A new story arc starts in Detective Comics #48 as Jim Gordon dons the Bat-Suit in Gotham once more after the events of Robin War and hanging with the Justice League.
According to solicits it’s a villain that’s from his past, but is it good?
Detective Comics #48 (DC Comics)
This issue opens with a person filling a musket with gunpowder and talking about the discipline of a soldier. He’s clearly cuckoo, so when we then cut to Batman surveying the city we know something is about to happen.
Why does this book matter?
Jim Gordon as Batman in an all new story arc is fine by me. Now that he’s settled in as Batman it should be fun to see how his character evolves and how Batman is a little bit different with him in the role.
Gotham closes a cemetery because there’s too many bodies or “lack of space”… but they do it with chains? How will people visit their family graves?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Peter J. Tomasi draws up a very crafty and creepy villain. There’s no way of telling what his gibberish means exactly, but there is a lot of it and it makes him feel like a very loose cannon. I can’t say this issue ties the villain into Gordon’s past just yet (funny how solicits spoil things sometimes), but he has a certain wall of disturbing things that’ll get you shivering with fear. The fact that his first victim and seemingly second victim appear to have ties to US history is intriguing too.
The best part of this issue lies with Gordon contacting his daughter. The fact that they’re both lying to each other about suiting up and fighting crime is an interesting element that should be explored later. It’s fun to see how they lie to each other to keep each other in the dark when they could probably use each other’s experience to be better heroes.
Even for a book called Detective Comics there’s a lot of detective work in this issue. Eagle-eyed readers should find this fun to read as a lot of details are dropped as Gordon and Harvey Bullock figure out what is going on with this new villain. So many details are dropped it should be fun to piece things together with the characters as this moves forward.
The pencils by Fernando Pasarin are quite nice and give me a Bryan Hitch vibe at times — in a good way! Costumes look real and everything has a nice weight to it; Batman’s costume and all his muscles shine through well and he certainly looks heroic in the new duds. The surroundings and settings are a real plus in this issue which help set the mood as far as the bad guy’s lair. There’s an old timey feel to him that makes all of his scenes feel historical in some way.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The detective elements are welcome that is for sure, but Bullock and Gordon know way too much for their own good. Like how does Bullock know the sword is one that George Washington used? Is he a George Washington historian all of a sudden? It’s bits of dialogue like this in their scene that suspend disbelief too much. Maybe if they looked over Wikipedia or something, or had a specialist in the scene, this scene might have seemed more realistic but this sequence drops way too many details that don’t seem within the characters’ range of knowledge to believe.
A great short but sweet scene!
Is It Good?
This is a solid issue largely due to a creepy villain and a story that focuses on Gordon actually being Batman as opposed to trying to be Batman.