Secret meetings, AWOL jarheads, blacklisted Ops, and bar fights. The history of Detective, and later Commissioner, Jim Gordan has been vast and flushed out. We know from years of his work in Gotham and most recently even donning the mantle of The Batman. In this latest issue of Detective Comics though, we get to see a glimpse into his history with the USMC mentioned in Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and in Fox’s Gotham.
After a hard case involving bronze statues and a delusional holy warrior (Detective Comics #48 – 50), you’d think Jim Gordan might be able to catch his breath. Gotham has other plans. When on his way home from the grocery store he is stopped by one of his ex-military buddies to talk about the old days. Soon enough they are attacked in a back alley by zealots from a far off land and Gordon is watching his friend die.
Now the chase is on for Sergeant Gordan as he heads back to Afghanistan to investigate, with the batsuit in hand! After taking off into the desert to find his old military unit’s FOB, he starts digging around to see what dark secrets from his past would make a hardened veteran go AWOL and others go missing entirely!
The art style of Pasarin, along with the hometown feel of the writing of Tomasi creates a real feel of closeness with Jim Gordan in this latest issue of Detective Comics. The contrast of the muggy night of Gotham with the blazing sun of the desert allows Pasarin to really stretch his artistic muscles while showcasing Matt Ryan’s inking ability.
Detective Comics #52 has the potential to be a really great story but will falter if it features some singular monster or other obvious villain as it’s antagonist. The follow-up to this interesting tale of Gordon’s past needs to feel as unique as it started. Also, for those fans of this recent run of Detective, you’ll notice Jim has started smoking again.
Overall, a good read and an exciting glimpse into the history of Sergeant James Gordon!