Bruce Wayne is healed. He has returned to the Bat Cave. He has taken hold of his destiny. The Batman is back. And not a moment too soon. Gotham needs him now more than ever. Mr. Bloom has taken over and his power grows stronger with every seed sewn into its populous.
Mr. Bloom is in control. Gotham is falling in on itself. And the more power generated from the seeds, the more the darkness consumes. The “Strange” is about to take hold and the city may be lost. There are few left sane or calm enough to see through the wreckage and mayhem. Jim Gordon, Gotham City’s officially sanctioned Batman, is down. Internal organ damage is threatening his life. But he has plan. Mr. Bloom will fall and Gotham will reign.
DC Comics Batman #50 is huge. Literally. It is huge! Nearly 60 pages long. From a new Bat-Suit, to the devastation and emotional roller coaster built through Mr. Bloom’s journey. Batman #50 has so much jam-packed in-between the covers, I could probably sit and ramble for a few thousand words. (Don’t worry, I won’t.) And all the pieces come together in an entertaining mixture of Bat-goodness. It is an issue well worth the wait.
Batman is anew. A rejuvenated body, a new costume and the same demeanor you see in the eyes of an athlete as they return to the playing field following an extended hiatus. With his fans screaming from the sidelines, “Wait. Stop. Look. Is that?”
Scott Snyder (Wytches, The Wake) and Greg Capullo (Spawn, Haunt) jump right into the fray, having Bruce, only moments in, taking back up the cowl. Within a mere few pages, there is the emotional pull of “the return”. The war is on the streets. Jim Gordon is near lifeless. Yet Bloom and his pawns continue to beat down. Then… There he is. Batman takes the stage. In a statement-making, new Bat-suit.
Capullo, with regular-colorist FCO Plascencia (Spawn, Haunt with Capullo), adapted a suit from the blacks and luminescent colors of the GCPD suit, though slightly transitioning with an orange outline. And mixes it with the sleek lines, soft grays and deep blacks along the cap and gauntlets, similar to the suit of the late-90’s to early-2000’s suit. In a way Capullo recreates the Batman that never left. The one whom struck fear and sought vengeance. Yet in other’s he designs what Gotham needed most. A Batman with a new outlook, a new eye and ready for war.
But Batman is not only a surprise to be seen, but to be read. The emotion built through Synder’s words are merely driven through the visuals. Bloom is so much more than just a villain. He is an, if not THE, escape. Throughout Snyder and Capullo’s run, there has been a theme. The idea of a stronger, better and far more self-sufficient Gotham. But there must always be someone at the helm to develop. A hand to lead the way to a better and brighter tomorrow. No matter the cost.
Mr. Bloom is exactly that.
As the Superheavy arc has built, Duke’s relationship, not only with The Robins (see We Are Robin), but with Batman and his try at Detective have grown. He has fought through his traumas and learned the truth of Mr. Bloom and disaster of the seeds. Yet there may be interference. Duke must wear the colors of the Robins with pride and support the Batman to the best of his ability.
However not all roles have light at the end of the tunnel. Though bleeding internally, Gordon must rush through the pain and help end the raging war. As Synder’s climactic finale dawns, almost literally since it is depicted as a giant, rising “Strange Star” about to engulf the city, Gordon realizes he must end the struggle.
Yet how he goes about doing so is the only off-pointing piece to the tale. As the final battle closes and in the most Magical-Girl-Anime-esque way possible, Gordon holds up the (you will just have to read it to find out) to end it all. As he stands on the rooftop of a nearby building, he reminds himself of all the reasons, the necessities, for the Bat. For why he must fight for his city. For why Gotham is pride. Though not entirely a negative on the book. But it did slightly remind me of the final battle between Sailor Moon and Queen Beryl and received a momentary chuckle.
Batman #50 was not the end, but a new beginning. A refreshing breath of air after a hectic and long night. With hype and praise, sometimes there can be disappointment in the end, but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo pulled it out wonderfully. Multiple times I found my vision blurred from near tears or had to pause after realizing I was screaming at the book for some reason. (You can ask my customers, one of which walked up to me as I yelled, “Hell yeah, that’s my Batman!”)
From a fan: Make sure to stop by your local comic book shop and grab Batman #50, on shelves now. $5.99 may seem a little steep, but there is so much packed in it is worth every penny. So much, in fact, that I have barely scraped the surface. And definitely look forward to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s final issue together in Batman #51, on sale April 27th.