If you ask me DC and Marvel don’t create enough new villains. Sure Batman and Spider-Man already have a robust rogues gallery, but dammit I want fresh blood! If we have to follow the same hero around might as well bring in some new villains too right? Well Batman not only has a new villain in Mr. Bloom but also a new hero behind the mask to face him.
Is it good?
Batman #47 (DC Comics)
Last month Mr. Bloom was finally cornered by Batman but as it turns out — Bats was the one truly cornered. It turns out Mr. Bloom’s abilities are tied to some hi-tech stuff and he was able to turn Batman’s mech suit against him. This issue opens where that left off, plus Robin has infiltrated Penguin’s hideout and has a whole lot of bad guys chopping at his tail.
Why does this book matter?
Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder have built themselves into a corner we’ve never seen before. Batman nearly died a few months ago, Joker took over Gotham and the Court of Owls are now a major player in the bad guy pantheon of Batman. They’ve done a lot to be sure, and this issue is rife with symbolic storytelling; Batman is more complex than ever and we are benefiting from it.
How does he get out of this one?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Batman and Mr. Bloom go toe to toe and artist Greg Capullo depicts the action in amazing form per usual. Batman must figure out a way to defeat his mech which is interesting since it’s supposed to be pretty unstoppable. That leaves Snyder with the opportunity to show Gordon’s problem solving skills which extend into beating Mr. Bloom too. This culminates into an interesting reveal that makes Mr. Bloom a hell of a lot scarier than he already was which is a major feat considering how freaky the guy is already.
This issue also has an inspired narrative running through it that talks about a card game Harvey Bullock organizes that involves a mystery card that changes the game once it’s flipped. It’s a nice bit delving into Bullock’s lifestyle that ties into the main twist of the issue. Then Snyder goes on to surprise us even further with another whopper of a reveal. No spoilers here, but damn are people going to be talking about this later today!
It can’t be perfect can it?
I can’t say I’m a big fan of Bruce meeting up with Duke. Duke’s character gets some nice character development, but the whole interchange appears to be progressing Bruce’s realization he was Batman too quickly. There’s nothing definitive going on here per se, but characters “facing fears” by standing in front of an oncoming train is a bit much.
A very tense scene!
Is It Good?
Action is tight and works well to build up Batman’s problem solving skills while we get a major reveal to cap things off. An average sort of read with a reveal that you don’t want to miss.