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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.
Then I read them.
Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.
I read 5 comics last week: Batgirl #47, Titans Hunt #3, Star Wars #15, Batman #48 and Batman and Robin Eternal #17.
The best comic I read last week was Batman #48.
For those of you who aren’t month comic book readers, the information that Jim Gordon has been Batman for the better part of the last six months will come as something of a surprise, but it’s true. Following an epic battle with the Joker called “Endgame,” Bruce Wayne lost his memory of his entire life – and certainly of his life as Batman – and had become something of a social worker in Gotham City. To fill that vacuum, Jim Gordon, no longer Commissioner of Police, takes up a very different mantle of the bat: a Robocop-like, mechanized suit and steps into the role.
Truth be told, I haven’t loved this arc by one of my favorite artist/writer teams, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. It’s been good, but, come on, I love me some Bruce Wayne and, while he’s in the story, he’s at the periphery at best.
Also, the villains of the arc have been wanting and, unfortunately, the latest threat, Mr. Bloom, didn’t land with me. To judge internet chatter, he didn’t land with a lot of fans.
So, why pick this issue? Because of one panel:
Bruce knows. Alfred is devastated. The bat is all-but back in the proper hands.
“Take me to my cave,” indeed.