Does what happens’ in the past, effect what happens in the present? Now in some cases, no – as some people can block out their own history, and then strive towards the future. And in some cases, yes – like our buddy Commissioner Gordon, in this very issue Written by Scott Snyder; Drawn by Francesco Francavilla; and Published by DC Comics in April 2011.


Whilst trailing a suspected murderer and known arsonist (Roy Blount), Commissioner Gordon recollects his younger days in the GCPD – when he was an overworked and under paid captain – and his son, James, was a young boy with troubles. The specific incident Gordon remembers; is when his ex-wife, Barbra, tells him that James is having problems at school. Upon hearing this news, Gordon, and his second wife, Sarah, takes James – his nice, Barbra – and her pal, Millie – on a camping trip into the woods. At this lo-cal, James’s behaviour is somewhat peculiar, and after a series of events, Gordon accuses James for the disappearance of Barbra’s friend, Millie. Abruptly, this memory snaps Gordon mind forward to the present, and a confrontation he is having with Roy – where he learns that his son James is an unwavering soul – even thoe the appearance of Batman says otherwise.  

It is old home week in this month’s issue of Detective Comics, where writer extraordinaire – Scott Snyder – chronicles a parallel tale of Commissioner Gordon’s’ past and present. Obviously, Gordon’s past is retroactive, and his present – even thoe fleeting within this narrative – synergises quite succinctly with his past tale. Still, saying all this, does that make this tale any good? No – not good – f**king brilliant. This issue is melancholy in tone, and exhumes a certain ambiguity that is both captivating and compelling to read. In some way it reminds me of a Frank Capra film from the nineteen-thirties – Lost Horizon – as the uncertainness of Gordon’s relationship with his son James, is told in such a way that I thought for one moment that I was watching this war-time drama. This is greatly enhanced by artist, Francesco Francavilla, who is able to capture the nourish tones of this tale, and make this timeless tale into one of my favourite reads this month. I cannot fault it – and I cannot expand upon what I have said so far either – it is just a great instalment within an already compelling and innovative story arch, one that I cannot wait to read the next part of. However, if there was a slight nag with this issue, is that fact that James marriage to Sarah Essen has been chronicled a lot sooner than what it was, and did make me question slightly the validity of this tale. But this is only a slight drawback, and only something that would bother a Bat-buff like me, and doesn’t really impede this issue at all.