Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Snyder, Capullo, Miki & Plascencia
"Batman" provides an entertaining read that contains a couple of solid plot twists. While, the Bruce Wayne sideshow doesn't get much movement, the Jim Gordon-as-Batman one certainly does. This issue is the usual well-written, terrifically illustrated comic book where if you are reading this series you've come to expect every single month. I definitely recommend reading this, even if you aren't too into the plot that has Jim Gordon in the Batman suit.
Jim Gordon is in quite a bind in this issue. Trapped in an inferno that threatens to cook him alive, he has to think on his feet. The cliffhanger is reminiscent of the 1960s TV show because the villains sort of turn their attention away from Batman as they assume he's done for. The narration is great especially line about who is the one to save Batman when Batman needs saving. It's a great sequence and it really gets this comic on a fast pace out of the gate. Capullo also outdoes himself in this sequence.
Later on, Gordon is confronted by his boss and finds out that he isn't doing all that well in his performance evaluations. Gordon doesn't resist but he doesn't plan to go quietly either. The cliffhanger has Gordon doing what he does best: saving people.
The weak point of the comic book deals with the Bruce Wayne subplot. He's lost his memory and his purpose in this story really. He's already turned Gordon down to help Team Batman take on crime and he's got a girlfriend that seems to occupy much of his time. I'm not entirely sure where this is all going but Snyder seems to feel Wayne needs some page time so the readers don't lose track of him, but they feel so out of place in this issue.
Part of the problem with this issue is the heavy continuity of some of the scenes. There are references to Wayne's girlfriend's father, and for the life of me I can't place who that character is. Is it a character from another comic? There is also a scene with Duke (a character from "We Are Robin") and some other character. They seem to be important to this book but, again, they seem to be discussing things that occurred in another book. As someone that only reads this comic book I can't help but think this is confusing. With the editorial gaffs found in the Annual I wonder if the same thing is at work here. The editors assume the reader is reading everything and don't really want to bother with making the references tie to anything in the issue the reader is currently reading.
The artwork is the highlight of the comic book. Capullo provides epic pages with fine details and tough images. He holds strong command of telling a terrific visual story that lines up with the dialogue and entertains on their own merits. The artwork is tremendous.
"Batman" provides an entertaining and compelling read this month. Gordon finds himself in hot water with villains and with his boss. Things seem to be going poorly for Gordon, while the life of Bruce Wayne couldn't be going better. This comic is one of the strongest reads month after month, but that is as much because of the artwork as it is for the storytelling. I highly recommend checking this issue out.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles