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Batman #46

Review by Paul Bowler

Jim Gordon faces his toughest battle yet in Batman #46, with his future as the new corporate funded Robo-Suited Batman in doubt, the former Police Commissioner and Marine must show this city he is the Batman they need as he confronts Mr Bloom – the new super-villain in Gotham that’s been selling seed-like implants to criminals to give them super-powers. Batman’s mission to stop Mr Bloom will take him to the darkest corners of Gotham City, but it could prove a risky move against such an unpredictable adversary…

Batman #46 sees the fate of the new Batman hanging in the balance. However, it wont be the corporate big-wigs that will decide Jim Gordon‘s future, but instead the outcome of Batman’s battle with Mr Bloom – who has just spectacularly gate crashed the press conference at the Powers Building! Scott Snyders and Greg Capullos new Superheavy story-arc kicks into high gear in Batman #46 as Batman finally gets to square off against Mr Bloom!

Batman #46 Cover

The fight between Batman and Mr Bloom in this issue has been a long time coming, but it certainly proves to be worth the wait! Mr Bloom seems to relish using his extraordinary powers, the meticulous precision of his attacks is shockingly graphic, cultivating a swath of terror across the rich lawn of Gotham’s high society, and his contribution to the fundraiser ensures that even Geri Powers gets to look evil right in the eye. Fortunately for the Powers CEO, Gordon, in his black-yellow EVA Bat-Suit, still has “rookie” mode and Julia to watch his back at a crucial moment, but the outcome of this tense encounter proves as insightful as it does unexpected.

Scott Snyder orchestrates the slick action and character moments in this issue to perfection, making this easily one of the most impressively structured issues in the Superheavy arc so far. Having survived Endgame, Bruce Wayne’s life is no longer overshadowed by the legacy of the Bat. Bruce is deeply committed to his new role at the Lucius Fox Center for Gotham Youth, where he is working tirelessly to help the deprived areas of Gotham after the horror and destruction caused by the Joker virus, and he’s also in a relationship now with his former sweetheart Julie Madison. Scott Snyder continues to explore this brand new era for Bruce’s character in Batman #46 with an especially moving scene between Bruce and Julie, where we learn more about the uncanny connection from the past that has subsequently entwined their fates to bring them together in the present, which culminates in a beautifully romantic moment between them.

Greg Capullo’s artwork for this issue is as exceptional as ever, his work on this series never ceases to amaze me, and there are some spectacular pages and layouts in Batman #46 that will simply leave you in awe of Capullo’s artistic talents. From the unflinching violence of the opening moments as Mr Bloom and Batman slug it out, though to the steamy interlude between Bruce and Julie, there’s also the imaginative birds eye view which oversees Duke’s mission at the new Iceberg Lounge where ice breaks the ice in the most poignant way imaginable, and the “prototypes” of the Batman Programme whose names alone will send your imagination stomping all over Gotham City are just a few of the many highlights in this issue of Batman. Danny Miki’s inks hone the fine details and nuances of Greg Capullo’s work to perfection, while FCO Plascencia’s exquisite color palette matches the tone, emotion, and atmosphere of ever scene magnificently.

Superheavy Part Six finds Jim and his allies facing the most difficult of decisions in the aftermath of Mr Bloom’s attack on the Powers Building. The full extent of Powers Batman Programme becomes clear as a result, danger strikers at the Iceberg Lounge, and Batman goes all Daryl Dixon on us with a new Batmobile as he races to a showdown in a long forgotten pathway in the Narrows…

Batman #46 is another superb issue from Scott Snyder, together with outstanding artwork by Greg Capullo; it takes the Superheavy arc to a whole new level. There’s a few surprise plot twists thrown into the mix to keep us on our toes, and the gripping conclusion is sure to keep us all hanging in suspense until the next issue!

Publisher DC Comics

Writer: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

Inks: Danny Miki

Colors: FCO

Letters: Steve Wands