- Written by Peter J. Tomasi
- Pencils & Inks by Marcio Takara
- Cover by Francis Manapul & Andrew Robinson
For the first time since taking on the mantle of Batman, Jim Gordon has left Gotham City. But he’s not alone! Recruited by the Justice League, Gordon taps into his detective skills to help Superman, Wonder Woman, and the World’s Greatest Heroes solve the murder of a mysterious, super-powered being.
Pickup your copy of ‘Detective Comics’ #46 at Comixology now!
Mecha-Batman is starting to have an effect outside the world of Gotham although I’m surprised that the Bat-editors held it off this long. We’ve seen the Justice League visit Bruce Wayne to try and understand if he really has forgotten his Batman persona and with little chance of him remembering his past (right now) they’ve turned to Jim Gordon to help them with a problem.
It’s interesting to see how Gordon interacts with the big players of the DC Universe, Bruce always had a hold over them with his intimate knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses. His lack of trust and constant need to have a kill switch for any of the Leaguers incase of a disaster meant that any friendship between members would only go so far. Gordon feels himself incredibly unworthy of working alongside such heroes and so there’s a little more envy and almost youth to his character as he tries to find his place.
I can’t however lie about the quality of the story. The jumping off point, taking Gordon to an unknown land via boom tube and putting him in front of an enormous monster skeleton does little more than put him in an uncomfortable situation and leave him to figure out how best he can help. This issue does develop the story and bring it to a natural conclusion however it’s tenuous at best in doing anything other than forcing Gordon to interact with the League.
Granted it would be very early in his Batman career to pit Gordon against one of the major villains of the franchise but the story just feels a little forced. It could have easily been rectified by making the situation a test by the League to understand what Gordon would bring to the table. Adding a page whereby Superman or Wonder Woman reveals the scenario to have been engineered and controlled purposely to achieve an understanding would have made more sense than having the entire League feel the need to approach Bruce Wayne for help and then turn to Gordon when all appeared lost.
That aside Gordon does get to show that he is comfortable enough with his new persona to play alongside the big names and the closing panels of the issue where Gordon remains behind singing a lullaby go a great distance towards bringing a level of humanity to his character that being Batman could easily take away. The empathy that Gordon has always felt is one of the core aspects of his character and that is something he needs to hold on to despite how much being Batman digs away at him.
There’s little time for the individual League members to show of their skills here so don’t expect this to be anything other than a Batman story guest starring the Justice League and don’t expect Gordon’s Batman to show up in the ‘Justice League’ title for a little while yet as the Darkseid war rages on.
The artwork is nice and dark, it echoes the normal tone of ‘Detective Comics’ well despite the snow capped landscape in which it takes place. There is that handy cave to dampen the mood however. There’s a roughness to the art of ‘Detective Comics’ which I really like. Characters can appear different from panel to panel but where in some titles this appears like an inaccuracy here it is part of a well defined style which helps make it stand out from the other Bat-family titles.
It’s a good read but not a great read yet a nice introduction of Mecha-Batman to the Justice League.