COMIC REVIEW: Batman #45 – Full Circle | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #45 – Full Circle

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #45 - Full Circle

Writer: Scott Snyder

Artists: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, FCO Plascencia

$3.99

DC Comics

Batman #45 picks up after the events of issue 43, after 44 takes a brief look at the history of Mr. Bloom and his place in Gotham. Jim, quite literally, finds himself in the hot seat as he is locked into an incinerator and left for dead after an ambush by Gotham’s own Devil Pigs.

After the fall of Bruce Wayne as Batman, these scenes where Jim has to wrestle with himself to overcome his circumstances have been crucial to developing him as the bat. He’s not the detective that Bruce is. He’s not elegant. He works harder, not smarter. Where Bruce was a blade, Jim is very much a hammer. Snyder conveys that beautifully in his text by leaving in those internal monologues that any Batman should rightfully be having. Jim is adapting and bonding with his new suit, and it all looks and feels great.

Though 45 brings us back to focus on Jim, this story is not just about him. Daryl Gutierrez and Duke Thomas get together in a brief scene. Duke’s got one of Mr. Bloom’s seeds – the ones that Bloom is using to give Gotham’s villains abilities – and he brings it to Daryl for analysis. This may be the one pitfall of the story for me. I very much enjoy the supporting cast, but I take issue with the development. It feels like Duke is kind of just thrown into this story. He’s popped in and out, all the while with editor’s notes that essentially read “Have no idea what’s happening? Buy this issue in the middle of a story arc of a comic you may not be reading to find out!” While I get that DC, and other top publishers, have a unique opportunity to cross-market between books, it’s distracting. My feeling is that, if you’re going to put a character into a book as big as Batman, make sure that they can stand on their own two feet.

All of that aside, the side stories woven throughout Batman have been great.  Bruce, with the help of his better half Jule Madison, has been stuck in kind of a coming of age story after the events of “Endgame.” He’s not the same Bruce, but he keeps the same devotion to the citizens of Gotham by working tirelessly for Gotham’s youth and communities for the Fox Foundation. He’s been taken out of the sky, and been put on the street. Very much a parallel between former beat cop Jim Gordon, who now finds himself among the gargoyles.

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Snyder and Capullo do a great job here of developing a new sense of self for Bruce, but it’s left me to wonder what event is going to break him. When will his city turn on him, and slam him back into his darkness? The way Capullo acts him out, he’s still got the knight written all over his face.

What I think that we may see here, or perhaps just what I’m hoping that we do, is that Mr. Bloom brings him home. Bloom is dark, and gritty, and kills with impunity. For that matter, so does Jim, who manages to escape his fiery tomb with a little aid from Julia Pennyworth and Daryl Gutierrez – the support team behind the new Batman.

This book comes full circle at the end, when commissioner Geri Powers asks Jim to step down from his duties as the bat. She holds a press conference to unveil the new plans for the protection of Gotham, which is inevitably and absolutely destroyed by Bloom. Why anyone tries to hold public events in Gotham at this point is beyond me. These things always happen and nobody ever sees it coming.

 

COMIC REVIEW: Batman #45 - Full Circle

The book wraps with Bloom offing a handful of Gotham residents in the blink of an eye, while Jim dutifully protects Powers. Hopefully, she’ll let him keep his job after this one. Capullo’s series of panels at the end of this book are a spectacle. He’s got such a command and mastery over Gotham and her people, and he makes it all look effortless.

The “Best There Is”: Jim Gordon is amazing as Batman. Snyder and Capullo turn an impossible situation into an opportunity to reinvent a major character, and they do it tactfully. Watching Jim Gordon fumble his way through being Batman is like watching an awkward kid riding a bicycle growing up to be Evil Knievel. The text and the subtext of this book read beautifully. It’s human, and raw, and powerful and Capullo brings that to life in ways that people should be taking note of.

The “Not Very Nice”:  With all of the events happening so quickly and playing out so well, perhaps having so many story lines in this progression leaves some things to the wayside. I think that this is the case with Duke Thomas and his story. I know Duke is involved heavily in “We Are Robin.” but he can come off as kind of an afterthought in Batman prime. I have a feeling that this will change very quickly, though, as he’s on his own hunt to uncover the truth behind Bloom. I’m looking forward to him becoming a bigger player in taking Bloom down, but for now, he’s kind of just there.
FBI Score: 9 out of 10. “Batman #45” was a great read. There’s so much to this issue that I didn’t even begin to cover in an attempt to review and not blog or dissect. If you’re feeling let down by DC or the New 52, or feeling lost in the continuity of their ongoing universe, you’re not alone, but I implore you to read all four amazing years of Batman. In six months, Snyder and Capullo move out of Gotham, and I think that these years together may be some of the most iconic for the history of the Batman.

 

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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