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Written By: Scott Snyder Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia Cover Price: $3.99 Release Date: July 8, 2015
It's Time For Crime To Bloom
*Non Spoilers and Score At Bits and Pieces*
It's time to step back into Gotham and see how Jim Gordon is dealing with his new role as Batman. In the last issue we saw the events that led Jim to agree to take on the pseudo mantle of the Bat, all while seeing his unveiling against a psionic energy monster. As it turns out, the thing that really pushed Gordon over the edge in becoming the Armored Crusader was the fact that he couldn't bare the thought of putting in some younger recruit to take his place, when they're careers were so short and they're were just starting families. Batman's not a job that comes with a pension plan because putting on the cowl most certainly means death. With that in mind, Jim chose to take on the burden and do his best to honor the city's former protector. I just don't know how long that will last because as the last issue closed we saw that Bruce Wayne just might still be kicking around. Let's dive into this issue and see how the former Commissioner is doing in his new role and what's going on with our former Batman. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Jim Gordon practicing his batarang toss, when he's interrupted by Julia (Pennyworth) Perry who is checking up on him to see how he's doing. Jim is still having his doubts about becoming the Batman, but they're put on hold when Julia surprises him with a new toy...........The Bat Truck. Pretty much just a gigantic truck that Jim can control from within his Bat Armor, but there really isn't anytime to check out all the bells and whistles on it because multiple threat hits appear on the Bat-Blimp's Bat Computer. It turns out that the techie Daryl has created a "Bat-App" that people can activate when they are in danger and the information comes back to him............ and while this seems like a gigantic waste of time and kind of pisses me off that we're incorporating things like "Bat-Apps" in Batman, I guess it works and our new Dark Knight suits up and heads down to see what all the hubbub is about.
On the ground, our hero goes up against a criminal who he's put away before named Gee Gee Heung, but somehow this Narrows crime boss has upped his game a little and can summon silicate to his will, which includes bricks, stone, tar, pretty much the entire city itself. Batman seems really put off and confused by this development, even though we jump to a flashback where Commissioner Sawyer shows Jim a bunch of people that he's put away in the past dead in the morgue after they developed superpowers from a radioactive seed put in them, that eventually killed them. Come on Jim, you're supposed to be a detective! How the hell can't you put this together right away? After trying the Superman approach to fighting Gee Gee, where he just goes in without thinking, Batman finally wises up and after Gee Gee begins forcing Jim into the harbor with his silicate constructs, our new Batman calls the Bat Truck down and.......... Yes, a gigantic Bat Truck falls from the sky and crushes the brick construct around Gee Gee, but before Batman can get any information out of him, Gee Gee suffers the same radiation fate that Jim's other former collars suffered. The only intel we get is that a Mr. Bloom is behind these super powered radioactive seeds.
In the end, Jim is still contemplating what Batman stands for and how he'll ever measure up to the man that came before him, when Julia Perry comes to reassure him of the job he's doing....... Only thing is, Jim goes and does that Detective thing I was complaining about earlier and somehow realizes that Julia worked with the former Batman. After realizing that she's caught, but in no danger of Jim turning her in, Julia tells Jim that he can't worry about what Batman stands for because the original never did. He simply did what was right and made that constant action the thing that the Batman was all about. Speaking of the original, before this story closes, we see a bunch of kids at a Rec Center......including Duke Thomas, arguing about who Batman is now and if the original will ever return, when out of nowhere it looks like Bruce Wayne is working there. Yeah, it's crazy. We had this great big cliffhanger that gave us a possibility that Bruce was still alive last issue, but it never showed us his face and here he's simply toting water bottle's around and fetching bags of clay for the woman in charge..........like it's no big thing. Anyway, as Bruce goes back into the storeroom, he's met by someone waiting for him and even though it comes off ominous as hell with some stranger waiting in the dark for Bruce, when the light comes on, we see it's Jim Gordon and he wants to talk.
That's it for this issue of Batman and just like last issue, I really like seeing this new Batman. Yeah, I'll always love the original Batman and won't complain when the series goes back to normal, but this is a lot like Knight Fall to me when Jean Paul Valley became Batman and since that's when I first started reading the series, this has a familiar and nostalgic vibe to me every time I see Jim Gordon put on the Bat suit. As for the story though, it's Batman simply going up against another Narrows crime boss with new powers and it does't really do much for me except make me wonder how many more times this will happen until he finally goes up against the man behind this, Mr. Bloom....... Hopefully not too many. The real interesting thing that makes the book worth reader are the last couple of pages when Jim confronts Julia about her past working relationship with Batman and him confronting a very much alive Bruce Wayne. Yeah, it's all cliffhanger, but it does it's job in making me wish I had the next issue already. Capullo's art..........well, it's Capullo's art. It's pretty much always on point and this issue is no exception.
Bits and Pieces:
While I love seeing Jim Gordon in the role as Batman, this story just plays like a re-run of last issue as Batman is forced to go up against another super powered baddie. The real enjoyment to the story doesn't come until the final pages and because of that, this issue comes off a bit flat. Hopefully next issue picks up and shows us something new.