Jim Gordon is usually confident in his abilities as a cop and willing to admit when he’s outmatched. This perspective is refreshing in Batman #42 as Gordon uses both parts of his personality to bring down this issue’s villain. Gordon is practicing to be the best Batman, because as we all know, “Batman doesn’t use guns,” and thus, Gordon chooses to use batarangs while immersing himself into his new role. This issue’s story is very straightforward: Batman sees a villain and takes him down. But, the great thing about writer Scott Snyder is that he pulls up pieces of truth in the most formulaic Batman story.
Snyder’s script delves into Gordon’s mind much the same way as it would Bruce Wayne’s except Gordon always doubts himself. This feeling of inadequacy is understandable to someone so new to the job and it makes Batman feel more human. Sure, Wayne could say he didn’t have it in him to fend off the Joker, but it was always assumed he’d come out ahead. Now, with Gordon as Batman it’s not so black and white. A villain like someone who can manipulate building materials was never going to actually take out the Batman but seeing it from Gordon’s perspective gave the scene new life. After defeating this villain, the best part of the story comes from Gordon’s interaction with Powers CEO, Geri Powers. She tells Gordon that since he’s actually part of the GCPD he’ll need to start listening to orders. The relationship between the police force and the pull of Batman’s vigilantism is being slightly tested. This feeler will absolutely be hashed out over the next several issues. Can Gordon become the best Batman with his wings clipped?
Another interesting point that Snyder makes slightly is that Gee Gee Heung can literally make Gotham fight on his behalf. Whether or not this becomes a theme for the unseen Mr. Bloom remains to be seen, but Snyder loves working Gotham in as its own character.
Greg Capullo continues to outdo himself with every issue under his belt. The pencil work is flashy, dynamic and in your face. Switching between an intense battle scene to more nuanced dialogue doesn’t get lost on Capullo. All pencils are deftly handled and each scene looks better than the last. FCO Plascencia complements Capullo by adding the right mood to each panel. Nothing is too dark or too light and all settings are made absolutely complete.
Overall, Batman #42 is another good entry into the post-Bruce Wayne mythos. Snyder brings action and a fair amount of humor into this issue such as when Gordon admits to growing his moustache via superpowers. The use of the Bat Truck is also rife with hilarity and Bruce Wayne’s appearance at the end of the issue makes issue #43 a must read.