Catwoman #43 was on top of Batman #43 in my comic book stack and now I'm super turned on.
Bruce Wayne continues to live the life he never could before by working at the children's center in the narrows and engaging in a romantic relationship with a woman named Madison (MADISON!). He should probably thank The Joker for allowing him to have a real life. I suppose he'll get back to being Batman when Madison winds up dumping his ass because he's emotionally withdrawn and constantly asks her to wear clown make-up in the bedroom. But until Madison comes to her senses and/or winds up next to the lettuce in the crisper, Bruce refuses to participate in the Robo-Batman Project. Gordon stops by to see him and ask for help but Bruce is all, "What?! Why are you coming to me? How did you connect me to The Batman? I'm totally not that guy! I'm just trying to live a broke-ass life! Leave me alone!" But Jim Gordon is all, "Wink! Wink! Okay, Bruce! Wink, wink! I'll leave you alone! Wink, wink! But here's some evidence from a new villain in town, just in case you feel like helping save the city. Wink, wink! Do you get why I'm winking, Bruce?!"
Outside the community center where Jim is hassling Bruce, Alfred and Clark Kent sit in a car discussing what happened to Bruce.
I knew it! Batman is the second coming of Christ!
Alfred tells Bruce everything right up until becoming Batman when Bruce stops him and asks, "Are you trying to seduce me, old man?" Then thirty-three year old Bruce leaves for two days but rises again on the third to tell Alfred that he understands they once had a relationship and parents and lots of money but that he doesn't feel connected to any of it anymore. And that's when Julie Madison stops by to give Bruce a couple of jobs (helping kids, and hand, not necessarily in that order).
Superman hears Alfred's story and says, "Alfred, if you won't ruin Bruce Wayne's new chance at a happy life, I will! Because if you haven't heard lately, I'm a total idiot and dick in my own comic book. It super sucks and I'm glad you invited me to be in a good comic book for awhile but I plan on ruining this one too because everybody loves Batman so fucking much! Why don't they love me that much, hunh?! Can you answer me that?!" But Alfred pulls out Bruce's kryptonite cockring and says, "Tsk tsk. I wouldn't do that if I were your ass." Alfred points out that the Dionesium healed Bruce so completely that it healed the trauma which created Batman. Everything Bruce learned to be The Batman is gone. Although I'm sure that one instant of trauma will bring him back! So who's going to do it to save the city? Who's going to shoot Julie Madison in the face right in front of Bruce's eyes, hunh? Will it be Clark? Alfred? Damian?!
Alfred shows Clark the final Bat-Invention which proves that Batman was an insane monster. It's a machine that, if ever finished and perfected, would grow a twenty-seven year old human from Bruce Wayne's DNA and fill the new clone with all of Bruce's memories so that it would willingly become the next Batman. It's the fetus of the Eternal Batman story seen in earlier stories. I guess somebody is going to have to perfect the memory part of it and trick Bruce into sitting in it if nobody has the guts to murder Julie Madison.
It's all kind of sweet. But I'm sure Alfred will eventually realize he's acting selfishly and he'll have to give his boy back to the city.
Commissioner Batman has currently left the Honey Bunny Bat Armor behind because he's doing some stealthy investigative work. He's infiltrated the lair of the Devil Pigs to find any information he can on Mr. Bloom, the flower faced monster. The mission is being run with Julia Perrywonth and without the knowledge of the Powers Company, so Commissioner Batman can't use any of the suit's tricks without alerting his corporate overlords. And that means it all gets to fall apart because nobody knows where these two are now. Well, Commissioner Batman winds up trapped in an industrial furnace being cooked to death while Julia is attacked by a Devil Pig while leaving the communications van to help Gordon. It looks like curtains for Commissioner Batman!
Elsewhere, Duke Thomas breaks into the Youth Center's files and steals the inactive Mr. Bloom seed Jim gave to Bruce to investigate. This looks like a job for We Are Robin! Duh duh dun dun duh duh dun!
And finally, The Penguin meets Mr. Bloom. The Penguin tries to kill Mr. Bloom. The Penguin learns that not all problems can be solved with a single bullet. The Penguin learns that he's not as important as he thought because The Riddler has had a nice long story in Batman and The Joker has had a nice long story in Batman and even Clayface has had a bit of a story in Batman. But all The Penguin gets is stabbed in the stomach by Mr. Bloom after only two pages of a guest appearance. Sorry, The Penguin! You're just not worthy of a story in the main Batman book. Sad penguin emoji. Winking Killer Whale emoji.
Batman #43 Rating: +1 Ranking. Snyder must have found a great deal at the cliffhanger store because this issue was jam packed with them! Oh god. I'm starting to sound like an actual reviewer! I came up with a stupid fucking tag about non-existent stores that sell things that are never actually for sale because I don't actually have anything intelligent to say about this comic book! Anything I say would be just pointing out the things Snyder already wrote much more eloquently and with less swears than I could ever write! Like the bit about the Dionesium healing The Batman out of Bruce Wayne's head because The Batman was created from scars and trauma and things that can be healed! And that bit about how Bruce's new life with no knowledge of The Batman is like a peaceful afterlife that Batman has earned for his long sacrifice! Or how Julie Madison has a flower tattoo on her arm that seems an awful lot like Mr. Bloom's flower print! Oh wait, that was something that Greg Capullo drew and not something Scott Snyder wrote. See? I can't even write better than Capullo draws! Jesus, I don't even know if I can write better than Rob Liefeld draws! I think my writing is more on par with Marat Mychaels' art! I'm going to go cry now. Um, read Batman! It's good!