Leave This One Behind
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Fernando Pasarin, Matt Ryan, Chris Sotomayor and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 4, 2016
I have mentioned in my reviews and on our podcast that it is obvious that Peter Tomasi's run on Detective Comics has been marred by editorial snafus, forced crossovers and just about everything else you could imagine. It's a shame, because I have really liked his ideas, but then again, by the time they get to print, who knows what's been stretched, compacted and turned inside out. This all leads us to his last story and the one I'm here to review...Gordon at War. With Rebirth coming up in a month and Detective Comics reverting to it's old numbering and with a new creative team jumping on, Tomasi's story feels out of place and pretty much unnecessary. To me, it all comes down to seeing Jim Gordon in the Batsuit and while I was one of the people who actually enjoyed it when it was happening, that ship has sailed. So, was this conclusion of the story and Tomasi's run good despite the uphill battle it is fighting? Let's find out...
The issue opens with Jim Gordon continuing storytelling time and it's one of those "very apparent that this is just narration" type of things. If the scene shifted back to Gotham, I'm sure that we'd see that Julie was barely paying attention...I know that I was struggling myself. The whole story was just the generic continuation from what we say in last issue's cliffhanger and was neither exciting or shocking. The only thing we learned is that just like Vegas, whatever happens in the desert, stays in the desert.
It's all interrupted by Gordon's Marine buddies digging him out and hatching a plan. They are going to go back to where they left the zealots the last time they dealt with them. Really? So, they are admitting that "what happens in the desert, stays in the desert" is a bunch of bullshit and that they have pretty much let everything go on all these years?!?!? It's okay, though, because this time they have the robo Batsuit. Great...
The whole fact that Gordon is announcing he is Batman is brushed aside quickly as he suits up and heads down the suddenly appearing staircase. I know that we have limited time to tell this story, but things just keep happening for the sake of them happening. That continues as they run across their missing comrades with no problem whatsoever and Gordon adds two more people to the "I know who Batman is" list. Of course, Tomasi has to have Gordon grab all the dead marines' dog tags because, "Every marine is going home!"
After a little scrap with some pushover zealots, they end up in the underground chamber of Amun-Set and if this story didn't remind you of The Mummy yet, it will hit you right in the face now. I'll admit, this part was cool enough and while I have no idea what the hell the mythos of the Amun-Set is all about, seeing the big bad wrapped in the strips of skin was gory fun and ties into what we've already seen.
Of course, a huge battle breaks out and it continues the whole "no man left behind" theme as well as giving us one last chance to see the robo Batman in action. Amun-Set is supposed to be a menacing monster, but without knowing anything about him, he kind of comes off as silly. Then Gordon proves that point by taking him down pretty quick and easy. It all ends with Gordon and the Marines once again pretending nothing happened and moving on with their lives...I've heard of "don't ask, don't tell", but this is just ridiculous.
I'm sure you can tell that I was not that thrilled with this issue. I was pretty sure that this two parter was just filler going in and now that it's over, I'd bet money on it. In the end, nothing much happened and what did was just ridiculous. Sure, there was a framework of what could have been a good story involving the supernatural...which I actually really enjoy in a book like Batman, but everything is rushed along and seemed to be there only to pound in an after school special type message. At the end of the day, this story didn't make me appreciate Jim Gordon any bit more than I already did, but instead made me look forward to this book getting to Rebirth. Maybe that was the point all along and we were just being taken for a ride.
I did like the art more than the story. While the desert scenes at the beginning didn't do anyone on the art team any favors, once everyone gets underground, it all picks up. The moody lighting that Chris Sotomayor gives to the scenes was great and Fernando Pasarin draws a kick ass mummy. However, it's all over too quickly and after putting it down, nothing really stuck with me.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue (and the two part arc it finishes) has me excited for Rebirth. Not because it leads into the upcoming event one bit, but because once it starts, I can forget about this bunch of nonsense. I don't think Tomasi was given much to work with here and he passes that on to the reader. Everything about this screams filler and I am just sorry that I heeded the call.