Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My thoughts on the last panel of Batman #41. (massive spoilers)

My brief, spoiler-filled thoughts on what may cut short a potentially awesome new story

After the "controversial" ending of Batman #40 and the recent New Comic Day tease of Commisioner Gordon in a robotic batsuit it's an understatement that waves have been made in the comic-reading community, and has subjected Batman writer Scott Snyder, and artist Greg Capullo to lots of feedback both positive and negative as with any major superhero status-quo change like this. Me personally, I'm all for this change; I loved it when Bruce "died" during Final Crisis and Dick took over, mostly because I support the idea of Batman as a legacy character much like the Flash, given the symbolic nature of the character to both the people of Gotham and to us here in the real world, and Jim Gordon as Batman while a bit strange, is an excellent opportunity for new story-telling and a new twist on Batman. So Batman #41 was an eagerly awaited title for me this week (though I confess to reading Starfire #1 first) and I was not disappointed, I expected a lot of the typical cliches of the passing of the costume and name to another person, but the writing is excellent, and the rationale for Gordon taking the name is both logical and very inspiring. As the book began to wrap up I was absolutely fully on board with Bat-Gordon without anymore doubt, ready to see the most unsung hero of Gotham take on the more robotic cowl (though I do love that he has a slightly more traditional costume underneat that for stealth) and finally beome a superhero! But one page remained before the back cover, one page that showed a scraggly transient man slumped on a bench staring off into the dark, who is then approached by someone who identifies him as none other...than Bruce Wayne...

...I kid you not...we haven't even had ONE ISSUE of the slightest possibility that Bruce Wayne is dead and never coming back...back when Grant Morrison did this, he at least had the decency to stay temporally displaced for a good while. Yes, I know that his (and the Joker's) body was never found, and their fight ended right next to a Totally Not A Lazarus Pit, but the massive, deep-carved smile shaped gash in his back, and razor card STICKING OUT OF HIS EYE SOCKET were pretty decent indicators that this guy is at the very least MOSTLY dead. I knew that this wouldn't stick for too long (Batman being DC's golden cow and all that), but I really didn't think they'd be teasing Bruce's return this early in the game. It honestly has me worried just how long this Bat-Gordon business is going to last if they're already hinting that Bruce is going to come back. Now this might be for this whole "Batman New God" stupidity that's happening in the Justice Leagure books supposedly, but it's ultimately hard to say considering the weird timeline that the ongoing series at DC have with each other. In conclusion, I really hope that this doesn't wind up being a short-term gimmick meant to cause controversy, just for Bruce to swing back into the mantle as Batman a few months later to appease the mooing non-readers and purists, because I do really feel that this is an opportunity for excellent and new stories to be told and it would make me sad to see that cut short for the sake of returning to the status quo.

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