After the enormous events in Volume 7: Endgame Batman is no more, Wayne Enterprises is no more and Gotham needs a new Dark Knight to watch over it as crime sprees rage on and the mysterious Mr. Bloom is causing havoc giving people special powers and killing people in the process. Enter James Gordon. He doesn’t don a cape but a massive Robotic “bat bunny” suit as he takes justice into his own hand and for once sees the world as Batman once did.
Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy collects Batman #41-#46 and Divergence #1.
|Book Series||Batman, New 52|
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition Trade Paperback|
|Artist(s)||Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Jock|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
|Notable Heroes||Batman, James Gordon, Duke|
Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy Review
The events and ending of Endgame made the beginning of Superheavy and interesting one – what happened to Batman/Bruce Wayne? Is he dead? At first, I thought the book was going to make it a real mystery into what happened to the Dark Knight but it isn’t the case – there is no mystery and he is alive and well pretty much a third into the book – I was relieved with this as I was not looking forward to yet another Death of Bruce Wayne storyline. Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy is one half James Gordon as Batman book and the other the introduction of Mr. Bloom who comes into it big time in the next volume.
There’s a few inconsistencies that surface with the premise of Bruce Wayne going “missing” and no Batman – first, Wayne Enterprises goes bust and is bought out by Geri Powers – it’s not explained why they went bust – Bruce was missing for decades and Wayne Enterprises was running fine so why would they have trouble this time? Anyway, it’s Powers International that use Wayne tech to build and fund this new “Superheavy” Batman replacement in the form of a mechanised suit. The first thing that will strike you about the suit is it’s Anime-esque appearance which really seems out of place in Gotham City. However, this does seem to be on purpose as Gordon himself comments on it’s silly appearance.
Anyway, appearances aside I did really enjoy James Gordon’s stint as Batman, you can see it in his own eyes how Gordon is finally able to see what Batman sees and the need to be “off the grid” and why bending the rules to bring certain enemies to justice is needed. His time as the Bat is often bloated and tied down by the reminder that the real Batman is missing – sometimes holding Gordon back from being able to be himself – this itself was mentioned in writing. As you get deeper into the plot and action, though, what emerges is that this book is not chiefly about James Gordon fighting crime but the emergence of Mr. Bloom and how he is behind all of these new, superpowered and bizarre enemies with incredible abilities.
The elephant in the room, Bruce Wayne/Batman’s apparent death isn’t used as a carrot-on-the-string for the reader which I found welcoming, he is alive and well and appears to have suffered some form of amnesia and simple can not remember being Batman in the first place. He is now helping children and the citizens of Gotham living a “normal” life. Alfred is seen being over the moon about this and wants to stop anyone from taking his new found happiness away, including Superman.
The artwork in Superheavy begins as it normally has throughout the New 52 but around midway through takes a completely different direction and I for one LOVED it. It’s truly unique and Capullo and the gang clearly had a blast drawing and colouring it in. It is a sharp bump all of a sudden and many may not appreciate it but it adds to the overall feel that something is changing in Gotham. James Gordon has two suits in Superheavy, the merchandised one and then the regular one. The regular one looks absolutely brilliant and one of my favourites in terms of colour and aesthetic – sadly, we probably won’t see this one too many times once Superheavy/Bloom/New 52 concludes which is very imminent.
As the volume continues, the over arching plot begins to become more and more obvious – Superheavy isn’t about James Gordon as Batman at all, it’s about Bruce Wayne making a comeback at some point and how that’s going to work – it’s also behind any doubt that Bloom is the real supervillain in play here and everything that’s been happening is because of him. The ending makes it even clearer. Although it’s fun to see James Gordon as Batman it’s obvious he isn’t up for this fight on his own and sooner or later the real Batman will be needed.
Is Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy a good collection? Yes, yes it is. Stunning artwork, brave storyline and an intriguing supervillain in the shadows makes it a very gripping tale. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep any reader going and above all else Superheavy is a different book and not the Batman book you were probably expecting and that’s what I liked.
Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy Image Gallery
Last update on 2018-03-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API