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BOOK REVIEW Ė GREG RUCKA & ED BRUBAKER - BATMAN Ė TURNING POINTS. 2007 D C Comics

 

Excellent if episodic look at the long sometimes troubled relationship between Batman, and Gotham Cityís police Commissioner Gordon.

 

Gordon is torn between dependency on Batmanís support in controlling Gothamís extreme crime waves, and treating the Dark Knight as a vigilante, but the two men clearly respect one another. They have a mutual sense of loss of family, due to criminals seeking revenge that bonds them.

 

Here, Batman assists the police in bringing down Mr. Freeze, in an act of perfect co-operation, but Gordon is disturbed by Batman taking on Robin as an assistant, convinced that he will get the boy killed, but Robin proves perfectly capable of making his own destiny.

 

When a killer called The Garbage Man goes on the rampage, Batman has a crisis of consciousness, believing that he could make the human madman as dangerous as The Joker, or the Penguin, who he believes he made worse by his interventions. Gordon convinces Batman that such thinking is nonsense and Batman re-commences pursuit. We donít see the outcome, but it is inevitable.

 

The grimmest episode is set at the aftermath of Batmanís recovery from nearly being killed by Bane, when Batman was at his most murderous and vigilante phase, and Gordon seriously contemplated having to treat Batman as a menace to society in his own right. Sadly, we donít get a story in which Batman becomes more subdued again or regains Gordonís respect.

 

The closing episode is delightful and unexpected. A former criminal is seen looking for Batman & Gordon. He has a woman and children with him. Fearing a hostage crisis, cop and masked hero rush to meet the man, who has only come to thank them for turning his life around, and introduce the wife and children he feels proud of. Batman & Gordon get a rare insight into why their work is truly worthwhile, and stand proud & silent together in the final panel of the strip.

 

Arthur Chappell

 

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