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TO QUOTE Julie Madison talking to Bruce Wayne this issue: 'You channeled whatever fear you felt into making other people feel brave. I loved you for that'.
I think that the best way for me to explain to you what I feel about this issue of Batman is to break it down into the following four sections.
Section One -- Clicking Into Auto-Pilot -- Now at the start of this episode we're presented with a pretty dynamic looking sequence where we see Bat-Jim getting, getting, getting, a lot of get for a go-to type of a guy. First he manages to get out of a fire based trap. Then he gets his ass kicked by a group of horn-headed street-punks. And to top it all off, he finally gets his said same ass saved by an automated software program, operating out of his bat-suit.
Yeah. That's what I thought too. It all sounds like a pretty pedestrian set of circumstances for a sequence involving an automated Bat-suit, doesn't it? And kind of plays out in the same way as well! Particularly when you factor in that the scene in itself was largely about Jim trying to save himself whilst comparing his abilities to his predecessor's! Not the smartest thing to do in a fist fight. Agreed. Although from my point of view Jim's narration was the best thing about this scene, as it gave it a lot more substance than your usual run-of-the-mill action-based introductions.
Section Two -- Bruce And Julie -- Once Jim is out of harms way, the next scene we get is one where Bruce and Julie are taking a nice, leisurely stroll around their compound, talking about what's happened to
and Bruce himself since Joker's Endgame. Gotham City
Personally speaking, I thought this was one of the best scenes in the entire book. Not only because we got some more Bruce for our buck, but because it also touches upon Bruce's own inner turmoil on who he once was, how he now is, and what he's going to try to do about it next. I also liked the way that Julie defined Bruce's past personality, whilst acting as a present-day anchor to whoever Bruce may eventually become, hint-hint.
Section Three and Four -- Stuff About Stuff -- To be honest with you, dear reader, I wasn't quite sure about the next two scenes at all. Scene Three reminded us that Jim is alive and well after scene one, and that he's working for Geri Powers, the head of Powers Corp, who's trying to utilize advance technology to preserve both the concept of Batman plus the world at large. Scene Four, on the other hand, was a reminder type of scene. Basically it reminded us about the Mister Bloom sub-plot, as well as that there is a link with this book and another book called, 'We Are Robins'. Nudge-Nudge! Wink-Wink!
Now in of itself, both of these two scenes were pretty nice to follow, despite being fairly top heavy in the exposition and the continuity department. Not that this is a bad thing mind you. But tonally I did find that these two scenes took me out of the plot on occasion, especially when it came to highfalutin rhetoric and associations associated with another title.
Section Four -- Here Comes The Grand Finale -- Yep. That's right, comic book fans. This comic does end on one hell of a great cliff-hanger. Proving once and for all that Bruce is still Bruce, Jim is still Jim, and no matter who you are, or who you think you are, at the end of the day what you truly are will shine through, no matter what.
Obviously I don't want to tell you too much about this section or else I might spoil it for you. That said, however, what I can say is that Greg's artwork really kicked home this month (I strangely loved the look of the horns the street gangs wore on their heads, plus the joker inspired dinosaur model was a right blast). What's more, surprise-surprise, on the whole I'd say Scott's tale was a nice mixture of exposition (you know who you are), high-octane action sequences (Ditto), and earthy voice over narration and prose (see previous).
This months musical match-up has to be a song sung by Terry Jacks called 'Seasons In The Sun'. Want to know why? Well, basically this is a fairly reminiscent song about death and rebirth, even though you don't really get the death part of the equation from its fairly upbeat tone.
Plus it's cool to listen to. Too cool for school in fact.
On a conceptual level one slice of this story was about how certain people have the ability to inspire others. Of course, in this case it's none other than Batman himself. But for me to compare a Batman comic to the titular character, well, that would be too obvious, wouldn't it? And we can't have that now, can we?
So instead, I want to compare it to something just as inspiring... the group of men and women who fought in World War 2.
Say no more.
At the very end of this issue Bat-Jim suddenly jumps on Geri Powers for a very specific reason. So, just for the sake of me not typing a proper conclusion, can you guess why Jim does this out of the following eight scenarios? Could it be because he wants to...
- Kiss her.
- Push her under a train.
- Push her onto a trampoline.
- Push her onto an angry looking dwarf with a lisp.
- Save her from an onslaught perpetuated by Mister Bloom.
- Prompt her to dance with him, using a melody composed by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
- Shag her.
- Do something dynamic looking.