Wait, what’s this? The number one Marvel fanboy in existence is reviewing a DC book? Yes, I do believe that Marvel is superior to DC Comics in every way except one… the Bat. Inspired by our review of the apparent tire fire that is Batman V Superman, I chose to write about the triumphant return of Bruce Wayne in Batman #50.
And what a return it was! Bruce Wayne steps back into the picture and reclaims the cowl from his old pal, Jim Gordon. As it goes into the data bank of Batman history, the Jim Gordon era was surprisingly one of the best “replacement hero” runs in recent comic book memory. I would put it right behind Bucky Barnes donning the red, white, and blue.
But what will stand out the most from this arc when compared to others is the fact that the resolution here was not simply the real Batman coming back and saving the day. Instead, it was Jim Gordon who ultimately makes the sacrifice and bails Gotham City out of Bloom’s mess – exactly as it should’ve been.
Gordon is happy to return to his job as Police Commissioner and Batman returns to his own mantle; and we the readers are happy about it as well. The fallout from “Endgame” was a fun ride, but unlike some other writers, Scott Snyder knew exactly how and when to end it. The conclusion to this issue is one of epic proportions, and there are a healthy handful of story lines tying together to paint the picture that concludes the saga of Jim Gordon’s stint as the caped crusader. The story wrap-up is solid, a satisfying ending to the chaos thrust upon Gotham by Bloom; yet another impressive new villain added to the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery. Snyder seems to never run out of great ideas, does he?
As much as this issue is about the end of an era, it is just as much about the beginning of another. As Alfred Pennyworth put it himself, because of the Dionesium used to revive him, Batman’s years of scarring are gone and this is the fastest and strongest Batman ever; a clean slate for which to start anew. A lot has happened since Bruce last strapped on his utility belt, and in the coming issues it should be quite interesting to see how he decides to fit within the new landscape.
Batman #50 is action packed but also doesn’t leave big stones unturned. Snyder gives readers a second to catch their breath along with the heroes and experience some important character moments. The dialogue between Jim and Batman is handled delicately and executed in spectacular fashion, and readers are instantly reminded of the undying love and respect these old friends share for each other. The dialogue during the action between Bats and Bloom is wonderful as well, highlighting the different attitudes and approaches to such a foe between Bruce and Gordon’s different Batmen.
Visually, Batman #50 is, of course, stunning as always. It will be a sad day for Bat-Fans when Capullo and his team are no longer churning out these iconic issues. The giant “mega-zord” battle towards the end is beautiful and will no doubt become another memorable Batman moment for all-time. There are a ton of panels that will be making it onto comic book fan computer and phone backgrounds for sure. The new Batsuit is also a 100% win – I am absolutely in love with the design, especially the purple thrown into the cape.
It should shock no one who picks up this book that it is absolutely perfect – Scott Snyder is everything Batman needs right now. Those of you discouraged by whatever atrocious mayhem we’re forced to sit through during Batman Vs Superman this weekend, should find solace in the fact that at least somewhere Batman is getting the treatment he deserves.