|"I AM ORDINANCE! I AM THE HEIGHT!"|
I'm sorry; I mean NuBatman. Bat-Jim. Gordonman. Tick Gordon. Whatever you want to call him.
I'm necessarily interested in discussing whether the idea of Jim Gordon playing the role of Batman makes any sense. What does "make sense" even MEAN in the context of a comic book? Jim Gordon shooting an orphan for no reason; THAT would make no sense. Anything short of that is just comic books.
But I am interested in discussing some issues that it brings up.
THE ARMS RACE
Scott Snyder seems like a very nice, earnest, young man. But after month after month of nothing but 'huge, game-changing stories', I'm convinced that's all he can do. I make fun of the Bronze Age Batman a lot (and with good reason); but at least in the Bronze Age, they knew how to tell a one-issue, simple story that seemed meaningful and satisfying withOUT breaking all the toys.
"I would just say that Dark Knight Returns was a huge change," Snyder said. "'Year One' was a huge change. One of the things that was very heartening for me, when I was doing 'Zero Year,' was that a friend sent me a back-of-the-comic letter to Frank Miller when he did 'Year One,' and it's basically about how he was ruining Batman with 'Year One,' because he was making it so dark."
Plus, Snyder and Capullo have given themselves an "out" — they admitted to Newsarama that there's a plan for bringing Bruce Wayne back to life, although they stopped short of saying when or even if it would happen during their run.
"We would never, ever make a change like this unless we had a better story for all these characters," Snyder said, "including on the other side of that change."
I don't want to read stories because I have to, because they Change Everything. I want to read stories simply because they are stories I want to read. Stories I deserve to read. I can skip them and not be lost on all the developments in Gotham City, yes. But I don't skip them because I know I'll be missing out on an experience I will enjoy.
The literary arms race in comics is out of control (at least in Gotham). Every story is about an enormously far reaching past conspiracy that underlies everything unbeknownst to us (e.g., The Court of Owls; The Riddler took over all of Gotham City once, the immortal Joker); or Batman's Greatest Enemy doing his Greatest Evil (breaking up the Batfamily; figuring out Batman's secret identity, blowing up the batcave, cutting off his face, secretly becoming Batman's new pal, controlling the entire Justice League, cutting off Alfred's hand, killing himself and Batman); or a hinted game-changed future (Batman crucified on the batsignal, Gotham destroyed again, Catwoman is a crimelord, Batman's dead, Jim Gordon is Batman, my god nothing will ever be the same).
Frankly, I'm tired of it, and I would pay good money to read a story where Batman tries to catch a fur thief. Not that there are still fur thieves. Or even furs. But you know what I mean.
COMMISSIONER BENJAMIN BUTTON
THE INEVITABILIFICATION OF ELSEWORLDS.
Look, we are just start to recover from a generational obsession with making Kingdom Come a reality. And now we've already started on the path with Batman Beyond. Making 'the Powers Family" into a force in Gotham and one relevant to Batman just plays into that. I don't want that for the same reason I don't want to vote for a former president's wife, or son, or brother; I don't like being told that This Future Is Inevitable and You Will Like It Because You Have No Other Choice.