The Mysteries of Gotham’s New Nocturne

SPOILER ALERT: This column consists of spoilers from this week’s new problem of Detective Comics. If you have not but learn problem #1063 (or for that matter, problem #1062), we recommend studying no additional till you may have.
 

Has anybody else been noticing a development throughout current Batman tales? As I’ve been penning this column, I can’t assist however discover a reoccurring thread. Last month I famous that Bruce appears to be overlooking large issues over in Chip Zdarsky’s Batman run. In addition to that, final yr I wrote about how Fear State emphasised how Batman wanted to rethink his mission after shedding his fortune. As I started studying Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque’s new run on Detective Comics, I caught the same theme.

Batman has misplaced his focus. He doesn’t know what’s occurring in his metropolis and everybody round him is asking him on it. Talia tells Batman he’s gotten slower and unprepared, Nightwing playfully reminds him he’s getting previous, and Harvey Dent straight up says that he not is aware of what’s occurring in his personal metropolis. Sheesh, is that this “Beat on Batman Day?” Over the years I’ve heard the argument that Batman might beat anybody with the correct prep time, however currently he’s been having bother taking down primary crooks.

“Gotham Nocturne: Overture” opens with Batman difficult himself to take down a bunch of criminals in 18 seconds. He winds up doing it in 22, which continues to be fairly spectacular, however Batman takes this failure personally. Between this 4 second delay and a few discouraging phrases from Talia, Bruce decides to offer himself a bodily. The assessments come again regular, however the hero is unconvinced.

“I can feel it,” he tells Nightwing. “Something’s off. Something’s wrong”

Like most individuals involved with their very own mortality, Bruce doesn’t need to face the truth that he’s getting older. Getting older and weaker implies that he’ll not have the ability to perform as Batman, which is what he’s based mostly his complete life round. If he can’t battle crime because the Dark Knight, then who’s he? It’s not a query he’s ready to discover, so it’s simpler to disclaim his getting older and aggressively shut down Nightwing when he suggests it.

In this week’s Detective Comics #1063, Bruce Wayne confides to an unlikely supply: his former enemy Harvey Dent. “I used to know this place,” he says. “I knew where Gotham’s shadows lay. I knew where all the monsters nested.”

The discuss doesn’t go the best way Bruce wished it to, principally as a result of Harvey can see via him. The man previously generally known as Two-Face bluntly tells Bruce he’s barking up the fallacious tree and accuses him of chasing false leads. At least Harvey offers it to him straight. It’s attention-grabbing to notice that Batman’s unable to cover his true intentions from Harvey. Is it as a result of Dent and Wayne had been as soon as shut buddies, or is that this one other instance of Batman slipping up?

Is Bruce proper about one thing being fallacious with him? Maybe that’s the case, or possibly the reply is one thing he hasn’t dared to contemplate. Perhaps Batman hasn’t misplaced his grip on Gotham as a result of he by no means had it within the first place. All these years he’s assumed he’s in management, however secret societies just like the Court of Owls have operated proper below his nostril. Now that Batman is extra conscious of what’s occurring in his metropolis, it seems to him that he’s misplaced management, when in actuality, he by no means had it to start with. You know what they are saying about ignorance being bliss.

Or maybe there may be extra to this than meets the attention. Talia did warn her former beloved a few coming hazard. Would it have killed her to be extra particular? (Maybe she’s nonetheless sore in regards to the occasions of “Shadow War.”) It’s clear Talia is aware of one thing in regards to the energy vacuum in Gotham and who’s filling it. We’re solely two points into “Gotham Nocturne,” which by all accounts appears to be a prolonged, far-reaching story, so there may be nonetheless so much we’re unaware of.

For instance, a mysterious determine named Arzen is making his technique to town and he seems to have a sinister goal. Perhaps he’s the evil power Talia was speaking about? We’ve additionally seen a couple of criminals flip into monsters earlier than evaporating into ash. All indicators level to Arzen being concerned, however there may be nothing concrete but. To make issues worse, a bunch of mysterious villains have ambushed Harvey and reversed the progress he’s made—turning him again into Two-Face. What’s occurring right here, and what’s the endgame? I’m simply as clueless as Batman is.

I’ve little doubt that Batman will finally take Arzen down, the true query is whether or not he’ll ever get to the underside of what’s occurring with him. If you concentrate on it, all three theories are terrifying in their very own method. If Arzen can manipulate Batman with out the Dark Knight noticing him, that makes him a deadlier villain than all of us realized. If Batman by no means had a grip on his metropolis within the first place, that calls every part into query. And if Nightwing is true about Batman getting previous—nicely, that’s a query no person is able to face. Keep your eyes peeled on future points of Detective Comics as a result of the temperature is rising and there’s no telling the place this story goes to go.

Detective Comics #1063 by Ram V, Rafael Albuquerque and Dave Stewart is now out there in print and as a digital comedian e-book. 

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, motion pictures and comics for DCComics.com, is a daily contributor to the Couch Club and writes our month-to-month Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and don’t essentially mirror these of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.

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