When we last saw Jim Gordon as the new Batman, things weren't going too well. While trying to get a lead on the mysterious Mr. Bloom, Gordon literally ended up in a real hot spot. This is one of the great things about getting to read a Batman book with a different Batman. We all know the almighty Batman can easily get out of any sticky situation.
This is the good and bad thing about Gordon as Batman. Clearly most readers would want to see Bruce Wayne under the cowl but just as seeing Dick Grayson fill in the boots, this allows for some twists to the character that's been around for over seventy-five years. Gordon gives us a Batman we haven't seen before. We have that excitement in wondering how will he get out of 'this one.' Scott Snyder has excelled at putting Batman in situations where he would get beaten down. The suspense is greater now. And if Jim didn't have his hands full out on the street, there's also the political side of being a Batman answering to the city and a corporation.
For those demanding Bruce Wayne, we do get to see him continuing and adjusting to his new life without any memory of having been Batman before. This, too, is an interesting twist to the character. We're getting to see what Bruce Wayne would have been like without the trauma and burden of becoming Batman. Long time comics readers can feel it in their bones that Bruce has to return to the cowl somehow at some point. For now, we get to see how things unfold and whether or not there exists any hint of the man he used to be.
As exciting as these changes are, it's hard not to think about wanting Bruce fully back. He's doing some great things for Gotham but we can't help wanting him back in action. There are some interesting subplots developing with the other characters to keep our minds occupied as well.
As you would expect, the art by Greg Capullo and Danny Miki and colors by FCO Plascencia are top notch. Batman goes through a brutal fight and these guys make it look spectacular. You can almost feel the pain Jim's going through. It's great seeing him in his under-costume as well as the armor suit in action.
After last month's flashback issue dipping into the story of Mr. Bloom, we're back in the present with Jim Gordon fighting for his life. Some may be patiently waiting for Bruce Wayne to somehow return to the bat-cowl but having a new Batman adds a new twist to the story and keeps throwing the unexpected our way. Snyder, Capullo, Miki, and Plascencia are keeping the 75+ year old character fresh but throwing different things at us. This issue does feel like it's still setting up pieces to the bigger story. We're getting closer to seeing the full wrath and capabilities of Mr. Bloom. There's no doubt things are going to get pretty crazy next issue.