*Warning Spoilers Ahead*
This week’s release of DC Comics have given us the much-anticipated Batman issue 41. The Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo tale features the début of Jim Gordon as the new Batman. While fans have suspected the identity of the new Batman since Bruce Wayne died battling The Joker in issue 40, FCBD helped clarify the rumors. Now, with issue 41 (out today), we have our first story with Gordon as Batman. For those who’ve enjoyed Snyder and Capullo’s arguably defining run on The Dark Knight, issue 41 does not let down. If you’re choosing to reject the current story arc, I must apologize, as you are going to be sitting out on one of the more exciting times in Bat comics.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are the premiere creative team for Batman. It is through their story and art that the majority of other Bat titles are judged. I am nearly positive that one day, many years from now, their run will be cherished alongside some of the greats like Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, and Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Their work on issue 41 only furthers my belief in this. We learn that three months before the main story, Gordon learned through Geri Powers, CEO of Powers International (I presume she’s of relation to Powers/Blight from Batman Beyond) that the best of the best in the GCPD were being trained to take over the mantle of the bat. While several men and women possessed the skills and talents, they just weren’t cut out for the cowl. Sure, neither is Gordon, but we learn “Batman is this…terrifying, giant thing. But it’s just an illusion. He was a man, Jim. The right man at the time. But you’re the right man now.”
Batman issue 41 is a perfect testament to the idea of what The Dark Knight has become in the years since Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer resurrected him through 2005’s Batman Begins. (The 10 year anniversary of that landmark film is this Monday, June 15th.) Batman is no longer bound by cape and cowl; Batman is a concept and a terrifying thought. Through Nolan and Snyder’s prolific work, we are reminded that anyone could be Batman and after a scene midway through the issue, a conversation between Gordon and Bullock reminds us even more of this. Let’s not forget to mention that Nolan and Goyer’s creation of The Narrows is now a big part of the comic books. (It’s mentioned a few times in issue 41.)
For fans skeptical of the “robobat-bunny” armor that Gordon wear as Batman, it works! It’s great seeing Snyder make mention of the skepticism by having Gordon knock the design himself. “It grows on you.” says Julia Perry, Gordon’s “tactical strategy” and Alfred’s daughter (as revealed earlier in the run.) In four panels, Capullo shows us various designs for the new armor, all complete with a tip of the hat to earlier Batsuits – The Dark Knight Returns, Zero Year and Bob Kane, classic… By the end, the armor and *SPOILER* second Batsuit works… fantastically well. Greg Capullo is one of the most exciting artists to work on Batman; I’d place him as easily my favorite alongside Francis Manapul. His facial expressions, body work, and depiction of Gotham City is ripe for future film/animated adaptation. His work on Batman makes this solo series stand out and stay the flagship title it is for DC Comics.
“What we’re making here is something dangerous and unknown.” With those words, it’s clear that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are very much aware of what they’re creating. While they could have easily parted ways after the superior “Endgame” arc, they did not. I love my comic books and I love Batman, particularly Snyder and Capullo’s work. Yes, with issue 41, our stories and characters are headed in a new direction. But if you’re really a fan, chances are, you’re going to warm up to this “Better Batman, better for this Gotham, this moment.”
This is DC YOU. Are you ready?
*Batman issue 41 gets five stars. And, just wait until you get to that last page! If you’ve read the issue or have any thoughts, please leave your comments at the bottom of the page.
Writer: Snyder, Scott
Artist: Capullo, Greg
Cover Artist: Capullo, Greg
On Sale: June 10, 2015
Publisher: DC Comics
Diamond Id: APR150254