Sunday, August 2, 2015

Detective Comics #42 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

The authors continue to do a good job immersing us in the increasingly complicated world of Harvey Bullock, but I feel like we're starting to see stretching at the seams as the story expands.

First, we've got Montoya's awkward conversation with Harvey after he prematurely leaves a meeting at GCPD HQ.  Following her lead, Harvey says that the tension in the room came from the age-old divide within the GCPD between crooked and straight cops.  But, I didn't really see anything of the sort in that meeting.  Harvey left because some of the other cops were making fun of Batman, since they had to save him in his battle with La Morte earlier in the evening (more on that in a minute).  Nothing about that conversation really seemed like it had anything to do with crooked or straight cops.  It just seemed like Harvey was pissed at them for (unknowingly) dissing his friend Jim.

Second, Harvey inexplicably becomes suspicious of Yip, despite the fact that we don't see any reason why he would be here.  We get a scene where he and Yip walk into his apartment and he asks her to give him a minute, but I didn't see anything in the apartment that would arouse his suspicions.  But, when he sees that she missed 11 calls while they were sleeping, he writes down the number and gives it to Montoya.  OK, sure, he didn't tell Montoya that it was a number connected to Yip.  But, at some point the authors have to make some sort of effort to explain why Harvey suddenly got suspicious of Yip.  It can't just be that he realized that Montoya was Internal Affairs and immediately suspected that she was talking to him because she wanted to get to Yip.  It's not like GCPD doesn't have plenty of other dirty cops that Montoya might be tracking or that Montoya wouldn't talk to Harvey anyway given their relationship.  Right now, it feels like he's suspicious simply because the authors need him to be to move along the story.

Moreover, we still don't have any information on La Morte.  They make some reference to designing weapons for someone named "J.D.," but it's about the only clue that we get.  It seems like the team may be connected to the disappearance of an "egghead" working for Geri Powers.  At first, I thought that the cop that mentioned the disappearance was referring to Daryl, Julia's partner on the blimp team, since Harvey had previously referred to him as a nerd to Jim.  But, Daryl appears later in the issue, so it can't be him.  I don't think that anyone mentioned a missing technician last issue, so I'm assuming that we've got a case of Chekhov's gun here and that we'll learn more at some point.

Finally, Jim is way too easily defeated here.  Now, I get that it's part of the story.  In fact, it seems likely that the missing "egghead" gave information about the suit to La Morte, since they were able to disable it so easily.  But, again, it just feels like he's defeated that easily because he has to be for the authors to achieve their goal.  It seems that they want to use it as Jim's baptism by fire, since he's forced to leave the suit and fight only in his union suit at the end of this issue.  But, it raises the question of how long we can continue believing that Jim is Batman, if he and the suit are so easily defeated.  Maybe the suit really is a transitional item, and, after Jim wins a few fights in his union suit, he'll discover that he's better without the larger suit.  We'd see him really become Batman then.  But, I'm not sure if it's where we're going.  I'm worried that, instead, Jim's tenure as Batman is going to be all about his suit malfunctioning, like how the early days of Spider-Man were about him exhausting his Web-Fluid.

Again, I'm really enjoying the focus on Harvey, but the authors really need to do some work here to take the sort of care that they took in the Anarky arc to build the story slowly.  Otherwise, it's going to feel like we're just bouncing from development to development without any real motivation or reason.

** (two of five stars)

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