Things get a bit…manipulated as Gordon continues his run as Batman in well, Batman #42 written by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo, Danny Miki on inks, FCO Plascencia on colors and Steve Wands on lettering. This issue Snyder lines James up against his first own super-villain, a strange figure later called Mr. Bloom who has implanted poisonous “self-destruct” seeds in the bodies of his lackeys or partners causing a string of deaths. Julia and Daryl are keen on James’ insecurities about being Batman so Julia decides to have a talk with the former Commissioner and they present him with the Bat-Truck, a giant batmobile and mobile base.
The main bulk of the issue pits James against Gee Gee Heung who is back and seems to have had a metahuman upgrade with the ability to manipulate brick, asphalt, etc. It’s an interesting powerset with results somewhere in between Terra or Geo-Force and Clayface. The fight, which turns into a rather literal Batman vs Batman metaphorical struggle for James as Gee Gee Heung forms “Classic Bruce Batman” body out of brick and asphalt around himself is juxtaposed with a flashback to James and Commissioner (Maggie) Sawyer discussing the string of seed related deaths. It sounds busy but between the talk between Julia and James and then James and Maggie, it’s actually rather balanced. The issues ends with a bang and yet another death by seed. It ends with James seeking out Bruce Wayne, who is lying low with a full beard. I do believe this might be the first sighting of Julie Madison in the Nu52 as well.
This issue confirms that Julia Perry is Julia Pennyworth (pretty obvious) and features Bruce doing what he honestly does best; public service. Duke is interesting as well considering his role in the new We Are Robin title. The issue is pretty balanced overall and the “bat-truck” is probably one of the more amusing things I’ve seen in a while. Art is great, as is coloring, though Capullo’s art isn’t my favorite per se. It’s certainly identifiable though.
Gotham is literally the worst city on Earth. I need to keep suspending my disbelief that the city can be this bad and a new “worst and poorest” part of town gets introduced every few years, this time we’ve ported over Batman Begins The Narrows. It’s not really that much of a gripe and yeah, man running around in Bat-suit there is no realism here, but I feel like I can’t fully grasp Gotham’s situation all the time. I suppose one has to keep the hardboiled noir quotient up but Gotham veers far too close to a dystopia sometimes.
This is really good. It’s different but the whole set up sort of works. I wish Gordon could have kept his mustache in a way, it would have been interesting. Otherwise not much else to say other than a solid effort.