Review: Batman #42
One of the most compelling stories which can be told about iconic superheroes are those stories which involves their deaths, that is at least from a novelty standpoint. This trend started in the 1990s with the Death of Superman, and then spread like wildfire, with the death of Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman as well as Batman’s back being broken and Aquaman’s arm being eaten off. Part of the iconic nature of the superheroes is that they can’t lose, and so death or severe disability is not supposed to happen, and so at its base it tells a different story as opposed to the usual for comic book characters. The problem is too that the novelty wears off pretty quickly usually as well, as fans want their beloved characters back.
Such is the problem facing this series now, as Bruce Wayne is presumed gone, and replaced in the role of Batman by Jim Gordon. The plot here tells the story of Jim, still in his early missions, as he has to deal with a crime lord in the Narrows, and one that has grown out of control in power, somewhat inexplicably. Although the story focuses somewhat around this, it also gets a bit deeper than it has yet with the Gordo-Bat, relying on some detecting skills as opposed to just the armor, as Jim and his team try to put together the bigger mystery of who has been targeting the crime lords and thus pulling their strings.
The first issue of the new Batman has already come and passed, and after the initial novelty wears off of having an Iron-Man like Commissioner Gordon in the guise of Batman, it will remain for the creative team to put together a story which is worthy of the title. As one of the standouts thus far of the entire DC reboot (first new 52 and now DC You), it is still not entirely clear how this is going to happen here. The concept is there, and while the characterization is matching what is expected out of this title, it is not clear yet how the story is going to work. There is at least a little bit more of clever storytelling here as opposed to the first issue of this new direction which was a little bit all over the place. In the end though, if this is going to be more than a novelty, the creative team is going to need to pull together something more engaging and while this issue is a definite improvement over the first of this new direction, it also isn’t quite there yet.
Story: Scott Snyder Art: Greg Capulo
Story: 7.6 Art: 7.6 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read