The first issue of this new direction with Jim Gordon as Batman was surprisingly good. It hit all the right notes (at least with me) in setting up the new status quo, how this corporate Batman operation works, and even dropping a surprising twist at the end. It got me pumped and I am hoping to see that continue with the second issue. Is it good?
Batman #42 (DC Comics)
Things continue to heat up with Jim Gordon as he continues his new job as Batman. He’s got a new Batmobile (well, Bat-Truck as it were), a villain using Gotham literally as a weapon, and something else; something far more dangerous working in the background. Something… or someone who has some major problems.
Like last issue, this latest issue of Scott Snyder’s Batman run is pretty great and a lot of fun. Story-wise, this is where things start picking up and heading in a direction for this story arc. Last time, the comic was all about setup and establishing the new status quo for series with Gordon as Batman. This issue does have setup, but there’s more than just that. It adds a few mysteries to the comic with this new arms dealer, it follows up on the cliffhanger and surprise from the last issue, and it even addresses the situation with Julia Pennyworth actually being on the team. It’s slowly developing and revealing new parts of the story, but in way that feels natural and not dragged out. At least for now—this is a long story arc, after all.
Yeah Jim! Buildings don’t punch people! Don’t be silly.
Snyder’s writing continues to do well in this latest issue. The characterization is fairly strong overall with depicting all of the characters. Some of the best moments when it comes to the character development and writing comes in the scenes with Jim interacting with different characters, like with him and Sawyer talking to one another about this string of murders going on and his job. The dialogue and narration still feel really good, like Snyder has really toned down the monologuing and overly wordiness of the pages. The pacing is good, the story flows well between scenes, and there’s a nice dash of humor at various points that do elicit a smile or two. The only problem that may feel glaring for some (not so much for me personally) is with the ending of this and the last issue. Bruce Wayne is already back and wandering around, making it very obvious things will eventually turn back to normal. Clearly, we knew all of this would eventually return back to way things were, but being too forward about it may not work for some.
Finally, we turn to the artwork by Greg Capullo and like usual, it looks fantastic. His characters continue to look very good and expressive and the layouts are strong and really bring the action to life. The creativity with some of the action and one particular foe fought in the issue looks great; no one seems off model nor does anything feel stiff in its movement. Honestly, there are really no big negatives, outside of the fact I’ve never seen the sky look dirt brown before. It’s just another great looking issue that makes me excited to see more in the future.
I was going to personally say Bat-Train, but sure. Let’s go with that.
Is It Good?
Batman #42 continues building off the success and quality of the last issue, advancing the plot forward with new mysteries and character development. While not everything has been revealed or even possibly hinted at for where this comic can go, the future still looks bright for this title. This status quo may not last forever, but it’s taken us this far, and it’s a ride you are still not going to want to miss out on.