Batman Vol 8: Superheavy Review

By Tyrone Burns.batman-volume-8-superheavy

After the events of Jokers End Game, Batman is presumed dead and the criminals who are usually in hiding have now come out to play. A new Super-villain has come forth whose deadly plans involve giving hard criminals superpowers. It is as clear as it was to Bruce the day he lost his parents that Gotham needs a Batman. Powers International has bought out Wayne Enterprises, with all its resources now available to them they ask a certain someone to take up the mantle of Batman.

“Commissioner Gordon is the new Batman” is said in bold letters on the back of Vol 8. Yes the one good cop in Gotham has (at first begrudgingly) accepted the responsibility and commitment of being Batman.

But is it over his head?

It seems the Mayor and the GCPD want to prove something to civilians of Gotham. That not only can Batman work within the confines of the law but that he can work better.

To some having Jim Gordon be Batman is ridiculous, to me though… I actually kinda like it. It isn’t like when Dick Grayson took up the mantle, he was still kinda the same Batman but with a bit more social skills. With Jim, from the suit itself to the Mech-suit to the way he handles each encounter, this is a very very different Batman and I found that quiet exciting.

As touched on above. It’s not just Jim going into a fight wearing a Bat mask and a smoke in his mouth, no for one this Batman uses a gun………. of sorts. it shoots out batarangs which helps Jim make up for his lack of throwing skills. As mentioned above, yes Jim even has a mech-suit. Its agile and quiet strong, comes in different colours and has bunny ears. It has a few surprises and features we learn about more as the story goes along. It’s like a Bond Car with all its special secrets. On top of all the new gadgets and suit’s, Jim has a team of ‘professionals’ in his ear giving him advice through every battle and conflict. There are also a few more gadgets I’ve not mentioned. But I don’t want to spoil it all for you.
The main villain is a interesting fellow. We get the impression early on that he is just a dealer of sorts to criminals in need of an extra kick over their rivals. However as the story concludes we learn there is more to this guy than earlier assumed.

The thing that I loved, was seeing a refreshing take on how ‘Batman’ finds all the clues to who and how the Villain operates. Normally with Bruce’s Batman, it was bad cop through n through but Jim spices up things with a little bit of empathy on some of the thugs.
I found myself at the beginning underestimating Jim’s Detective skills and knowledge of the city and all its residents. But don’t be mistaken, Jim is a smart cop and the skills that earned him the rank of commissioner are (more so than almost ever before) on show.
Scott Snyder is one of my favorite writers and it had been awhile since I read any of his work. Its clear even early on in Volume 8 that this guy knows how to write and he knows how to write Batman.
If him and artist Greg Capullo joined forces for the rest of their careers I would be a happy man.

Fantasizing aside, Batman Vol 8 is a good starting point to anyone looking to get into Batman. Jim shows us that a Batman can work within the law and still kick ass. I gotta keep reading to find out if Jim can not only be a Batman… But become the Batman.


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