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Written By: Scott Snyder Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCD Plascencia Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: June 10, 2015
What It Takes
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
It's time to see the all new Batman dawn his cowl.......... er, I mean helmet and take to the streets and let people know that the Dark Knight is still keeping them safe. Yeah, not much to say leading into this, all you need to know is that Batman died at the end of issue #40 and because we all know that Gotham needs a Batman, Powers International has built a robotic Batman suit and apparently Jim Gordon is going to be the one to fill it. So let's check out the new status quo for Batman and see how it will affect the rest of the DC You. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with a wrap around story showing us what appears to be Jim Gordon's first time out as Batman....... complete with a Bat task force that monitors the area and his vitals and a Bat Zeppelin to hold all of them....... It's really cool and when Jim Gordon detaches from the blimp, a new stylized Bat symbol shines down on the area. So yeah, we're off to a good start. Now, Batman is going after a energy monster that is tearing apart a bank in the Narrows, but the real story is intercut throughout this book, showing us how Jim Gordon became the Dark Knight.
We see how Geri Powers initially offers Jim the job as the new Batman after they see a training room full of cadets...........wearing Batman cowls, who Jim personally selected for the program, but after what feels like a bunch of insults pointed at Jim, Geri feels that he's the best man for the job. Yeah, Jim's not too hip on the idea, but later after talking to Harvey about how crazy it would be to be Batman and work with the police, one of the cadets shows up and we find out that he has an eleven month old baby at home and the idea of putting these young people, who may have families in the line of Batman type fire, seems to be enough for Gordon to get on the Batman trolley. This is one of the best backstory sections because we get a bunch of humor between Jim and Harvey about how they'll have to start making ten foot long trench coats and how Jim will have to stop smoking because obviously Batman doesn't smoke. This section is just a lot of fun and the next is pretty good too. When Jim finally sees the mechanized Bat suit, he remarks like a lot of us fans, that it looks like a bunny........ and he's not too hip on the color. It's during this section as well that we find out even though Powers International has taken over the Batman brand, Alfred and Lucius Fox aren't about to let them have free reign over Batman, so they make sure that Juila Pennyworth under the name Julia Perry is put on the Batman program front lines and even though she does't have much to do here because we're still working on getting to know the Gordon Batman, it's good to know that there's an inside man........ woman, over at Powers International.
In the end, after Gordon proves that he's got the moxie and the detective skills to be the new Batman, by figuring out that the energy monster he was fighting was only a physical projection and putting the guy behind it all down...........which actually leads to us seeing that he wears a sleek Batman suit underneath of the armor, which is pretty bad ass, we head back to his new "Powers" apartment/Batcave that he's forced to stay and train in and we get back to some more good humor. It's been a long day and after seeing an actual ten foot long trench coat on the wall that Harvey had made for him, the former Commissioner gets a smile on his face as he ponders if he's doing the right thing. Now that alone would be a great ending to this book, but the comic continues and we see a guy sitting on a park bench and as a jogger passes by, he recognizes the man on the bench as Bruce Wayne. Yeah, that's a hell of a cliffhanger right there.
That's it for this issue of Batman and the all new, all different take on the character and while I was originally hesitant of this ED-209 Batman, Snyder went and told me to put a sock in it with this issue. This is a really fun situation and even though we had that Bruce cliffhanger at the end, I hope we continue on this path for a long time and really explore Gordon as the Armored Crusader. Snyder does a damn fine job in coming up with the highlights reel of what persuaded Jim into taking on the challenges of becoming the Batman and even though the wrap around was fun and complete with an over the top monster, it's the flashbacks that are the reason to get this because Snyder really took care in giving us a great believable explanation in why Gordon would do something so out of character by taking on the mantle of the Bat. Greg Capullo, as always does a damn fine job and my only problem with anything he did here was making Commissioner Sawyer a little too man-ish. I really didn't know that I was looking at Maggie and even had to go back to make sure they said Commissioner Sawyer, but besides for that, the issue was a great read.
Bits and Pieces:
Even Batman purists have to get off their high horses to check out this new Batman because the idea alone is enough to get people wondering and talking about how this is going to play out. I had a great time reading this issue and while you might not get a refined Batman approach to justice here, you do get one hell of a backstory about why Jim would consider this new undertaking. I'm fully on board with anything that Snyder throws our way after reading this.