Story and script by Scott Snyder and Jason Tynion IV
Consulting writers: Ray Fawkes, John Layman, and Tim Seeley
Art by Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson
The short of it:
The Mayor is informed of the crisis from last issue, the train crash, and Gordon’s involvement. He asks himself what the world is coming to, and a shadowy figure more or less says “shot called it, five years ago”. Anyway; Vicki Vale hasn’t run the story yet because she wants to be absolutely sure that Gordon did it before she blasts his name across the news, but when all is said and done, the Gotham Gazette has to break this story before everyone else gets to it, so she goes live. And live it goes! Batman calls Batgirl personally to let her know, Harper and her brother see it on the news, hell, Jason Toss sees it in Hong Kong. Seriously, they go through a run through, everyone sees it; Red Robin even decides to come home.
Batman goes to see Gordon in jail, and Jim says the same story we saw last issue. He saw the gun, but the footage they pulled from the security cameras didn’t show one. Batman is Batman though, he decides to see if Gordon was dosed by Pyg or something of the like. Gordon is willing to accept that he might have just screwed up, that he’s only human, but Batman has more faith in his friend than that. Then we’re back to the Mayor and his shadowy friend, a guy who owns him pretty much without question. A man who wants Gotham back the way it was. Back at the crime scene a mysterious man with death in his eyes goes in to investigate, and this reviewer geeked out.
A little Dr. Phosphorus scene is followed by Batman doing detective work, before being interrupted by Catwoman. He talks Selina through his mindset and finds himself shocked when he realizes who the man Gordon killed is…and who he worked for. The shadowy figure talking to the Mayor goes on more about taking the city back to how things use to be, and Batman is in full action mode. Catwoman wants to know why, assuming him to be over reacting, but all he has to do is say the man’s name and she feels the same fear wash over her.
What I liked:
So many characters, so much potential. Spectre!
Thank God the bad guy wasn’t Joe Chill or something relating to Joe Chill. This is so much better.
Still digging this Fabok art. I know he’ll need a fill at some point, because, I mean, he’s not Mark Bagley, and even Mark Bagley isn’t Mark Bagley, but I’m really enjoying this.
The pacing. This is how a weekly book should read…like a monthly book. Like a bi-monthly book. Like any book. It’s a nice touch.
So is the density of it, for that matter. I started doing a write up while reading it on my tablet, and I figured I was halfway through, checked the page number…seven. There is a lot of content in this issue, definitely worth the money.
Jim Gordon’s willingness to accept that he may have made a mistake. I mean, yes, we as readers know that there is more than meets the eye, but he’s a veteran cop working on no sleep. He knows it’s just as likely that he made a mistake, and that’s a great little character moment.
What I didn’t like:
Another month, another Batman book, another Mayor. Worst job in Gotham, you don’t matter, and you will die a horrible death.
For a franchise that wasn’t seen as needing too much put into its reboot, the condensed timeline and reimagined origins have made for some really confusing…everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving all of it, but with Two Face’s origin no longer involving Long Halloween, but now getting back a character from that era…I guess I’m just saying that I don’t like that Long Halloween didn’t happen. I like that story.
Snyder and Tynion showing all sorts of love to Gotham and its history? No! Shocker!
In all seriousness, Snyder’s love of Gotham has shown through his work on the Bat since he was writing Dick as Batman in Detective Comics. Everything he does builds upon history and personality of the city, not unlike the way James Robinson crafted Opal City in Starman. And it’s not just the stuff he’s created himself, like the Talons, and the entire plot of Gates of Gotham; this issue has him bringing in a Jeph Loeb character from the good old days of Jeph Loeb being in the must read writer box.
You know what city needs an infusion of personality so that it’ll be more than just a set piece for a character? Metropolis.
That is what I hear every time I hear her name. I miss Chuck.
Once I saw the rose I knew who the shadowy guy was, I mean, Long Halloween is one of my favorite Batman stories. Some visuals just never leave you, and Tim Sale is really good at producing them.
My biggest complaint with DC’s essentially-weekly Smallville title is that ever issue feels too quick, they’re all pretty standard sized, but they feel over so quickly and the scheduling seems to make more sense. You need three or four issues to really get going with a story, so getting them quickly helps. Fantastic book, otherwise, but it really is best read in bulk. I don’t have that complaint with this book. Two weeks, two issues, and the biggest complaint I could normally muster is not wanting to wait a month to get more of the story, but since I’m getting more in a week, I’m completely complacent.
Remember 52? Or Countdown? I’m SO happy this isn’t reading like those. Every other issue was filler, and I mean, not even good filler. Pointless never referenced again filler. Even though this book doesn’t really make giant leaps and bounds forward in the plot, it introduces enough subplots and characters that it really doesn’t have that filler feel.
I still have Batman AND Batman and Robin? I love Batman week!
A lifelong reader and self proclaimed continuity guru, Grey is the Editor in Chief of Comics Nexus. Known for his love of Booster Gold, Spider-Girl (the real one), Stephanie Brown, and The Boys. Don't miss The Gold Standard.