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Around the Tubes

Detective Comics #1001

The weekend is almost here! While you wait for the work day to end and weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and a review from around the web!

The Beat – X-Statix returns in July with original creative team – This could be fun.

ComicBook – IDW Issues New Statement on ‘Wynonna Earp’ Season 4 – Bets if we’ll see it?

DC – Breaking News: Titans Casts Bruce Wayne for Season 2 – Cool.

Review

Comics Bulletin – Detective Comics #1001

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Review: Batman #51

After last month’s polarizing (not really a) wedding issue, writer Tom King reunites with his Batman/Elmer Fudd collaborator Lee Weeks and atmospheric colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser for a courtroom drama with a bit of twist ending in Batman #51. Bruce Wayne chooses to make a mockery of the legal system over awkwardly revealing his secret identity and sits on a jury where Mr. Freeze is being tried for the murder of three women, and, of course, was apprehended by Batman. It’s a fairly thought provoking look at how Batman fits into the larger legal system of Gotham, and at times, may do more harm than good. And far from being a mere procedural, King and Weeks use the contradiction of Bruce Wayne sitting on a jury in a trial connected to the actions of his alter ego (Or real personality.) to probe into the anger and guilt buried in Bruce/Batman. Never has a quick restroom visit been so chilling in Weeks’ violent pencil and ink strokes as he blurs the boundaries between billionaire playboy and creature of the night, who definitely isn’t an impartial juror.

King and Weeks juxtapose the relatively restrained setting of the courtroom and jurors’ quarters with dynamic, brutal beatdowns and classic chiarascuro lighting from Breitweiser in Batman #51. It starts with the relatively mild mannered Bruce Wayne arriving at the courthouse for jury duty and the Frank Miller-channeling fists on face beatdown that Batman gives Mr. Freeze, one of the more sympathetic members of his rogue’s gallery. The flashback sequence crescendoes into a close-up of Freeze’s face in anguish, his goggles flying that takes up the whole middle of the page. Lee Weeks is truly a master of pain and gives him a furrowed brain and slobbering mouth. All the while, Bruce Wayne is calmly lying about his connection and thoughts about the Batman to the district attorney in measured, almost sterile dialogue from Tom King. However, this calmness turns into guilt beginning with a darkly framed silent scene in Bruce’s hotel room where it seems like he might slip into his costume and play Dark Knight until court in the morning. It hits a breaking point when Bruce breaks a sink off in the bathroom as he is wracked by the fear that his actions as Batman might have doomed an innocent man.

Until the end of the comic, King and Weeks portray Batman as a hypocrite and even insert little asides like Jim Gordon’s testimony and the jury deliberations that show the city of Gotham gives his violent vigilantism too much of a pass. Mr. Freeze’s defense attorney makes the point that the women were considered to have died of natural causes until Batman did his own autopsy and connected them to Freeze because their brain stems were “cold” in a true leap of logic setting up a darkly humorous nine panel grid of Gordon squirming and finally stating that Batman doesn’t have the authority to conduct autopsies in whatever state Gotham is in. Batman basically framed Mr. Freeze and coerced him into making a confession, but the jury is already convinced that Freeze is an evil villain and Batman is a perfect hero so who cares about the laws of the land. There isn’t really time to do a 12 Angry Men and develop all of the personalities of the jurors in Batman #51, but King does the next best thing and has them share quick personal stories about how Batman helped them instead of evidence to decide a verdict.

Many arguments for vigilantes, Batman included, state that they can execute justice in a more effective way than the legal and judicial system. However, Batman #51 shows that this isn’t all the case as the deaths of three women from natural causes has turned into a full blown murder investigation and has probably taken the place of more pressing matters. Tom King, Lee Weeks, and Elizabeth Breitweiser venture into the real world a little bit in this issue and go into the actual court systems while still having stylized moments like Batman dangling Freeze off the roof top.

In Batman #51, King, Weeks, and Breitweiser go beyond inserting Batman into the court room drama genre and use the trial of Mr. Freeze to probe into his anger and pain and the roots of Bruce/Batman’s sense of justice. Lee Weeks’ naturalistic approach to figures and faces really helps as most of the denizens of this book are ordinary citizens and not superheroes or villains.

Story: Tom King Art: Lee Weeks
Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #50 is a Beautiful, Tragic Romance

If you thought that Batman and Catwoman were going to have a happy wedding with the usual supervillain attack to keep things interesting, then you’re pretty naive. On that confrontational, Batman #50 is a climactic moment in Tom King’s run on Batman, and Mikel Janin and June Chung are onboard as well to show all the romance, heartbreak, and kicking Kite-Man on the face. But the real highlight of this issue is the unleashing of some of the best living Batman and Catwoman artists to tell the love story of Bat and Cat all framed in love letters to each other. Beginning with the great Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez showing them swaddled together in a loving embrace and concluding in a pure negative space, movie poster style page from upcoming Batman artist Lee weeks, this is a wonderful encapsulation of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship done in Tom King’s signature tone poem way.

The letters that Batman and Catwoman write to each other in Batman #50 are a form of psychological probing, which makes sense because Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and Catwoman is a skilled thief and con woman. They read people basically for a living, but are vulnerable and have huge blind spots. Especially Batman. King writes some beautiful lines where Batman and Catwoman both say that each other’s eyes is what led to their initial attraction. Batman was struck by how complex Catwoman’s eyes were, and that she could be more than a one-off animal themed villain while Catwoman realized how simple and childlike Batman’s were: pure blue. These thoughts come during Tim Sale and Paul Pope’s pages showing Catwoman in her 1990s purple costume pursuing and aggressively flirting with Batman like he’s an innocent boy and not a skilled crime fighter drawn in heroic, stealthy poses by Neal Adams and Lee Bermejo. He’s lost control and maybe has a chance to find happiness like the totally adorable page drawn by Amanda Conner of Catwoman and Batman enjoying a date at the zoo, or this issue’s sexiest moment where Mister Miracle’s Mitch Gerads shows them under a cape blanket with all the accoutrements of crime and crime fighting strewn about. Batman and Catwoman have serious chemistry, which has been boosted by King, Gerads, and Janin’s work on the current series, but are they really marriage material?

One person who shares the idea that getting married would make Batman less miserable and lose his edge is Holly Robinson, Catwoman’s long time friend, who she springs out of Arkham for one night to be her maid of honor/witness. This is a bit of a crazy plot point because the last time she appeared, Holly was fleeing the country as Batman was trying to apprehend her for 237 murders that Catwoman tried to take the fall for. The inclusion of Holly in Batman #50 makes the story a little more twist-filled than a simple case of cold feet (Eat your heart out, X-Men Gold #30), especially the final page that puts a new spin on a famous 1990s Batman storyline. As Selina’s friend, who she saved from child prostitution, Holly has been around Batman since Year One when she stabbed a less than intimidating, fake scar sporting Bruce Wayne partially leading him to choose a costume to strike fear in the heart of criminals. (As a sidenote, it’s pretty epic to see Frank Miller’s lumbering Batman on the page when Catwoman talks about how angry and graceful he was during his early crime fighting days.) But is she a pawn or a mastermind in a larger scheme?

Batman #50 seems to be an inciting incident in a larger Tom King story centered around the breaking of Batman’s heart and not his body. Batman is always surrounded by Gothic elements, like secret passages, large empty mansions, and gargoyles, so adding a doomed romance to the mix makes sense. King and Mikel Janin are working in a larger tradition of Batman getting in the way of Bruce’s happiness, and a couple of DOA romances from other mediums come to my mind. (Vicki Vale from 1989’s Batman, Andrea Beaumont in Mask of the Phantasm, Rachel Dawes in the Nolan trilogy) However, this relationship is different because King has consistently written Batman and Catwoman as equal crime fighting partners and shows this through the symmetry in the composition of their letters (Clayton Cowles’ word bubble placement is impeccable. and even similar poses in the final pinups from Greg Capullo and Weeks. Those two crazy kids had some great, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.

Batman #50 definitely will be a fanbase breaking comic book, and the spoiler-y New York Times article didn’t help matters. However, throughout his run and in homage to Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, Tom King has seeded doubts that the Bat and Cat could settle into a quiet marriage. Bruce is as comfortable with as he is in the tuxedo that Alfred said reminds him of his father. Speaking of Alfred, Mikel Janin crushes a silent sequence where Bruce asks him to be his witness, and all dialogue and narration stops for a four panel hug that segues into aforementioned dreamy page from Mitch Gerads. King and Janin pinpoint these little emotional stingers into the narrative, like Holly complimenting Catwoman’s dress or a symmetrical double page spread where Bat and Cat embrace and kiss one, unfortunately last time. The use of symmetry and formalism in the way Batman #50 is constructed hint at a couple that’s on the same page, but that’s sadly not the reality.

In Batman #50, Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, and a talent group of guest artists craft the ultimate, tragic Batman love story and show the chemistry between Bat and Cat while also showing how their marriage ultimately wouldn’t work out. This definitely isn’t a big, guest star heavy special, but an intimate story of a man, who decides to work out his pain and sorrow dressed as a bat instead of finding love and peace with an enigmatic woman, who dresses like a cat.

Story: Tom King Art: Mikel Janín
Guest  Art: David Finch, Joëlle Jones, Mitch Gerads, Rafael Albuquerque, Neal Adams, Andy Kubert, Becky Cloonan, Ty Templeton, José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, Trish Mulvihill, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Tim Sale, José Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks
Colors: June Chung Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

One:12 Knightmare Batman Pre-Orders Begin Monday

Born in the fevered dreams of Bruce Wayne, Knightmare Batman inhabits a world gone wrong. Gotham has been replaced by a post-apocalyptic desert patrolled by a military loyal to the Last Son Of Krypton. Knightmare Batman joins the One:12 collective with a comprehensively detailed outfit that perfectly recreates the cinematic look of the character.

The Knightmare Batman One:12 Collective  figure features:

  • Three (3) head portraits
    –      Standard portrait
    –      Alternate portrait
    –      Unmasked Bruce Wayne portrait
  • One:12 Collective body with  over 30 points of articulation
  • Hand painted authentic detailing
  • Over 16cm tall
  • Five (5) interchangeable hands including
    – One (1) pair of fists (L & R)
    – One (1) posing hand  (R)
    – One (1) gun-holding hand (R)
    – One (1) holding hand (L)

Costume:

  • Removable goggles
  • Leather-look duster coat with integrated wire for dynamic posing
  • Fabric shemagh scarf
  • Sculpted bandana-wrapped gloves on each hand
  • Intricately tailored cloth outfit with battle damaged insignia
  • Utility belt with pouches
  • Thigh holster
  • Desert trousers with knee-pad detail
  • Sculpted boots

Accessories:

  • One (1) handgun
  • One (1) machinegun with removable ammo clip and joker card detail
  • One (1) One:12 Collective display base with logo
  • One (1) One:12 Collective adjustable display post

Each One:12 Collective Knightmare Batman figure is packaged in a deluxe, collector friendly box, designed with collectors in mind there are no twist ties for easy in and out of package display.

Pre-order begins on Monday 5/08 at 10am Eastern Standard Time.

Review: Batman and Robin Eternal #4

4878987-bmrbet_cv4_ds“Deadly Dinner”

So this week opens up with action right out the gate. From the moment you turn the first page it’s an all out kitchen melee. Bruce Wayne (with no knowledge of his former life) finds himself surrounded by a variety of deadly cutlery wielding assassins, who want him dead.

Lucky for Bruce, someone has his back. His former (again unbeknownst to Bruce) partner Dick Grayson, knows his way around some knives since he grew up in a circus. (I wonder if knife survival looks good on a resume?) As good as Grayson is though he begins to get outnumbered and the cavalry arrives in the form of some Robins. Make that tons of them. Duke Thomas and his band of street kids from the comic We are Robin, happily join the fray. (Personally that was the coolest part of the issue for me as the Duke Crew know how to make an entrance and it was completely unexpected)

Just when the fight seems about even, in comes Batgirl! She cracks wise while stylishly kicking some bad guy behind as well as endearing herself to her comrades. She even tries to give Duke and the new kids some pointers.(Remember kids, crime fighting etiquette is the utmost importance) Before long the fight is at a close and our heroes mop up, so to speak.

Dick and Barbara do some short catching up, before Barbara being sent off to keep a close eye on Bruce for his safety. It’s noted here that something occurred that caused friction between them. (the editor’s note says see Batgirl #45, I haven’t so I will plead ignorance at this point)

The remainder of the issue consists of Dick having a heated phone discussion with Tim Drake (Red Robin) who is manning the Batcave and providing all the intel. It’s funny to me that with Barbara fully healed and back in her Bat gear, Tim has taken on a very Oracle-like role in the Bat books as of late. I don’t mind it and it’s certainly a natural role for Tim with his tech savvy. I still wish it were Barbara as Oracle truth be told, but I guess I’m just being stubborn.  Dick (in disguise) also goes to visit Bruce to alert him of the dangers that lie ahead as well as making him aware that he has his back. One thing I will say, is that I am very much enjoying the Bat-Team with Bruce out of the equation. It lets us see what the kids are made of, and allows for some interesting story possibilities. I am hoping this starts to move at a more break neck pace soon, as each week is starting to feel like filler.

Overall: So not a great entry, but not a terrible one either. It had it’s moments. Certainly the kitchen surprise with all the Robins was very entertaining, but the rest of the issue even including what should have been a shocking cliffhanger, just didn’t pack the emotional punch I think it meant to. (Now that cliffhanger bomb, from issue #1, there’s a different story!) I know plots on a big epic like this take time to build but c’mon creative team, try a little harder please. The savior of the week though was penciller Scot Eaton. His art was energetic and the man knows his way about drawing a kitchen. All in all each week the artists are really holding their own in trying to make each chapter as exciting as possible. I just hope the writers get the memo, and start doing the same. If you need me I will be cautiously optimistic waiting on the rooftop, using the Batsignal to make menacing shadow puppets. Till next time, Gotham…

Story: James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder Art: Scot Eaton
Story: 6 Art: 7.5  Overall: 6.5  Recommend: Read

Review: Grayson #12

STK682753“Back to the Nest”

First off I will say that I have been saying the praises of this series for quite a while now, and I must say now I want to start singing them. Every time I think the bar has been raised, the creative team seems to trapeze with ease right over it.

For the past 11 issues Dick Grayson has been taken out of Gotham and thrust into the world of SPYRAL and international intrigue. It has been a wild ride thus far and even with Dick being in a new element it’s been him at his most “Grayson” in a long time. Well this issue might just be him at his most “Graysonest” (Not a word I know, but it darn should be) ever. Whether it’s as Dick Grayson, Nightwing, or Agent 37, this team just gets it. So when I read that this would be the issue that he makes his grand return to Gotham, I got so excited. I had my reservations but my faith in this series far outweighed my worries. I was right. This was brilliant.

Those who are regular readers are usually treated to high-octane action, secret agent double crosses, dangerous romantic exploits and quips and jokes by the boatload. Well this month we take a slight hiatus from that format. This is a simple story at its core. Just a story about a man who has been estranged from his family for a long time, and he finds his way home.

First things first, the former first Robin needs to see: The Bat. To his chagrin, Bruce Wayne is and no longer remembers being Batman. Ever.

GRAY_12_2Alfred, has made it clear to Dick, that during Bruce’s final battle with the Joker, (Back in Batman #35-40 by Bat Lords Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo) Batman finally died but Bruce Wayne survived. Dick needing to see this for himself, decides to dress in disguise to go see a Bruce Wayne who doesn’t remember him anyway.

What makes this scene work so well is that the page is adorned in many thought bubbles. To the not so keen eye, they appear to be random thoughts. To the eyes of an honorary detective however you discover that every single solitary one of them has been seen in print in the pages of a Batman or DC Comic before. I thought this was a fantastic touch, almost a literary semblance of seeing ones life flash before their eyes but with thoughts. They are all excerpts from former conversations between the original Batman and Robin: Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. The writers managed to take the very long history between the two and condense it down into just quotes on one page. A great device that brings the reader up to speed without having the overuse of long-winded narration to get the point across. Before Dick leaves he asks Bruce just one last question. “Are you happy?”  Bruce isn’t able to give him a clear-cut answer since he has no memory of his past and isn’t quite sure what to feel. Dick realizes that it may not be the same Bruce Wayne standing in front of him at that moment. One thing is crystal clear though. Batman is not home anymore.

tumblr_nv4panMqjJ1spjdwjo1_1280Next stop up, we find Dick getting punked out on a rooftop between his former “Robin boy wonders in arms” Jason Todd and Tim Drake. Like Bruce, Dick has a storied past with both these individuals. They all at one time were the successor to the mantle of Robin in some form and the teen sidekicks of the Dark Knight. Dick tries to explain his side of the story to the both of them but it falls on deaf ears. (Faking your own death to your best friends, has a way of getting to the toughest of us) He goes on and on trying to explain the reason, that it was the greater good and the greatest burden he had to bear to keep them safe. They simply say to him that he shouldn’t have lied to them because above all else, they aren’t just siblings of the Bat, they are brothers. Then and there, Dick understands they are right. Before he leaves he says a small speech to each and presents them with two Batarangs. He tells them Bruce would want them to have it. Like the previous scene with Bruce, this was done very well. First we had Jason slug Dick right in the face and Tim try to break it up. Simple touches like that gives the effect these characters all have a deep relationship and maintains that they are a family. Simply put, all families fight. Especially brothers.

75afa9c1089cf4e28e4c82a5b7c65396  tumblr_nuzyb3lXO71u0u277o1_1280

A short time later we find ourselves atop a bridge in the midst of a reunion conversation between Dick and Batgirl herself: Barbara Gordon. This was the one conversation Dick dreaded the most. It’s not just a former caped crusader or sibling or friend, this is the love of his life. The love of his life that he has lied and deceived and no excuse on Earth is good enough for her. So he doesn’t try. He just mans up and lets her know how much he’s missed her and he’s sorry. Unfortunately like in real life, sometime saying your sorry isn’t good enough. Nor should it be. I really liked this approach, another tip of my hat to the writers here, showing they understand that Dick Grayson is a humanized superhero. He is not above reproach or tries to be holier than thou. It’s one of the reasons Dick Grayson is at the top of my list of all time favorite fictional, not just comic book characters. He has a purity in his fallible nature that is refreshing. He may make mistakes, but he always tries to make up from them and more importantly learn from them. Barbara doesn’t have to accept his apology but she at least hears him out. She then leaps off the bridge (that’s a better exit that over dramatically slamming a door any day got to give the girl style points there) and in true chivalrous fashion Dick follows suit. (flying off bridges is nothing for a child of the circus and Batman’s side kick, helloooo)

tumblr_nv4qg86gjV1upytp1o1_1280Once Dick catches up to Babs (as he always called her) and says he just wants to give her something. He hands her the trapeze bar from their first date at the circus when Barbara was still rehabilitating after her torture at the hands of the Joker. Being a human being, this strikes a nerve with Barbara and then hears him out. It isn’t the love fest one would expect but it is heartwarming nonetheless. Barbara then figures out that the deliberate speech pattern and words Dick used and pulls a clue from it. (I won’t spoil, but it is a very clever concept that is repeated through the issue) Before she can get confirmation, Dick is long gone.

Finally we make our last stop. Dick arrives to see Damien Wayne, son of Batman and Dick’s former Robin. (Dick as Batman in Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin is one of the all time best stories in my opinion) This scene was my favorite in the book. It was brief but, near perfect. Damien rushes and somersaults his way with joy right over to Dick as soon as he learns he’s alive. No cold shoulder just a warm embrace for his back from the dead brother. A long hug and a couple of wisecracks exchanged between them and that was all that was needed. Such a great touching moment.

Overall: Like I said before the bar keeps being surpassed each and every single month and it is a true joy as a reader to pick up a book that you don’t want to put down. Those who were looking for fast paced espionage might have been a little disappointed this month but not me. I couldn’t have been more pleased. This was just a good story about a uniquely estranged family which was raw and had a lot of heart. I’ve enjoyed this book a little more every single issue and with Dick back amongst the Bat-Family, it’s only going to get better. Ladies and gentleman the band is back together and this might just be their best performance yet. Keep the lights on in the cave and see you all here in 30 days.

Story: Tim Seely and Tom King Art: Mikel Janin 
Story: 9.9 Art: 9.3 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Fashion Spotlight: Deadly Joke, Justice For All, and Not My Harley

Ript Apparel has three designs for fans of DC Comics. Deadly Joke, Justice For All, and Not My Harley from BSTGRAPH, inkone, and tweedler92 will be for sale on August 22, 2015 only!

Deadly Joke by BSTGRAPH

Deadly Joke

Justice For All by inkone

Justice For All

Not My Harley by tweedler92

Not My Harley

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Batgirl #42

batgirl042The new Batman is back and Batgirl still can’t quite figure out what to do about him.  In the previous issue this series, which works pretty well as a standalone series, was brought back into the bigger picture of Gotham City as James Gordon’s Batman made his first appearance.  The James Gordon Batman is a bit of an anomaly, because while readers are still not sure what to believe with the new Superman, there is still a Bruce Wayne in the universe, and this therefore feels very temporary (especially as the regular is as normal elsewhere.)  That this other Batman had to show up here was maybe a necessity, especially considering that he is Batgirl’s father, but the series works so well that it doesn’t really need any outside interference, especially that which is of a lesser quality.

The previous issue did give a bit of better setup though.  Although the Batman was there, so was fan favorite Livewire, an underutilized villain in the DC Universe, and hopefully one that might see some more exposure if her appearance here is anything to base itself on.  After a brief showdown with her father in Bat-suits, the two find an uneasy balance as he is able to tell her to stay away from trouble but also that he is tasked with taking her down if she makes herself too visible.  There is some clever use of the past here as Batman and Batgirl are juxtaposed alongside James and Barbara, with the two having father-daughter moments without one half of the duo realizing it.

The end result is an issue that is not as bad as it probably should have been.  The novelty of the James Gordon Batman is already rubbing off, especially as DC is doing bigger things with Bruce Wayne elsewhere.  The strange direction started off well enough but seems already to have stalled.  While there was enough to hold this issue back, it still worked on a couple of different levels, both with the choice of villain and in the novel way that they chose to tell the story.  It wasn’t as good as what has been seen recently in this title, but still wasn’t a bad effort.

Story: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher Art: Babs Tarr
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

 

Review: Detective Comics #42

dc042In a sense, Detective Comics is DC Comics.  DC owes its name to one of its flagship series, and although the series has gone through tough times before, it has always persisted.  In the 1970s during the DC Implosion, the title was almost lost in favor of the Batman Family comics, but Detective Comics was too important, and became Detective Comics featuring the Batman Family.  Except for the brief period just before the new 52 when the series featured Batwoman, the series has also always had Batman, be that Bruce Wayne, Jean-Paul Valley or Dick Grayson.  That is to say that DC is Detective Comics, and Detective Comics is Batman, which is an easy way to identify one of DC’s main two heroes.

The recent story arc in the Batman titles deals with the fallout of the Endgame story arc in the main Batman series.  With Bruce Wayne gone, there needs to be someone to fill in the gap as the Batman, and it has fallen to the unlikely choice of Jim Gordon to fill the suit.  It is not just any suit though, rather an Iron-Man like mockup, but with a few kinks.  This series has also put some focus on the renewed partnership of Montoya and Bullock, and the story here finds itself somewhere in between.  Jim is still trying to figure out what it takes to be Batman, especially as some criminals have figured out how to weaken the suit, and Harvey and Renee are trying hard to make work what was once a great partnership.

If DC needs Batman, and specifically Detective Comics, then it is hard to see how this fits in.  The idea of Jim Gordon as Batman is one which breaks certain base assumptions about the group of characters.  Though both defined by a moral code, Batman is not Jim Gordon, nor can Jim Gordon be Batman.  Others that have taken up the title have done so in the spirit of Bruce Wayne, but this new version is a bit bizarre, asking the reader to forget key parts of the publication history of the characters, so that an unconventional story can be told.  Unconventional stories can be great, as any work of fiction should try to push the boundaries of what is the expected, but in this case it still doesn’t quite feel right, as Detective Comics still feels like it is missing its Batman, even when it ostensibly has one.

Story: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellatto Art: Fernando Blanco
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

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