Is Jim a good Batman?
It's been two months now since Jim Gordon became Batman and he has been rocking the mantle in a few other DC books as well. He's getting more experience with every issue and is becoming more and more Batman, at least for him and his supporting cast. Things are moving on pretty quickly and now he's even getting his very own arch nemesis, for now, in the face of Mr. Bloom, who we still haven't seen. And as always, there's lots and lots of action for a book in which stars Gordon Batman.
Now as I've said in one of my previous reviews, I haven't had the chance to share my opinion on Jim as Batman with none of you guys. Here's the deal: I like the change because it brings something fresh at the table and this way we'll get even more Jim Gordon appearing in the Batman book which is always a great thing to happen; however, his actions and the way he moves are something that I completely dislike about the character. I know you'll guys say that it is normal for him to be less experienced and to make simple mistakes, but that's not my biggest problem. The major problem about him is that he is reckless and he defeats most of his enemies with a lot of collateral damage and thus way he endangers a lot of bystanders and innocent people. His suit isn't exactly practical and so far for all of the issues he's appeared in, it's been demolished more than three times. Another thing is that Snyder is trying to bring some cool gadgets for the new Batman like the new Batmobile, which is actually a truck, but why exactly does Gordon need a Batmobile when he has a robotic suit that can travel with high speed? That basically covers everything I have to say about Jim, I hope he improves as a character and as Batman or else he'll be the worst Batman yet.
The story itself is actually compelling and I like the way things are moving. Almost nothing is rushed and even though we are several months ahead of the Batman/Joker fight, we are getting flashbacks which are unveiling to us what happened. This story wouldn't be remembered as something ground breaking or mind blowing in terms of character development or a great compelling story, or a memorable villain, or a great supporting cast but it sure as hell a great entertainment. The action is a great part of the story and it isn't a bad thing because when you have Greg Capullo doing the art, things can never go bad. His style is amazing as always and his facial expressions, battle scenes and character designs are brilliant. One thing that is pretty disappointing for me is the design of the suit but that's another thing for which he may not be that guilty.
The best part of the issue was the end, the cliffhanger, which is basically the same thing as the previous issue. We are all seeing the return of Bruce Wayne but not in the way most people expect it to be. He is just acting like himself and he is not even playing the whole billionaire playboy thing, he is just a normal person helping out Julie Madison, an old love interest of his in the pre-Flashpoint universe. I am really hooked to see where things will head for Bruce and how he'll eventually return to doing the job in which he's the best.
Now, to return to Jim for a moment. I really want to talk about his character as well. I am really impressed how a simple shave, a new haircut and a few months of training can make you look so young compared to your old self. Jim isn't so old but he's still a man in his mid 40s who is now looking like a man in his early 30's and in perfect physical condition. It's been one hell of a training regime if you ask me. But that's not the biggest problem with him. There's the fact that since he's become the new Batman he's acting like a younger man, one that doesn't sound like his old self and even his inner monologue sounds like something that I simply don't expect from Jim. It's not that I don't like him as a character now, but that just isn't him.
This book has definitely dropped in quality, at least for me. The change is something great but it's not handled well and I wish for a change. I hope that Snyder picks things up and starts writing the quality stories he's capable of and not this cheap gimmick. Right now he's trying to impress with a lot of action and great load of new gadgets but that's not enough for me. I think that next issue might be better but we'll have to wait and see.