Gotham Review (Pilot): "I'm Batman...Or Maybe I'm Not"

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I am a huge Batman fan.  On Monday, Fox aired the pilot episode of its new show “Gotham”, a show focusing on Jim Gordon and to a lesser extent Bruce Wayne long before he decides to become Batman.  I’ve been…nervous…about this show for awhile, and now its time for me to give my thoughts on the Pilot.

The reason that I have been so nervous about this show is that the premise is somewhat flawed: we all know what Gotham looks like when Batman arrives, so we know that no matter what happens in the show, it's always going to be worse, not better.  That and the previews made it seem like the Batman references would be way over the top.

After watching the pilot, I have mixed feelings. First, let's talk about what the show did well.  The pilot sold me on the premise that the show would work best as a crime procedural focusing on future  commissioner Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock.  During the pilot, the tension and drama between the two was set up very well and was interesting to watch.  If the show had focused only on these two trying to solve the Wayne murder, I think it would have been a great pilot.

Where the pilot falls short is the Batman references.  First of all, there's way too many just in the pilot.  We've been told that in future episodes it will not be as bad but Gotham needs to take a page from the Arrow playbook.  The DC nods in Arrow work because they are subtle but visible enough for even the average fanboy.  In Gotham, the references are so obvious it just feels like the show is screaming "HEY THIS IS A BATMAN SHOW DID YOU KNOW THIS IS A BATMAN SHOW LOOK BATMAN!". I mean, you can have Oswald Cobblepot  and Edward Nygma in the show as supporting characters, but leave it at just their names.  Don't have thugs tease Oswald and call him a penguin!  And don't have Nygma trying to make a riddle every time he opens his mouth!  There are so many other ways that you can build up their characters, but making the obvious reference straight out of the gate just makes it feel campy.

Also, Ive seen several interpretations on screen of Alfred in my years, but jeez the one in Gotham has to be the worst version I have ever seen.  He sounds more Australian than British, and just the way he talks and acts just pulls me out of the show every time he is on the screen.  Its like nails on a chalkboard to me!  Can we get a descent actor in this role please?

Overall, it was a pilot, and we all know that pilots can tend to be pretty rough.  I am intrigued by the show and will continue to watch the show over the next few weeks to see how it goes.  If the producers are smart, they will make it more of a procedural set in Gotham than the lame Batman prequel that keeps trying to come out.

Quick Fix #6: Batman And Two Face #24

photo 3 (1)
photo 3 (1)

The woman who turned Harvey Dent into Two Face is back in Gotham!  Can Batman put aside his grief over Daiman's fate and help bring her to justice?  Today, we look at Batman And Robin Two Face #24.

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Quick Fix #5: Batman, Incorporated (DC Comics)

Batman_Inc_Volume_2_logo
Batman_Inc_Volume_2_logo

This week, I'll be going back to talk about a few comics that aren't necessarily "new" releases, starting today with my thoughts summarizing Grant Morrison's Batman, Incorporated run in the new 52.  When Batman decides to take his mission global. a new terrorist group known as "Leviathan" decides to strike back, having a score to settle with the Dark Knight.

What did you think?

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Quick Fix #1: Damian: Son of Batman #1 (DC Comics)

photo (5)
photo (5)

You may have seen it elsewhere, but in November I've set myself of goal of updating this site at least once a day.  So, to help me with that, I've decided to start a "mini-cast" to go in the OCD podcast feed called "Quick Fix" - short reviews of individual comic issues where I can give you my thoughts and opinions on what comics I am reading.  Today, its Damian: Son of Batman #1 by Andy Kubert.

Summary: When a tragic explosion kills Batman, his son and current Robin, Damian Wayne, is left to pick up the pieces and continue Batman's mission - but first can he get over his own guilt?

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Off The Shelf Reviews: Batman Incorporated #6

In a week where everyone's talking about the Batman in Geoff Johns's Flashpoint #1, the big man behind the Batman empire, Grant Morrison, released his own Batman story in Batman Incorporated #6. This series started off strong, but recent issues have had me questioning this storyline. Which way does this issue fall? Read on to find out.....

Wow.

After reading this book, I had to flip the cover closed and make sure what book I was reading. I really enjoyed this book! This issue is completely different from the previous issues in a number of ways. Now that's both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because it renews my faith in Morrison after a couple of weird turns recently. It's a bad thing because now I'm wondering why we had to go through those issues in the first place. They were really confusing and I'm positive their only purpose was to set up something at an unknown point way into the future. I hate issues like that, not serving much story wise but creating reads to be picked up later.

Those pet peeves aside, I still love this issue. Chris Burnham's artwork is amazing and very vivid. For a dark and gritty world such as Gotham City, his art achieves that setting yet shows off so much detail. In a place with two Batmen, you never are left wondering which one is Dick and which is Bruce. It plays in very well with Morrison's masterpiece of a story.

Speaking of the story, this issue begins to answer some of the questions that have been hanging in the air since we heard about this comic. Why is Bruce assembling an army of Batmen? Who are they fighting? Why did he reveal that Bruce Wayne is funding Batman, Inc? Won't Batman's enemies come after Bruce Wayne? We don't get all the answers we are hoping for, but we get a couple--with a sweet Batman story to boot!

CONCLUSION: Buy. Buy buy buy, and a million times over buy! This story is a prime example of what Grant Morrison is trying to accomplish since Bruce Wayne has returned. Now, I imagine every story may not be this great, but buy this issue, and if you like it, you can easily jump on board here. Or, at the very least, wait for the trades and read Morrison's story as one combined tale. Either way, it's going to be a heck of a ride.