It has finally come, Batman #41 introduced our brand new Batman in the form of Jim Gordon, and you know what, Jim Gordon Batman is actually pretty great. Having a Batman that isn’t a vigilante raises some really interesting questions. So let’s discuss Batman #41!
Full spoilers follow.
We knew it was coming. Ever since the dramatic ending of Batman #40 we knew things were about to change a lot in the upcoming Batman issues. And change is exactly what happened in Batman #41. And with change comes anger…of course. But this isn’t the first time we’ve had someone else be Batman. And having Jim Gordon as Batman isn’t just fun, it also introduces some really interesting considerations, like maybe a Batman that works within the law is better.
So at the end of Batman #40, Bruce Wayne is presumed dead. In Divergence we saw that the new Batman would be Jim Gordon. Jokes were made about the new costume, but within the context of the story it makes sense. The GCPD want a new Batman, but they want him to work within the law. They try to train some top graduates to become the new Batman, but none of them cut it. They’re too young and innocent. So they turn to Jim Gordon. Here’s a guy that’s been through a lot, and knows Gotham pretty well.
With Jim Gordon comes a new suit. The Robo-Bat-Bunny jokes were made in the comic as well, but that part of the suit is just an exoskeleton. Jim Gordon ain’t no martial arts expert like Bruce, so it makes sense for him to have this suit, even if it may not be the prettiest. The Bat suit underneath looks cool enough though.
Having Jim Gordon as Batman is pretty cool. He’s clearly out of his depth here. Being Batman isn’t easy. I mean Bruce is one of the most tortured souls out there, being Batman comes with its toll. Having Jim trying to figure out what to do and fumble around a bit is pretty great. The tone feels a lot lighter in Batman #41, especially compared to the last issue.
It’s because we have a new point of view in the form of Jim Gordon, and he isn’t as dark as Bruce, and it’s refreshing. He’s a guy in his mid 40’s who’s trying to figure out what the heck he’s supposed to do in his life. Now he’s been thrown into this completely weird and new position, and it provides an interesting narrative. Everyone’s now relying on him to be Gotham’s new saviour, but he has to be that saviour in a Batsuit, not a trench coat, and that’s something he hasn’t adapted to yet.
This new Batman, unlike the old one, isn’t a vigilante. He works within the law. And although Bruce used to help out the GCPD, he wasn’t one of them. So the question is, does a Batman that works within the law, make a better hero? He’s accountable now, but he’s also being controlled. Bruce used to have the freedom to investigate whatever he felt needed to be investigated, Jim on the other hand is being pointed to the crime by the GCPD. Is a Batman that’s constrained by the law even Batman anymore? Batman was a free force of justice, that was there to help everybody, and wasn’t controlled by anybody. Now the new Batman must work with the GCPD’s orders, it’s a completely different situation.
However having a Batman that works within the law evokes trust. He finally is accountable to somebody, if he does something wrong, the law will punish him. Perhaps the citizens of Gotham will be happier having a Batman that is forced to work within the rules. Or perhaps they will see Batman as more of a tyrant figure enforcing Gotham law. I mean if you look at it through the perspective of the police unleashing this man controlled machine to work for them onto the streets, it does allude to some familiar dystopian sci-fi movies.
Anyways it will be interesting to see Jim Gordon continue his Batman adventures. And it is refreshing and nice to see some new perspective. It’s not like it’s going to be like this forever, because as the ending of Batman #41 hinted at, Bruce Wayne is not dead.
But I mean that’s not really all that surprising is it? They had to bring him back sometime. Word is Bruce Wayne Batman will return around issue #50, which basically coincides with the release of Batman v Superman, so it makes sense. The ending of Batman #41 had a rugged looking man sitting on a park bench with a man walking past asking if he was Bruce Wayne. Now maybe he isn’t Bruce, and Scott Snyder is just being a mean son of a bitch and teasing Bruce Wayne when it isn’t actually Bruce, but hopefully it is Bruce.
Why he would be chilling on a park bench, I don’t know. Perhaps he’s just taking a much-needed break for a little while. I’m assuming if they’re teasing Bruce now he’ll appear in the next issue. It would be interesting to see two-story arcs unfolding, one of Jim Gordon as Batman, and the other of Bruce recovering from what happened to him, and forming a new plan.
Overall Batman #41 was a pretty great issue, which showed us that Snyder has a plan, and Jim Gordon isn’t Batman to change things for changes sake, it actually makes for a really great story. I’m hoping that Bruce does appear soon though, just to see what he’s up to, even if we don’t see him as Batman. Capullo as usual did an amazing job with the issue, the bright colours and cinematic action panels along with those mock Batsuits were the best. Hopefully those that were skeptical about this new direction, are on board now, because it looks like we’re going to be getting some more great Batman issues. Batman #41 8.5/10.
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Categories: comic books