My Thoughts On Batman #43 And The Massive Plot Hole I’ve Uncovered (WARNING – SPOILERS)
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!