Well, here we are ladies and gents. It’s time for the Goddamn Batman.
I want it known that this little review is dedicated to a beautiful Bat-Skwirl I know and love.
With that being said, let’s get on with this review
A character that has survived a nipple-suited, Bat-Credit Card toting incarnation is obviously worth loving. Sorry if I hurt you, but I had to bring it up. Mainly because Batman had the potential to tank like it did with George Clooney in Batman and Robin. However, it had the possibility to be as successful as Batman: The Animated Series with Kevin Conroy. I just want to set that real expectation to anyone who ever wants to starts something they think is popular. Always remember something has just as much chance to fail just as it has the chance to succeed.
It holds its own in a new universe and brings a nice fresh breath of air into Batman while holding true to the Dark Knight
However, just holing true to Batman is not enough. It needs to have a good feel. A nice story. Character alone is not enough.
That being said, this arc starts off with question “What Gotham is”. People say what they think Gotham is. For example, Gotham is the Joker, Two-Face, Hopeless. Gotham is no more than the darkness it spawns into the world. it really gives a nice set of metaphors and euphemisms.
But what happens when someone thinks that Gotham is Bruce Wayne? It shows that Gotham is not as bad as the criminals it spawns. It can be more. It can be about progress. It shows that one man can make a difference using Bruce Wayne’s money, resources and his mind. It does not have to take him breaking his bones and destroying himself to make Gotham into the place that it needs to be.
Of course, they show how Gotham is much more than criminals. it shows Gotham can be filled with hope. After all, they have Batman. And a major point of note is that this comic has an excellent element of showing how different Batman is from Bruce Wayne. I won’t give too much, but Bruce is a philanthropist who does care so much about his city, but he is still someone who does what he does because of his parents’ deaths. While Batman feels no child should know the feeling of having his parents lost and willing to almost go through any lengths necessary to make that happen. Not stark differences between the two; however, there is clearly a difference between the two and each is crucial in Batman’s identity. Unlike Nolan’s Dark Knight universe, it shows that both individuals are needed. Batman is not more important than Bruce even if Batman’s rsults are more immediate.
Now I know that does not sound very descriptive in differences, but sometimes differences are small but crucial. But the main point that was made in this arc was that Batman cannot be hurt, but Batman cannot be.
I believe Batman Begins covers why that is. “if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely…A legend, Mr. Wayne.”
And there is a real separation of that in the Batman comics. Bruce is limited to helping people within rules, while Batman is not. But at their core, they suffer over the death of Martha and Thomas Wayne. Bruce appears to lament in the way a billionaire would by being a kind and caring philanthropist, while he takes it out on the people who truly caused it. And Batman does an excellent job of illustrating that.
And that moves onto how strong Batman is. Bruce could have fallen to grief and never tried to make a difference in any way, but, instead, he chose to fight all forms of oppression in Gotham. By removing fear of criminals from the public as Batman, Bruce can create hope for tomorrow again through his resources! I don’t know why, but it just feels right making Bruce a complete character showing diversity and actually explaining things.
GAH! It means so much. I may cry.
Now, Batman’s complexity was shown beautifully given a nice full spectrum. And with that spectrum and tragedy, it shows how Batman may have lost one family but gained another. With Damian Wayne, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and the ever capable Alfred Pennyworth. While it may not erase the pain, but it actually gives Bruce a family and moments of love and joy. It gives him strength and a happiness that shows he is not always the gritty and dark Batman.
With a much more complicatedly shown Batman, clearly his adversary would have to be up for the challenge of facing him.
Well, they damn well better be or I would be highly disappointed.
And this challenge was met in full. Normally, Batman’s opponents, such as Bane, engage Batman in hand to hand as their main form of combat. Others, of course, like Riddler and Joker meet Batman in the battle of the mind and soul.
The Court of Owls gives the audience everything using mistrust, mystery, confusion and panic as their true weapons against the Dark Knight. His aspects as a family man come into play against them. They challenge his detective work. They push him in every possible way.
He is push him farther than he, quite possibly, every had. His mind and body were meant to be ripped apart, so that the Owls can defeat the Caped Crusaders most important asset: His soul. They wished to destroyed every part of him to leave him with nothing.
And even as I thought Batman could not be tempted more, Batman saw his parents. After all he has lost, even with what he has gained, Batman wanted his parents no matter what. To go to those who loved him so much, it would tempt any man.
He is not just any man though. He is the Goddamn BATMAN
Right there, that was the edge for Batman. The Court of Owls threw him off the edge expecting him to fall only to see him soar higher than even Superman.
And with all this, it is clearly shown what Batman truly fights for. It’s for Gotham. It’s what what Gotham represents to him. Men like Jim Gordon who fight the forces of evil without a cape or cowl but with a badge and handcuffs, families who depends completely on one another, innocent children who have never done anything to a single soul, the weak who can’t fight for themselves and the abandoned who never so much got a hug on their birthday even when they need it the most.
That is what Gotham is.
One thing Gotham is and always will be: Gotham is Batman.