After completing his run on Marvel’s The Vision, up and coming writer Tom King got what is probably every superhero writer’s dream assignment: Batman.
His run, part of the DC Rebirth, began with a storyarc subtitled I Am Gotham.
Following a special Rebirth issue that showed new Batman partner Duke Thomas being brought into the Batcave and told he won’t be a Robin, we jump into the action as Batman tries to bring a 747 down safely after terrorists hit it with an anti-aircraft missile. Batman actually does seem to know what to do, but the act of bringing the plane safely down into the river will kill him as he’s exposed on the roof of the plane. Then something, or more accurately someone, lifts the plane. It isn’t Superman. It’s a new superhero, calling himself Gotham. He’s got a female partner named Gotham Girl. They want to help.
This was actually something of a change of pace from what I’m used to with Batman and various superhuman partners. I’ll chalk it up to trying to make the DCU a more optimistic place by showing Batman more than willing to give these two a shot at helping him. They’re young and eager, and they can do things Batman can’t, and he’s not ashamed to admit as much. They could be a real force for good in Gotham City.
Problems occur when something happens and Gotham the superhero goes rogue. How can Batman stop someone with Superman-level power and without an obvious kryptonite weakness? Batman will pull out all the stops, and still Batman just wants to help this guy. This is a Batman that’s more superhero than dark knight, one who’s willing to give or get help, and doesn’t mind using a ton of cool gadgets to get things done.
Batman ends the volume in the midst of what is probably going to be a bad deal for the guy. King and artist David Finch have set up for good stuff in the future. It’s a good time to be a Batman fan from the looks of things. Eight and a half hidden Bat-vehicles out of ten.