Damn All of Them
Written By: Scott Snyder
Art By: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia, Steve Wands
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 20, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Let's continue our foray into "Super Heavy" with this issue of Batman and see where all the wild stuff we saw last month will go....... You know what I'm talking about. We not only had Jim Gordon believing that he apprehended Mr. Bloom, only to find out that the whole thing was a set up when the transport van was ripped open by what looked like a gang of blooms...... or should we call them a bouquet? On top of that we had what I thought was the most interesting part of the book with Bruce Wayne seeming like he was beginning to remember who he was. Yeah, that's a pretty interesting issue, but it was all topped off with a excellent cliffhanger, where we saw Bruce sitting on his thinking bench and approached by what looked like a dionysium healed Joker. Hopefully this issue will continue the hype that we were left with in the last issue. Let's jump in and check it out.
Our issue begins with a pretty cinematic feel as we jump between our Jim Gordon story and our Bruce Wayne one before Jim Gordon takes up the majority of the issue with Mr. Bloom's monologues throughout Gotham. For this we'll start out with Bruce Wayne because.......... well, because he's Bruce Wayne and that boy gets special treatment. So yeah, an amnesiac Joker and Bruce Wayne sit on a park bench and stare out onto a lake........... yeah, it sounds like a setup for a joke, but what actually goes down isn't the least bit funny because Joker makes some strong hints that he knows who both Bruce and him actually are........... kind of. It's all ambiguous and left up to interpretation, but the short and skinny of it is Joker apparently was suicidal at the thought of trying to reclaim who he was, but after realizing the calm of the park bench, he put his thoughts of ending it all away and all of this seems to be an analogy about what the world is like without both Batman and Joker in it........... which it seems in Joker's mind is a more peaceful place. Before shit gets serious with Jim Gordon's story, our bit with Bruce Wayne ends with the Joker almost seeming to be at peace with ending it all again as he pleads with Bruce to stay the way he is now, but an explosion in the city interrupts the meeting and by the time Bruce looks back towards the Joker, he's gone.
Back in Gotham, Jim is having a rough day when he pulled out of the wrecked GCPD transport van and toted around like Daffy Duck in The Abominable Snowman episodes of Loony Tunes.
That's right, Mr. Bloom is a goddamn giant now and it seems that his Endgame is to show Gotham it's would be savior without his mask and tell them that their former Police Commissioner is just another way that the police and government are trying to lie to them by giving them a false sense of security. Yeah, Mr. Bloom isn't a fan of this version of Batman and to help him prove his case with how flawed a policeman Batman actually is, we find out that his gang or bouquet of Blooms are actually just gangbangers that Jim Gordon arrested in the past, but who were quickly released. Kind of seems like overkill....... or simply unneeded when we also find out that Mr. Bloom has hidden his superpower seeds all over the city and beseeches it's populace to find them and take their safety into their own hands........ also take their bias' and hate mongering to new levels when his speech becomes a rant about how terrible the people around them are and even wants people to repeat with him, "Damn All of Them!". So yeah, the city erupts into a sea of angry folks searching out these seeds as a way to stand their ground............ Gotham seems like it's always on the verge of a riot with how easy one always breaks out.
In the end, Bruce Wayne makes it back to the Rec Center only to find people who have already placed the seeds inside their bodies and who have burned up for their trouble......... because if you remember these Bloom seeds are a lot like the Amazo Virus in that it will give you superpowers for a bit, but it will also end up killing you. The worst though is that a little girl named Liv, who you might remember as drawing Mr. Bloom in an earlier issue, has found a seed and plans on using it to become Batman, but all it does is turn her into Amanda Bearse's transformation scene from the original Fright Night........... but unlike Amanda, Liv just explodes for her trouble. Too bad William Ragsdale wasn't there to save her.
I guess seeing that little girl explode after becoming a monster was the straw that broke the Bat's back....... and mind because as our issue closes, we see Bruce Wayne beating down the door to Wayne Manor to find a seriously scared Alfred.............. which is actually really weird to see because he comes off as a shell of his former self here and Bruce Wayne demands that Alfred show him his cave.
That's it for this issue of Batman and while I loved everything with Bruce Wayne, as I have throughout this story arc, the stuff with Mr. Bloom just comes off too over the top in presentation, but too little in actual explanation. We still don't know anything about this character and while we've seen him stretch a bit to get his creepy on, here he just goes straight up Godzilla and marches around the city with Jim Gordon in his hand and I'm just left wondering why? Yeah, we know he's a bad guy, but beyond that we don't really have any motivation behind him except that he's some plant guy, who's great at tech and who can probably do anything that the story sees fit, while having some sort of vendetta against the people who keep Gotham running............ maybe..... I'm kind of in the dark here and jumping to conclusions just sounds exhausting. Even with that though, this is an interesting issue beyond all the mystery that is the dionysium healed Joker and Bruce Wayne and I can't wait to see what we ultimately find out about Mr. Bloom because right now, anything would be nice. As for the art, we continue to have another amazing looking issue from this art team and there's little else to say because if you've been reading any Batman for the last five years, you know how good it looks.
Bits and Pieces:
While you won't find out the secret origin of Mr. Bloom in this issue, you do begin to see his plans for the city laid out, while continuing the story of the amnesiac Bruce Wayne and his journey to becoming Batman again. This is all a setup issue, but the setup is interesting enough and as always the art looks great. I just wish we could put a handle on what Mr. Bloom can actually do because every damn issue it seems that he's got a new ability.