|[ BAT-SALE RETURNS ]|
TO QUOTE Ralph Marston: 'Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work'.
Now on a purely conceptual level this bumper-sized 50th issue of Batman is the type of conclusion we've all read many times before. I'm sure you know the type of thing I'm referring to: The main villain of the piece has the city in his nefarious clutches, blah-blah-blah, most of the heroes are in some sort of dire danger, yawn-yawn-yawn, and no matter what anyone tries to do to move things along in the right direction, one way or the other the bad guy always gets the upper hand.
Or does he? No. Not really. After all this is a superhero comic book, and as such, we all know how it's going to eventually end. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you. If anything, it must be hard for the writer, Scott Snyder, to come up with something fairly innovative within such a confined set of parameters.
Take this issue for instance: When it begins, we get to see Gordon on his last legs, Julia trying to take him off to hospital, Duke talking to his possessed brother Daryl back at the youth center, whilst Mister Bloom, his big bad self, is basically kicking the living crap out of Gotham City, regardless of the newly formed army of Batmen trying to stop him. But then suddenly, as most of us know, another character appears. Another character who, surprise-surprise, we've all been waiting to see for ages.
Yep. That's right. It's the Bruce Wayne version of Batman, in a brand spanking new Bat-suit no less.
Then, once he's finally unveiled in all of his Bat-themed glory, Ta-dah!, the story-line slowly splits up into three separate yet conjoined segments from that moment onwards. One part of it is focused on Bruce doing what he must to save his friend's life as well as his tattered city. Another part of the plot is focused on Duke trying to figure out how his older brother is connected to Bloom. And in addition to this, yet another part is focused on Jim shaking off his own injuries so he can pitch in, so to speak.
Admittedly, some of these sections felt fairly flat in comparison to others, especially those long winded dialogue scenes where Jim tried to justify to Batman why he took on his mantle. And the reason why I say this is because, well, lets face it, last issue Jim had a massive root shoved down his throat, rupturing his spleen, and for some reason now he has the energy inside himself to yammer on like a celebrity appearing on a talk show. Also, I must say that I wasn't too keen on those scenes where Batman jumped into the giant Bat-Robot and fought off the bad-guys. To me, Batman works best when he is rooted to reality, and trust me, by no means are these fighting sequences rooted in anything apart from compost.
Saying that, though, on the other hand it was nice to see the gang back together again, plus I did find those scenes involving Duke particularly rewarding (which is saying something as I've not been a big fan of them so far). Simply put, Duke managed to explain what he was up to and tie it back into the main Mister Bloom sub-plot in a very logical way. And as most of you know, logic, any form of reality based logic, is always a boon for a bat-book in spite of giant plant men, huge bulking robots, and anything else over the top this issue threw our way.
Now for fairly obvious reasons I don't really want to divulge too much for the sake of spoilers. Although, what I will say is that there were three things about this tale that I thought stood out from the crowd. Firstly, Greg Capullo's artwork was up to its usual bold and gritty standards, plus I didn't mind the new additions he's added to the Bat-suit either. Secondly, on the whole the overall tale did have a fairly finite feel to it, as if a complete story was told and now the adventures can move on (take that however you so wish). And thirdly, it was nice to see that this book was mainly focused on Bat-Jim despite Bruce's recent return, acting, in a strange way, as his Batman themed swan-song, fluttering out on a high note rather than a plonk.
Out of curiosity, what did you think about this concluding chapter? Did you think it a hit or a miss? Or for that matter, do you think that a certain character knows another certain characters real identity? Those of you who've read this issue know what I mean. Hint-hint!
Originally I was going to musically match up this comic book to the Tiger song, 'Reset', simply because that's how it came across, kinda. Yet upon closer inspection I started to think about the story's true meaning, and what each of the characters had to go through to be able to save the day. And then it hit me -- Bang! -- what my match up needed to be. It needed to be the Beatles song, 'With a Little Help from My Friends', as that's what's at the heart of its moral center.
Hmmm? I wonder if Jim, Bruce, and Duke need a drummer?
What do you normally do whenever your computer crashes? Yep. That's the ticket. You do what Moss from the 'IT Crowd' say's you have to do. You turn it off and on again. Or in other words, you reboot, or reset, the settings. Batman, you have now been rejuvenated, let Rebirth begin.
Up above I previously mentioned that Bruce Wayne has gotten himself a new version of the Bat-suit. Nothing too drastic, off course. Just something he's put on with a couple of minor alterations thrown in for good measure. So, just for fun, can you guess what some of those alterations are out of the following eight options? Could they be...
- A pair of shorter ears.
- A purple jock-strap.
- A yellow line traced around the bat emblem.
- A matching set of boots and gloves.
- A green dress.
- An orange wig.
- The smell of asparagus.
- A plastic thong.