Batman, Volume 9: Bloom Review

Overview

Batman, Volume 9: Bloom is the finale of the Snyder/Capullo storyline arcs (Epliogue is like Graveyard Shift where it’s a collection of shorter solo stories). Bloom is the continuation of James Gordon as Batman’s crusade against the menace Bloom who has Gotham well and truly in his grip. Bloom is the most grand and  explosive arc in all of Batman New 52 (in my opinion) and the stage is set for the real Batman’s return following the shocking events in Endgame.

Batman, Volume 9: Bloom collects Batman #46-#50 and #52.

Superheavy Key Information
Book NameBloom
Book SeriesBatman, New 52
Edition ReviewedCollected Edition Trade Paperback
Year Published2016
Originally Published2016
Writer(s)Scott Snyder
Artist(s)Greg Capullo, Danny Miki, Jock
Pages200
Issues6
Where to BuyAmazon
Notable HeroesBatman, James Gordon
Notable VillainsBloom
Chronology PreviousSuperheavy
Chronology Next

Epilogue

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Batman Vol. 9: Bloom (The New 52)
44 Reviews
Batman Vol. 9: Bloom (The New 52)
  • DC Comics
  • Scott Snyder
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Batman Volume 9: Bloom Review

Bloom, as a collected edition, follows directly from Superheavy and is pretty much essential reading to understand the goings on. It’s misleading to think that ‘Bloom’ is the only book about Mister Bloom as he dominated the pages almost right from the start in Superheavy. The cover, to some extent can be a misleading, too as Batman (Bruce Wayne) features very little, really.

If you’re not interested in a Batman book without Batman then you’re going to be disappointed with this one, too as once again James Gordon’s version (which isn’t all that bad really) takes the stage. Well, maybe not. This book is grandiose and Bloom himself is probably the main character, here.

Let’s start the review and discuss the art. It’s mega. It’s exciting and it’s all in your face from the word go. It also alternates from dark to light – the light part, surprisingly, are the scenes involving Bruce Wayne and Julie Madison. There are some bright and bold colour choices to be found in Bloom which I enjoyed very much, a fixture present throughout Batman New 52 but maybe more prevalent in Dark City onwards. The deep colours and wild pencilling give the sense of danger and chaos – which is constant in this volume.

Second, the supervillain Bloom started off as a character with a purpose and a motive but as the book went on his motives started to be drowned out by the looming return of Batman and the constantly escalating danger only served to make the Dark Knight’s return more obvious. Bloom has some powers and could kill people easily but as time went on he became a grotesque monstrosity who could have ended up wiping out all of Gotham. The kind of supervillain that the Justice League would have needed to get involved with. This was a sticking point with me, it felt that there was too much at stake and that Mr. Bloom was just too powerful. He easily does away with his enemies but never delivered a fatal blow to any main character, like the Red Shirts in Star Trek or a Stormtrooper.

James Gordon continued to fight the good fight as you expected him too but it was painfully clear he was not up to the task, even with an entire army of Bat Robots behind him. It was interesting for a while but after one and half volumes of it there was nothing new to be found in Bloom. Although it was interesting to see what a Gordon Batman would be like, at the end of it all I just wish he will stay in the GCPD in the future doing what he does best. Plus, without the moustache and glasses it just doesn’t look right.

The elephant in the room throughout is Batman’s Return, and it isn’t exactly a secret since it says “Batman Returns” on the back and he is on the cover. What I loved in Superheavy and Bloom is Bruce Wayne being normal and happy with his new life helping kids with Julie Madison. It’s sincere and very touching to see years of darkness finally having some light shined upon it. You can clearly see why Alfred stood up to Superman when he wanted to bring him back. This is what he’s always wanted. What If storylines are hit and miss but this short stint Bruce has at a normal life is seriously good and you can’t help but feel sorry for him, even if you crave real Batman action again.

He was always going to return, and when he did I was both happy and sad. Happy that my favourite comic book character is back and about to kick ass but sad that Bruce Wayne’s happy, normal life, is over. How it happened was a little bit ‘out there’ with the mind machine but I guess Snyder had to think of something to make it happen. He isn’t in it for very long but all to easily dispatches the enemy with the help of his friend. There was a lot of build up to this moment but when it finally came it was a bit of a let down.

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Batman Vol. 9: Bloom (The New 52)
44 Reviews
Batman Vol. 9: Bloom (The New 52)
  • DC Comics
  • Scott Snyder
  • Publisher: DC Comics

Summary

Batman: Volume 9: Bloom looks like a book that was rushed by a tired writer – at this point Snyder had been writing Bats for years so who can blame him. It’s too grande, the spectre of Batman’s return drowned out everything else and Bloom as a villain became too big too quickly which ruined the mystery behind him seen in Superheavy and early on in Vol. 9.

Score: 2.5/5

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