Details: Official site is http://www.dccomics.com/comics/batman-2011/batman-42
Another issue of Batman, another issue of a must-buy comic. While I love this series and will of course continue reading, this was a good, not great issue. This was more of a continuation of Act 1; it continued to build upon this new world and this new Batman.
The message clearly expressed in this issue is one meant for fans as well as the narrative. That message is this: this Batman is his own Batman. If Jim Gordon is going to succeed as the new Batman, he must stop trying to emulate what he and the rest of Gotham thought Batman/Bruce Wayne represented and try to be his own man, represent his own ideals, and use his own methods. It’s very similar to what fans learned from the Dick Grayson-Batman. When Dick Grayson took over as Batman, fans were originally dismayed. We saw this happen before in the Knightfall story arc to an underwhelming degree. However, we were all pleasantly surprised to see that Grayson was a perfectly competent Batman. In fact, he was a great Batman and better in many ways. He wasn’t so dark, or brooding, or as brilliant as Bruce, but he did bring a youthfulness and optimism that Bruce lacked. Now, with Jim Gordon taking over, Snyder and Capullo seem to be telling us to brace ourselves again for a new Batman and that this might be not just good, but better than Bruce. Bruce may inevitably return, but for now we should enjoy the ride and figure out what Jim Gordon can offer.
Speaking of Bruce Wayne, Snyder just went in headfirst and let readers know that of course Bruce isn’t dead. He isn’t wearing the cowl, but he isn’t dead and he will almost inevitably return as Batman. I like that Bruce makes his appearance so early into this arc because it tells me and other readers that Bruce will return. Until then, I’m just going to chill out and enjoy the ride. Jim Gordon is Batman for the near future. Let’s see what he can do.