Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Batman #46 Review and *SPOILERS*


Better Gardening Through Murder


Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia, Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 11, 2015

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's time to get back to Gotham and see how our current Batman plans on taking down the Slender-Man like Mr. Bloom.  In the previous issue, we saw Geri Powers give Jim Gordon the business after he almost died going off protocol to take down Mr. Bloom on his own, but before she could publicly fire his ass...... or just force him to resign, which is the same thing in my book, Mr. Bloom went and crashed the farewell Batman party.  This has been a weird story for me to really get into because as much as I was looking forward to a Robot Suit-ed Jim Gordon Batman, it's just not feeling all that Batman-y to me and I'm beginning to long for the days of Bruce Wayne's return.  Let's jump into this issue and see if the story can Batman the hell up and make me a believer in Jim Gordon.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Mr. Bloom really playing up the fact that he's a super villain by monologuing to the big wigs of Gotham and using similes about what they're trying to do in Gotham........ and gardening.  Yeah, it's a little lame, but it's what we're used to from Batman villains and it won't stop there in this issue.  Anyway, after Bloom's big spiel, Jim Gordon comes out of the shadows and tries to stop this monster, but like any other time he's just jumped into something half-cocked, he fails, but luckily Julia's there to back him up and I get the shock of my life when I learn that the thing Bloom flew in on in the previous issue was actually the Bat-Blimp.  I don't know if this was really apparent to everyone else, but to me it resembled something that Black Manta might rock instead of our current Dark Knight and it's not until we see the Bat-Signal shine down that I realized what was actually going on....... and then I was immediately confused again because Julia uses the Bat-Signal to pull Mr. Bloom to the signal because it uses electromagnets to keep the Bat-Suit hanging from the Bat-Blimp........ and apparently Mr. Bloom's seeds are electromagnetic.  Now, I'll give this the benefit of the doubt and say that this was probably mentioned in like the second issue of this story arc, but I personally have no recollection of it and it seems really weird....... especially when Julia gives Jim Gordon full credit for coming up with it because........ when the hell did he come up with that plan?  Even with the magnetic plan, Mr. Bloom breaks free and we continue to have a madman out on the loose.


After the party crashing, we see Bruce Wayne talking about marriage to Julie Madison, while she feels insecure about her past since her father is up for parole in a few months and it's believed that he's the man that sold Joe Chill the gun that killed Bruce's parents........ but he doesn't give a shit about that, he just wants to marry that red head with all those tats....... Yeah, I don't know why I find it odd, but Julie's sporting a ton of tattoos in this book when we see her share some shower time with Bruce and for some reason I don't like it. 


 Moving away from my apparent disapproval for body art, we see Duke Thomas "doing the dumb shit" when we see him breaking into "The New Ice-Berg Lounge", to get the dirt on what Penguin had on Bloom before he met him........ the most important thing here is........THE PENGUIN IS ALIVE!  That's right, even with a gross ass elongated finger poking through him, he's alive and well and even though he's supposed to be resting in the hospital, we see here that he's not one to nap when there's business to conduct.  Penguin comes back to his place with a bunch of friends to figure out this Bloom problem and they find Duke snooping around and capture his ass.  So yeah, the Penguin is alive and that's great, but just like Bloom did in the opener, he's spouting off about birds and I'm left shaking my head at Batman villains.  Come on guys, you're more than just what you call yourselves.  Another semi-cool bit in this is we see that Penguin brought along The Ventriloquist and Scar-Face........who I thought didn't exist in this Universe, what with the other Ventriloquist and all, but he's one of my favorite villains, so I'll go with it.  We also have Great White Shark, who I always just want to call Great White until I think of the band and shudder all over and finally we have Black Mask............who just looks like the gimp from Pulp Fiction here with a suit.  It's a very odd design and I really don't like it.


In the end, after Geri Powers shows Jim Gordon her inventory of Bat-Suits that looks like the roster of Iron Man suits at the end of Iron Man 3, Jim convinces her to stand down on activating them so he can go after Bloom alone, as to make Batman feel like more of a symbol than a mass produced product.  It's just too bad that after tracking down his secret hiding spot in Blossom Row, where we saw Bloom hanging out in Batman #44, it looks like nobody thought it was a problem that Bloom somehow hacked the Bat-Blimp and sent Jim out to find him without wondering what else he was able to hack into........ as we see here, he's able to hack the Robo-Bat itself and pits Jim's suit against him.  


That's it for this issue of Batman and while it certainly made Bloom more of a threat to me than some super power peddling Slender-Man that just sticks to the shadows, the beats in this story come off a little forced because of the more prominent role of the villain and Batman having to go after him.  I mean, I really feel like I missed an entire issue to this story with everything that feels like it came out of nowhere.  Again, I could just be simply forgetting something that was briefly mentioned months ago that became a big plot point here, but even that feels wrong because even though this is a big story arc, I shouldn't feel completely lost in something that I've been following.  We've got Bloom's seeds being electromagnetic, Batman having the ability to neutralize Bloom's power (I didn't mention that in "Explain It!", but it was there) and hell, even Duke knowing so much about how the Penguin runs his empire.  Just a lot of things feel like they come out of left field and it brings the enjoyment level of the book down a bit.  The art though, like most issues of Batman is fantastic and I'm a big fan of almost everything that Capullo does here, except Black Mask's redesign, but I love the helmet that he added to Duke in his Robin persona, so maybe the two cancel each other out.  So far, this new direction of Batman has been lukewarm and I hope that the next issue does a little bit more for both the characters of Jim Gordon and Mr. Bloom, but with everything else going on in this story with Duke Thomas and Bruce Wayne, it feels like Snyder bit off a little bit more than he could chew in telling this tale. 

Bits and Pieces:

While Mr. Bloom seriously ups his threat level here, the pacing of the story feels off at times and even makes me feel like I missed an issue do to all the things that are thrown out here like they're common knowledge.  There are so many things that are going on in this story that it's hard to keep track in what's going on, especially Bruce's personal life because it's basically just thrown in for no reason besides to remind people that the character they know and love is still alive and to tease readers that he may return.  Even though I thought that some of the story didn't mesh right, the art was great as always and I hope that this story arc can truly become epic so we'll all have fond memories of Jim Gordon's time as Batman in the future. 

6/10
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18 comments:

  1. 6 out of 10 WTF Eric this is madness and you can't treat Snyder like this.

    Just joking personally i liked the review so suck it up haters.

    Also somebody tell me why comicvine always gives near perfect reviews those guys need to grow a backbone they honestly can't like all those books month in and month out...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it, but damn did I panic and think to myself "here we go again" when I read your first sentence.

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    2. Eric you must be jumping with joy with penguin being alive. I recall you being a little upset on the podcasts about his fate. haah

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    3. A 6 out of 10?!?!? I am so glad that you get to review this...and our business plan is now in full effect!

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    4. I am so damn happy. Penguin is one of my favorite villains and I was so worried that Snyder was going to just straight up kill him off in order to make room for his new creation. Kind of like a "Move Over Penguin, Mr. Bloom Is Here". Thankfully, that was not the case........ now I just want to know what kind of party Black Mask thought this was with that mask he's wearing.

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    5. Snyder in my eyes added some sex with this issue . With Black mask going S&M party with Penguin and friends and also that wonderful scene in the shower with Bruce all proud of his "utility belt" this issue was very risky.

      Disclaimer : Jokes please relax if reading and getting angry.

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    6. I don't mind other sites being overly positive, but it does upset me when we get tagged as negative just because we don't agree with them.

      The guys at Comicvine have said that they usually only review issues that they enjoy, so it does seem like they come in on the high side of things usually.

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  2. Yeah the black mask suit needs a redesign.

    They need to start explaining bloom because his just slender man with plant powers

    Also what about that panel with Alfred Eric ?

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    Replies
    1. With just that one panel I didn't think that there was anything to talk about yet because I don't know the implications of what Alfred destroying the Genesis machine...... or whatever it's called has to do with anything yet and with so much other things going on in this issue I didn't want to take the time to speculate about Bruce actually being a clone.

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  3. I think this review is right on the money. I feel like two issues were folded into one, or maybe something had to be changed partway through this issue during its production, but it did feel like the story beats were off. There were some really cool scenes, and I was really glad to see Daryl and the We Are Robins clique being folded in--and that panel with the many robot Batman suits should have been a larger splash page if not a spread, come on! Overall, it was just a sort of mediocre issue, not something to hate but certainly nothing to love.

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  4. I'm torn on wanting to know more about Bloom: he's interesting enough that I'm curious about his story, but ruining the mystique would more than likely take away any power he has as a compelling villain.

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    1. He's interesting, but if we don't learn anything about him or what he's about, it would seem too much like a cop out to me.

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    2. Ya I need to know how this guy can take down everyone with fingers, beat his supposed weakness magnets with not much effort, plus control his body and control computers apparently. Thats a hell of a power set that needs a little explaining.

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  5. Did everyone over at DC smoke abig bowel of crack before starting most of these post convergence comics they seem so half baked and desperate, i was interested in seeing Jim play at being the batman but most its arc is neh at best and leaving looking back to night of owls and endgame for good batman stories

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  6. Nice touch with the tattoos heh heh heh. A pale pasty redhead WITH tattoos... Well that's why I married one BOOSH.

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  7. I like a lady with tattoos myself...

    Did anyone notice the OWL on her hip?

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    Replies
    1. I had not...... but that's a good catch and it will surely lead to Jim puffing his chest out and strutting about because he's swearing that Julie will screw Bruce over.

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