Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Batman #51

Gotham City is analogous to Batman's bowels?

The Review! And the Commentary!
Before I say anything about this comic book, let me say a couple of things I think the television show Gotham got right last week. In it, Gordon and tiny Bruce have a brief dialogue that finally gives a glimmer of reason for having Gordon kill Galavan. I'm not going to defend the fact that the Gotham writers thought it was a good idea to have the one incorruptible person on the police force to commit cold blooded murder. But since that ship and every other ship in the entire fucking navy has already sailed, I have to accept it. Gordon, as a mentor, can now strongly sway Bruce Wayne away from going down the murder route. It saves Bruce from ever having to find that out the hard way and be tainted in the same way Gordon is now tainted. I don't know if it went a long way to helping the show but it's a fucking start. Plus Galavan has come back to life, so Gordon gets to forget he committed murder and just point to Azrael whenever anybody mentions Galavan and say, "See?! See! I didn't fucking shoot him in the face like everybody thinks I did!" Although, you know, he knows he did so whatever. The other part of the episode that gave me a good chuckle was the part about Enigma giving Strange the idea to implant stories into the bad guys. I don't know how many times I've written about how many fucking assholes in Gotham have an Alice in Wonderland fetish. And now Gotham has explained why! As well as why so many themed and costumed criminals wind up popping up in Gotham City! I just hope they run with it even bigger in the television show! Let's see somebody modeled off of Captain Ahab, or Javert, or Rick Deckard!

Okay, that's all the space I feel like giving to Gotham. It really needs to do better.

Last commentary, I wrote, "People really like to read things that let them say, “Ooh! Meta-textual commentary! Smartsies!” And Scott Snyder likes to fill his Batman comic book with that kind of thing." That continues to be a pretty accurate review of Snyder's Batman here in Issue #51. It begins pretty near as meta as it can get talking about white font on a black page in white font on a black page followed by describing Gotham as the first line of the last story you'll ever write. Not that Snyder is never going to write another Batman story (unless All-Star Batman isn't about Batman?) but it's the last story he's going to write in this 52 thematically-linked issue story. In other words, it feels like Snyder just jerked off right into my mouth. The story in this issue is called "Gotham Is", so he's bringing the whole thing around full circle. The series began with Bruce thinking about what makes Gotham Gotham. Sometime in the middle of the series, Bruce gives a big speech after the Red Hood shit goes down about what makes Gotham Gotham. And throughout the entire run, Gotham has been treated as one of the main characters, more so than I remember having ever been done in this long of a series of stories. This is Snyder's Epilogue, the Denouement to his Long Tale, writ large in blinking, sputtering neon.

Fucking hell! Getting dice wrong like this just blisters the inside of my skull!

The issue begins with some cute back and forth between Bruce and Alfred which is nice to see. I would love to see that Batman was brought back with a lot of his emotional scars and internal pain cured by the Dionesium. That's my own speculation but what has been healed is Alfred's hand, thanks to Crazy Quilt and some unnamed hand donor. Probably a murderer and it has a mind of its own! Eep! At one point in the playful exchange, Bruce says the "justice flavored" drink Alfred gives him "tastes like bananas" and Alfred says Bruce should contemplate that statement. Is Alfred suggesting Batman become Bananaman? I think he is!

I wonder how many paragraphs I can spend discussing how much the new Batmobile looks like a penis? Probably just one quite short one.

Jim Gordon is back to smoking. That may or may not be penis related as well.

On this night that Batman has returned, Gotham experiences a blackout. I bet it's metaphorical! Batman is sure it's some criminal rather than too many air conditioners running at once and he's off to investigate. First he heads to Arkham to find Jeremiah Arkham has finally installed a security system that might actually keep the inmates inside. At least for this story since the insane criminals aren't what this story is about. Next time things will be different though, I'm sure.

Batman, in drag, checks out the Court of Owls and discovers they're not behind it. But they do mention something called The Mantling! It sounds...well, not terrifying at all.

The Penguin is staying in. The Joker is still the weird guy on the park bench. Nothing out of the ordinary seems to be happening on this night in Gotham. Sometimes a blackout is a blackout is a blackout is just a blackout, you paranoid fuck!

Gotham is an after school special!

Ultimately, of course, the power outage was caused by no criminal intent. And that night in Gotham, nobody tries to take advantage of the darkness. And the people feel safer, knowing Batman watches over the city. He'll be there when the city needs him. But in this issue, he isn't needed. Boring!

Just kidding! I loved this fucking issue! I don't know if Snyder is going to have an Issue #52 but it probably wouldn't matter. This is his last story. This is the epilogue. This is the bow and the curtain call and the lights going down. And it's fucking aces.

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