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Written By: Scott Snyder Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia, Steve Wands Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 9, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Even though it feels like we never left because of all the books out there dealing with it, it's time to get back to Gotham and see how Jim Gordon deals with not only Mr. Bloom, but also his backstabbing robot suit, who's flipped sides on Jim's ass and is now working for Bloom....... Yeah, it's probably just Bloom taking control of the suit, but even if that's the case I want you to remember one thing from this review and one thing alone........ never trust robots. Even though I started out really excited about this change to our Batman comics with Jim Gordon becoming the Bat himself, after reading issue after issue of our new hero, I have to say I'm getting a little bored because while I can't argue that he's trying to be Batman, he's just not very good at it and that's not what I'm looking for in my Batman books........ Basically, if I'm not getting what I want, I'm pretentious enough to let everyone know about it over and over again.......... I'm not even sure if that's a joke anymore. As much as I'll besmirch the good name of Jim Gordon, the real thing that's been throwing me in this comic is the new villain Mr. Bloom because at this point in time it seems like the motherfucker can do anything that suits him and I'm still not completely sure what he's going for with his villainy. Hopefully, we'll find out here so let's quit the jibber jabber and get to it.
Our issue begins with Batman getting the holy hell kicked out of him by his former partner, the Bat suit. It seems that when Mr. Bloom went and busted up that party in the previous issue, he somehow found the time to get a transmitter on the Robat and now can control it remotely....... or somehow because I'm not seeing a damn remote.......... must be some form of flower power. After facing a tremendous beating, Jim Gordon actually shows us that he has some skills and reverses the polarity of the neutron flow of the Bat suit's missile system and causes them to explode in their launchers, destroying the bat suit and stopping his best friend in the bat biz.......... poor rookie....... In case you haven't been reading this title lately, I'm just talking about the bat suit with all of that........ Jim apparently likes pet names for his clothing. Okay, so we saw Jim Gordon step up and actually do something Batman like and he even surprises us again when we find out that when he was doing those initial Batman like things, he was also doing some more. Yeah, it's crazy, but it turns out when he was fighting his suit, he also sent out an EMP making all of Mr. Bloom's electromagnet, irradiated, super power seeds inert. Of course this pisses Mr. Bloom off and it looks like Jim's about to get planted in the ground, but our current Batman pulled off a hat trick when we find out that the suit was able to........ even while destroyed somehow, send out a signal that disabled Mr. Bloom's powers, allowing Jim to just whale him in the face and take him out. While all of these things seem mighty convenient, it's still fun to see Batman come out on top because lately, that aspect of our hero has been hard to find.
Heading over to the Iceberg Lounge, we see Duke Thomas get away from Penguin, Great White Shark, Black Mask and Scarface (who's now able to pronounce his B's), but with a well placed shot from Penguin........ somehow the roof that Duke was running on.......... blows the hell up, throwing Duke into the water below and putting him right in the sights of some of Penguin's goons, who seem to find it funny that a Robin is black and if it wasn't for the sudden appearance of Bruce Wayne....... who since he's rocking a bat, I guess we can call him a Bat Man, Duke would have been sleeping with the fishes.
It turns out that some of that world famous detective skill is still rattling around inside Bruce's head because after finding that the inactive seed that Jim Gordon gave him in a previous issue was missing, Bruce used the Rec Center's computers to find out where Duke was going, due to Duke doing all his research at the Center. It's because of this great detective work and memories of Batman talking to him years ago, that we find out Duke has himself some decent detective skills as well and determintes that Bruce Wayne is actually Batman....... and because of this realization, he downright hates Bruce. Instead of looking at the past that could make Bruce realize who he is, Duke accuses him of simply being content with the life he's now living, while people around him are suffering because of the lack of the Batman in Gotham and Bruce gets one hell of a wake up call when Duke stands on some subway tracks with the train coming towards them and forces Bruce to look at the oncoming lights and really think about what's scaring him away from looking at the parts of his past that are surrounded by shadows........ of course the sound of the train becomes a bat's screech and the vision that Bruce gets is downright terrifying as we see a giant bat coming towards him. The two jump out of the way at the last minute and Duke leaves Bruce to think about what he's said.
In the end, Jim Gordon arrests Mr. Bloom, but during the transport they find out that it's no time to break out the pinatas and RC Cola because getting captured seems to be a part of Bloom's plan and the drive to the GCPD is put on hold when the Batmobile is torn apart by multiple Blooms. If that wasn't enough of a cliffhanger for you, we also get to see Bruce go to his park bench thinking spot and really ponder if he could actually be Batman. It's funny too because while Bruce is actually trying to say the words out loud to see if they feel real, he's interrupted by someone who wants to sit down as well. It turns out that these two have a lot in common already because when Bruce tells the man that he sits there from time to time because he was in an accident nearby, the mystery man tells him that he did as well........... and we see that the man is actually a dionysium healed Joker.
That's it for this issue of Batman and even though I've been getting kind of grumpy about all the things that seem to happen in this book because they're just convenient, I did find myself having fun here even in the face of all that convenience. Yeah, things just seem to go the way that the characters want them to without any real explanation besides...... well, without any real explanation actually, but maybe it's because of the positive feel of this issue with good overcoming evil, Bruce staring at the abyss that is is mind and us getting some really decent cliffhangers, this issue just came off more enjoyable than any in recent months. While I am sick of dealing with the Joker over and over again in this series, I do have to admit that I am interested in seeing what the dionesium did to Joker and how Bruce's new revelation about his former life with coincide with his new bench pal's arrival. At this point I don't know why I even bring it up because month after month I just sit here and tell you that the art in this book is fantastic and like all those months, nothing has changed. Just more awesome through and through. Batman's been a weird book lately, but with Bruce Wayne coming to grips and actually looking like he'll explore his past, this issue gives me a renewed interest in this series and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Bits and Pieces:
I found myself really enjoying this issue because it really had a more positive tone with what appeared to be good overcoming evil and probably because we really saw Jim Gordon pulling off being Batman. While Mr. Bloom's plans are still shadowed away for a future issue, the events here will really get you excited for what's to come going forward. Just a lot of fun all the way through, even if some of it came off as really convenient in the end.