blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Batman: Year 100 (2006) #3

Bm100 3

Year 100 started with Jim Gordon (named after granddad) not knowing anything about “The Bat-Man of Gotham” and thinking it was an unlikely urban legend in the first issue to revealing he was the warden of Arkham Asylum. And it was filled with super-villains. And then he let the federal police kill them all, getting his job at Gotham PD as a reward.

Wouldn’t you want a good reward for allowing such a thing? Not, you know, being the last good cop in a corrupt dystopia?

Gordon does his confessing to the doctor lady, who was helping Batman 2039 with his federal morgue break-in but turned off comms to patch up Gordon. At multiple points during their scene, it seems like he’s going to say something meaningful or revelatory, but instead, he just says, “wow, Batman’s real, huh,” repeatedly. Or at least twice.

Considering he spends the second half of the issue at granddad Commissioner Gordon’s cabin upstate looking at pictures of the old Batman, this current Gordon didn’t know there was a real Batman because he had his head up his ass. Especially since he knows all the rogue’s gallery’s names.

So dumb.

It raises the question—did DC editorial not care about a better script because it’s Paul Pope or because they knew no one cared about a Batman comic being good, actually. Or even sensible. Also, the comic seems to be reversing course on the continuity to Frank Miller, instead implying Batman’s a series of guys, like James Bond actors or something.

While Gordon’s on his information quest, Batman 2039 is getting into major fights with the cops, who lock down the city after he escapes again. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly great escape sequence. There’s a fight scene with a psychic cop, but it’s boring, and every time the story’s begging for some gorgeous Pope art… Pope instead cuts to Gordon discovering something or having a pat epiphany.

The issue’s also got a lengthy talking heads sequence where the angry doctor lady yells at Batman for being irresponsible, but Pope doesn’t want to give away any details about the characters, so the argument’s pointless. It’s noisy, it takes up pages, and there’s nothing else to it.

Obviously, there’s some good art in the comic, though the new “Batmobile” (the Batcycle, like, come on, it’s a motorcycle, it’s not a mobile) is disappointing. Pope put a lot of thought into the design but not into what the thing might do.

The comic feels incredibly slight—with only one issue to go—and I’m remembering why I almost immediately forgot Paul Pope ever did a big Batman project.

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