked out, the outline of which now resembling a bat. Sure enough, as the lights come back on, Batman kicks the crap out of the entire Red Hood Gang, all the while Red Hood One watches from the shadows, his eyes fixated on the Dark Knight.
While Batman deals with the grunts, and impressively so for a guy only in his first year as a crime-fighter, Red Hood One takes aim at him, but is caught by a bullet from another Red Hood bouncing off his helmet. Red Hood One straight up executes Red Hood 347, which Batman realises to his horror is Philip, just as the police finally manage to bust in. Granted, while they DID have charges, considering the chemicals in the building, they obviously couldn’t risk it. Unfortunately, the deflected bullet causes one of the tanks to leak, which in turn creates a chain of explosions, so I guess it didn’t matter in the end. The police try to arrest Batman, but you can probably guess how well that works…as in, not at all. lol
Batman catches up with Red Hood One, who is trying to escape in a helicopter, but they tumble back into the building, there’s another explosion, Red Hood One is dangling over a vat of chemicals, Batman tries to save the poor bastard, but he just says it wouldn’t be any fun, and…well, you can probably guess how this ends. However, there is a twist. A while later, we see that Bruce and Alfred have updated the Batcave a bit to look a little closer to the more modern take we see nowadays. Bruce suggests it’s only a matter of time before people start piecing together that he’s Batman, and jokingly offers to share a cell with Alfred. Pennyworth, however, says that at least the Red Hood Gang is defeated and he can move on from them…However, it seems Bruce can’t. The body of Red Hood One was never found, and while Red Hood members all pointed to a man named Liam Distal as the leader, HE was found dead the day before.
Distal’s corpse was mostly dissolved in lye, so that it’s impossible to tell exactly when he was murdered. So, now there’s a mystery regarding the identity of the man he fought…Okay, I’m just gonna say it, it’s The Joker. Either Joker killed Distal weeks ago and took his place, or he was a patsy reading lines for Distal and only made the switch recently. It’s also possible someone else killed Distal, and then switched places with ‘The Man Who Would Be The Joker’ before Batman caught up with him on the roof at A.C.E. In the end, without more evidence, there’s no way to know……..Scott Snyder, you redefine what it means to troll your readers. XD
At any rate, Alfred finds it unlikely people will figure out Bruce Wayne is Batman, relating back to his days as an actor. He used to try too hard to make the characters he performed just perfect, and leave no trace of himself in it, as to avoid seeming like a faker. However, what he learned is that the audience WANTS to believe in the actor. They want to forget who is under the mask, and become enthralled by the character, because the actor put so much hard work and passion into it. Add in the fact that Batman can pretty much make the rules of logic his bitch, and the everyday ordinary people of Gotham won’t WANT to know who Batman is.
Alfred and Bruce decide to make up after their most recent issue, but are cut off by a broadcast from Edward Nygma, who had become The Riddler. He delivers the second riddle of the Sphinx: ‘There are two sisters; each gives birth to the other. Who are they?’ Bruce, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon all recognize it, just before Nygma calls for the ‘dark, dark night’, and our comic ends as he sets off explosions that cause a massive blackout all over Gotham City.
This comic is frigging awesome. The modernizing of Batman’s original costume is great, as is the little Easter Egg of the words “BK was here” on the roof in the two-page spread where Batman is revealed for the first time. Also, the result of his confrontation with the Red Hood Gang went VERY well. While I’m all too willing to say that the individual dressed as Red Hood One is the Joker, since it all but outright says that, the fact that we don’t see the transformation still leaves some ambiguity. And even if it IS him, we still don’t REALLY know who he is, and that’s how the Joker SHOULD be. As he himself said, “If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!” The ending where Riddler appears DOES seem kinda rushed, but I think that’s the idea, where Batman has defeated the Red Hood Gang, and yet only NOW is the shit getting real.
Anyway, that’s it for Batman this week, but we still have Nightwing, the Fearless Defenders, and Red Sonja to go through, so check back in a few when I talk about them. Ja né!
- Batman – Under the Red Hood Movie Review (detectivemaxxzeqsterscreepycrawlyamazingadventures.wordpress.com)
- Batman #24 (comicvine.com)
- EXCLUSIVE: Guillem March’s “Zero Year” Variant Sends Red Hood To His Fate (comicbookresources.com)
- Does Rockford, Illinois need a Batman? (therockfordblog.com)
- Batman Through The Years (costumesupercenter.com)
- The Side of Batman We’ll Probably Never See on the Big Screen (nickverboon.wordpress.com)
- The Red Hood Strikes in ‘Batman 66′ #3! (mancave.cbslocal.com)
- Off My Mind: Batman Zero Year and the Red Hood Gang Leader (comicvine.com)
- The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) Says Ben Affleck Will Make Batman “Cool Again” (cabletv.com)
- Batman: Under the Red Hood (therealmoffilm.wordpress.com)
Okay, had some time to chillax, refocus my thoughts a bit, so now I think I’m ready to talk about Batgirl #22 a bit more, specifically what got me so angry. First off, I should clarify that I don’t hate this issue, and I believe that Batgirl is still one of the better books out there right now, same as Gail Simone is one of the better writers. My problem is directed solely at the current depiction of Commissioner James Gordon within said series, which has pretty much come to a boiling point at the climax of this issue, and as I understand it may only be getting worse in the next few issues, which I may be forced to skip. Secondly, I should note that all of this is strictly opinion based, hence why I noted this is an opinionated rant (please don’t hurt me, SF Debris), and of course everyone is free to have their own opinion. That was actually a mistake I made earlier, criticizing someone who really liked the scene in this book I despise so, and for that, I apologize. With that said, let’s dive in.
Now, first and foremost, let’s go over the scene at the end, which yes, DOES have some good to it. Oddly enough, it’s the depiction of Batman, who is actually in the midst of going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in Batman and Robin over the death of his own son. Anyway, Jim Gordon hits the Bat Signal to bring out Batman, who tells Gordon that he’s sorry to hear about his son. Jim thinks he isn’t entirely sincere though, and gets straight to the point: He wants Batman to help him find Batgirl. Batman asks if he’s certain he’s thought this through, so Jim takes that as a no, tells Batman to stay out of his way, then punches him while berating him for letting Batgirl follow in his footsteps, as if to say that all of this (the death of his boy, Batgirl becoming who she is, etc.) is Batman’s fault. Batman doesn’t deny this accusation (even though he REALLY should) and tells Gordon, and I quote, “You’ve always been about justice, Commissioner. Never revenge. Be careful what road you walk. For everyone’s sake”. And Batman leaves while Gordon shuts off the Bat Signal, clearly intending to continue down this path…Plus, I know this for a fact because I’ve seen solicits for DC Comics all the way till October, so I know this is the next story arc.
If you didn’t pick out what was wrong with all that…well, let’s just go over the list.
- While it’s not as if I’ve never seen someone fly off on a tangent about how Batman ruined someone’s life, usually it’s by one of the villains. Hell, he even looks like a complete psycho when he’s ranting and raving at Batman.
- How bad is it that the Dark frigging Knight, who recently lost his son to a minion of said son’s evil mother, is now able to look a man who lost his psychotic murderer son in the eye and say “You’re going too far” and be 100% correct?! O_O
- I would just like to point out that Batman never actually said he wouldn’t help Jim Gordon. I’m looking at this scene in the comic right now as I’m typing, and his exact words are “…Jim, are you certain you’ve thought this through?” He never said no, Gordon! Now, would he have said no anyway? Possibly. But the point still stands: You jumped the gun.
- Gordon’s kinda got his issues a little mixed, doesn’t he? Does he want to bring down Batgirl, or does he feel bad for her because following Batman’s example led her down a bad path?
- While the argument can be made that Batman didn’t try to stop Batgirl from being a heroine, we’ve seen how well that works. Let’s be honest: Barbara Gordon would’ve become a heroine whether Batman ‘let her’ or not.
Now, let’s go beyond this one scene, because as I said before, I’ve already gotten a little bit sick of this. In other words, this has been building for a couple of issues now. What has he done thus far? Well, he shot at Batgirl after he saw what had happened, he refuses to let anyone try to talk him down from his rage, he completely ignores the fact that his son is a psychotic killer, and he overlooks the fact that Batgirl did what she did to save his ex-wife! And there’s no way he couldn’t have known that!
Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look back to Batgirl #19. Jim Gordon gets a call from his son telling him to come meet him at a place where he promises to give his father nightmares for the rest of his life. He gets there, he sees Batgirl with Barbara Sr., both of them crying and upset, and James Jr. having fallen off the pier into the rocks below. He doesn’t ask questions or anything, and based on the artwork, it suggests that he arrived by sea, since he’s approaching from the end of the pier. If he was close enough to see Batgirl get James in the eye with a Batarang, he was close enough to see that his ex-wife was held hostage with a knife. Are we meant to assume he doesn’t care?
Oh, speaking of whom, I’m not letting Barbara Sr. off the hook either. She set the trap for James and tried to kill him, which I guess I understand if nothing else, but then she gets caught again, and when James Jr. is seemingly killed by Batgirl to save her (James isn’t dead, btw, he’s very much alive in Suicide Squad), she never tells Jim the truth! She doesn’t tell him that Babs is Batgirl and that, at the last moment, Babs tried to save James, or to stop hunting Babs because all of it was her own fault! No, she just says she didn’t see anything, packs up, and leaves!
Am I supposed to feel sorry for either of these two people? Because honestly, at this point, I HATE them. And if we’re gonna play it straight, this really IS their fault. Not to make excuses for James Jr., but he DID grow up to be who he is because he felt overshadowed by his sister, something that neither of his parents EVER picked up on or tried to talk to him about. The way they’re handling this current situation screams of negligence and hypocrisy, especially when one of Gordon’s cops had a similar situation with Batgirl early in the series and wisely decided to keep said cop away from her until it was necessary. And now, Gordon’s treating it like Batgirl deliberately murdered his son just because he was a villain, and he never considers the truth behind what happened? And now for at LEAST two issues, he’s gonna be hunting Batgirl, who is contemplating retirement from the role. The only way that ANY of this winds up working is if Jim Gordon becomes a villain, and even then, I’m not so sure I wanna see that.
…But, when it’s all said and done, I guess I can’t blame Gail Simone. Not really. I think what’s happened is that, while trying to tell a dark and edgy story, she made an error along the way because she was too focused on keeping it dark and edgy. If that approach sounds familiar, it’s only because that’s what a lot of writers are doing nowadays. And, believe it or not, I don’t have a problem with dark stories. I have a problem with said dark and edginess overriding common sense, and it seems to be SPREADING to the point where everybody’s doing it……Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to have a VERY scathing rant regarding Justice League #22 typed up sometime this week. lol
Anyway, I hope I’ve made my point clear by this point. As always, feel free to comment below, leave your own thoughts, agree/disagree with me, whatever. Ja né!
- What I Bought Today – Batman #22, Superman Unchained #2, Nightwing #22, Batgirl #22, Fearless Defenders #6 (WARNING – SPOILERS) (jygersrant.wordpress.com)
- Comic Preview Tuesday (geekleak.net)
- Comic Releases for July 10, 2013 (comicbooked.com)
- Exclusive Preview: BATGIRL #22 (comicvine.com)
So yeah, picked up Batgirl Annual #1 today. I was kinda expecting a Halloween oriented story, but I’m actually pleasantly surprised that Gail Simone didn’t go for the obvious and possibly cliché choice for a story in this comic. Instead, this is a pretty engaging one shot that follows up on Batgirl’s part in the Night of Owls and leads into an upcoming story involving the Birds of Prey.
So Batgirl is investigating a series incidents where buildings are burnt down by homeless people being scared into co-operating in some sort of scheme. After saving some people from a burning building, Barbara goes to speak with an ally of sorts, Ricky, who lets her know that the ones responsible are the Court of Owls. Despite suffering from some butterflies at facing the assassins of the court again, Batgirl follows what trail she can find to them.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon is visiting Harrowood State Penitentiary to see one of the newer inmates there: The female Talon that fought Batgirl back in Batgirl #9. This raises a question though: Why in the hell is this Talon here and not Blackgate Prison, where the other Talons where put into cryo-stasis? Well apparently it’s because Gordon wants to try to cut a deal with this Talon, whose parents were murdered in World War II and was badly scarred and rendered mute as a child before being recruited into the Court of Owls. Still, I would have found MUCH better places for her to be kept than here, especially since the guard is a cruel mother fucker that has actually beaten her. Lucky for her, Catwoman is there to break her out.
Eventually, Batgirl finds the source of the building burnings: A man named Parsons who apparently is with the Court. Catwoman arrives with the Talon, and it’s here that we learn that Parsons plans to burn down many, MANY more buildings and tally up a number of fatalities, during which he’ll plant a false paper trail that will lead investigators to Bruce Wayne as the culprit. Selina decides she wants out, but Parsons calls for Talons to attack her. Batgirl saves her, at least for the moment, as the Talons have them badly outnumbered, but Batgirl convinces the female Talon to help them since many more innocent people will burn to death, just as her parents did nearly a century ago.
With the female Talon helping, the odds are evened and it looks like the good guys (good girls is better here, I suppose) are going to come out on top, only for Parsons to pull a gun on the female Talon from behind. However, after receiving a call on his cell, presumably from another member of the Court, he learns that the police are on their way and that he is now a liability to them. Before Batgirl can stop him, he shoots himself through the head as the Talons under his command take their leave in a manner so casual it’s sick to think of.
The police arrive and Catwoman knows they’ll likely try to take the female Talon away, despite the fact that she saved them. Instead, Selina tells Barbara to get the Talon out of there and have her meet back at Selina’s apartment. With that, she runs out to face the police head-on, while Barbara and the Talon making their escape. The comic closes with Batgirl asking the Talon’s name, to which she uses a piece of chalk to write “MY NAME IZ MARY”, the caption telling us that we’ll see her again soon in the Birds of Prey comic.
This comic RULES. It’s a fun ride from the first page to that last that shows Batgirl being an awesome hero to the downtrodden of Gotham, the female Talon making a friend for the first time in her life, and Catwoman being a legitimately good person (which is kind of rare these days). The artwork for this issue is just awesome, the varying viewpoints from Barbara, Selina, and Mary work well, and we even get some decent comedy at times too, though I had to roll my eyes at the bit where they talk about Green Arrow, but whatev. Bottom line is, it’s worth picking up, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Ja né!