Written by: Tom King
Art by: Matt Banning, David Finch
If you’ve listened to any of the new Comics Dash podcasts, you’ll know that I haven’t…well, really liked much of the new DC Rebirth issues. They’ve thus far had a litany of problems, and Batman #1 was no exception. The first issue was terribly pretentious while also being absolutely ridiculous, and the tonal clash really drove me away. I was ready for Batman to crash and die with that plane just so he would shut up.
And then Gotham Guy and Gotham Girl showed up at the end, and bam: I’m intrigued. Who are these two wannabe Supermans, and why oh why don’t I trust them?
As of Batman #2, the answer is, sadly, not all that interesting, at least on the surface. They’re new vigilante heroes trying to do right by Gotham City, and they want Batman to help them out. It’s actually a repeat of the storyline going on in the Detective Comics right now. What sets them apart is they’re obviously super powered. That is interesting. To my knowledge, Gotham has never had its own Superman. There’s a lot to play with here.
The thing is though, no one in the comic seems to care about that. As Supermen they fall short of Batman, who has to jump in and help them in their fight with Solomon Grundy, and as a mystery, Batman accepts their story at face value. The one thing that drew me back is so far going ignored.
However, given how much of a presence Alfred and Commissioner Gordon have in this issue, I’m willing to shrug most of the above problems away. Good stories need good characters, and while I don’t give a toss about Batman or the GG twins, I do care about these two. They have tons of personality, and they care about Gotham and its people in a more relatable way than Batman does.
Batman goes off and does his thing, and Gordon has to pick up the mess and fill out the paperwork. It’s turned him into a tired, snarky cynic. I love it. Alfred has known Bruce since he was a kid and deeply cares about a man with some severe mental issues and more money than he knows what to do with. He’s babysitting a superhero. I love that too.
The heroes and the villains go off and battle in big, spectacular ways that clash with their dreadfully serious personalities, and we as readers go, “Yup. Superheroes.” Then these two tired mortals take over and remind us that there are real humans in Gotham City, and most of them are tired of the bullshit they have to put up with on a daily basis.
I’m not sure reading this as a dark comedy is the way the author intended, but as long as this dynamic continues, I can dig it.