With Bruce, ahem, indisposed, it’s up to one Jim Gordon in an oversized Bat-mech along with his personal Bat-Zeppelin along with a tech team of Julia Perry (Is that Julia Pennyworth?) and Daryl Gutierrez behind him. In this introductory issue Jim is deployed to take down what appears to be a giant energy monster, which naturally, since this is Batman, is not entirely what it seems. It’s always organized crime.
Gone is the mustache. Gone is the hair. Jim Gordon (age 46, really?) is now Batman and has gotten a “hot dad” makeover to fit into a svelte smaller suit of the Batman Beyond variety. Is this entirely believable? Yes and no. Is this interesting? Yes. Does it work? I’m going to tentatively say yes.
Snyder does have the capacity for a good tone and this new tone has shades of BTAS and Batman Beyond to it so I’m curious to see where this goes. Julia looks exactly like Julia Pennyworth so I’m hoping it’s actually her as a plant from the Batfamily inside this new team assembled by one Ms. Powers. It’s fun concept with pretty stylized coloring so I’m excited but hesitant to this new venture. They lampshade the mecha looking like a bunny, and in general the script is fun and tight.
Jim Gordon gone grizzled army-style buff? I dunno if that’s something I really can believe fully (the same as his age, ouch that’s a rough 46 these days). A craggy Jim Gordon piloting a bat-mech is something I whole heartedly endorse and can believe. Him actually wearing a batsuit? This is sort of out of the box thinking that’s neither a negative nor a positive. More “huh”. And does it work? I’m entertained so it must be working. I enjoyed Jim through the entire issue, particularly while piloting the mecha. However, this makes me think they could have just had one of the bat-boys fill in again. Or..better yet…how about multiple Batman. Oh wait…that’s already happened….
NEGATIVES And that’s what brings me to the true “negative” is that Snyder’s work, while fun and often of a reasonably tempered tone, often feels like a rehash of arcs and things that just happened not that long ago in comics. His Owls arc, The Death of A Family, it all felt derivative if not a rehash and retooling of much of Morrison’s work. And I am not a particular Morrison defender but it’s what I notice. Ms. Powers training cops to be Batman? Feels like a rehash of the experiment that created the “evil” Batmans that lead up to RIP and what is finished in Damian’s 666 future. Bruce “dying” and someone taking over? See the above. Bruce walking around with probably amnesia like a bum? Also see above. Hey even the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh colors are shown as an option for the bat-mech, which was actually a great and funny nod to the story. But what does this offer other than making Jim Gordon even more bad-ass? A voice in my head says that’s enough in itself and that Jim Gordon getting a makeover is perfectly fine, but another says, that’s kind of strange. VERDICTBat-Gordon? What will Babs say to this?! “Dad Please”. Me? I’m in for the ride, though I acknowledge a lot of Snyder’s shortcomings as a writer. It’s a cool (temporary, assuredly) slightly silver-age and just enough out there venture with nice stylized coloring that you probably don’t want to miss. Bring it on, whether we’re ready or not.