Rating: 3.5/5 – An All New Batman That’s Like the Old Batman Except in Looks.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Who the new Batman is after taking over for Bruce Wayne was probably the worst kept secret in comics. When the design for the new suit was released months ago, it wasn’t long before the man underneath the suit was revealed. In case you still don’t know you may want to skip over this next part, but taking over as Batman is none other than long-time supporting character Jim Gordon. At first glance, it seems like a stretch. He’s older. He doesn’t look as though he’s in the best shape. And since when did Gotham City condone the use of vigilantes? Well, all those issues and a few more are addressed in this opening chapter of an all new Batman.
What isn’t new is the art. Greg Capullo’s consistently great pencils usher in the new Batman and although the suit was controversial when first leaked, writer Scott Snyder and Capullo address that concern with a line from Gordon saying that the suit looks, “like a Robobat-Bunny”. I thought the same thing when I first saw the suit, but as you watch it in action as Capullo choreographs a wonderful fight scene, it works. It looks great on the page with it’s tall and thin frame. It also works because of all the little touches that Capullo throws in such as red and blue lights for the GCPD, and an under-suit that looks as sleek as the exterior “bunny” suit looks heavy.
What isn’t heavy though is the story. Instead, Snyder focuses the story on how Gordon came to be the man inside the suit, and how he uses it against an all-new but fairly straight forward villain. Most of those whys I felt made sense, but there were a couple points that seemed too convenient in order to get Gordon into the suit. Not only that, but Gordon comes off as a bit smarter than I remember him. I love Jim Gordon as a character and understand that he has an extensive background both in and out of Gotham, but there were a couple scenes where he acted and thought much like the old Batman would. It’s expected when you’re “the” Batman, but when you’re in the suit for the very first time it made Gordon seem less human, and more of a superhero which shouldn’t be the case. At least not yet.
Those criticisms aside, this is still a strong issue and a strong premiere of an all new Batman. If you we’re worried about the way the suit works and functions, don’t be. If you were worried about the man under the suit, don’t be. If after reading this you still have worries, it will be just how different the two Batmans are from one another. Love him or hate him, Azrael as Batman was much different than Bruce Wayne. So far, Jim Gordon in the suit is too similar to Bruce Wayne in the suit. He’s almost too good. Hopefully with new challenges and new villains like the one revealed at the end of this issue, we’ll see a more human and more different Batman.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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