Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Batman #42 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Julie Madison!  Bruce Wayne!  Bat-Truck!  We have a lot to discuss.

The issue continues to focus on Jim's development as Batman, particularly as he comes to grips with the limits imposed on him as an officially sanctioned Batman.  He realizes that Julia worked for Bruce, and he asks her how he did it.  Her response -- that he didn't worry about Batman's image because that image simply reflected Bruce doing what he thought was right -- was right on the mark.  (It shows that maybe Snyder gets Bruce a little more than I thought.)  However, Jim doesn't have that luxury.  He's struggling in his role as Batman because he has to toe several lines:  he not only has to do what the authorities tell him to do, but he also wants to ensure that people respect the badge that he metaphorically wears.  It's restricting his ability to act on his instincts, a situation made all the more complicated by the fact that someone named Mr. Bloom is handing out powers to street-level gang leaders and the Powers That Be don't want him to get involved.

But, the issue really kicks into gear at the end, as we learn that Bruce is alive and working maintenance for some sort of child-care facility that Julie Madison runs.  At first I didn't think that Julie recognized him, but, upon re-reading the sequence, she clearly does.  Duke Thomas also does, as Bruce apparently isn't hiding his identity.  As such, it's not all that surprising that Jim appears at the facility at the end of the issue to "talk."  I hope that Snyder makes it a little clearer why Bruce is using his name.  It's pretty clear that he must not want to stay totally hidden, but it does raise the question of why he's keeping a low-profile at all if he's not looking to disappear entirely.

Finally, Snyder does a good job of giving Jim a different internal voice as Batman than Bruce.  His tour of the "Three Little Pigs" story in his head was a stream-of-consciousness dialogue with himself (inspired by the fact that he was fighting a member of the Devil Pig gang), but it got him to where he needed to get to find a way to defeat him.  That said, though, he's in that situation because the suit once again fails him, and I consider myself officially tired of this plot device.

Overall, though, it's still a solid story keeping my attention.  I want answers, but I'm hoping that Snyder doesn't rush them, because I'm enjoying the process.

*** (three of five stars)

No comments:

Post a Comment