Jim Gordon Shines in "Batman Volume 8: Superheavy"

DC Comics drops the first part of what I consider to be one of the most entertaining runs in the history of the Batman monthly title. “Batman Volume 8: Superheavy” collects issues #41 through #45 of the series and DC Sneak Peek: Batman #1. The book lays the foundation for a new super-villain and a new Dark Knight Detective fully sanctioned by the Gotham City Police Department and tricked out with all the latest technology they can get their hands on. It’s a tale only the creative mind of one Scott Snyder (American Vampire) could envision and groundbreaking Artist Greg Capullo (“The Absolute Sandman”) could bring to life.

After his deadliest battle to date, Batman is bruised, battered and scarred. And forever changed. Now, a figure in an 8-foot mechanized suit of armor roams the streets of Gotham City. More powerful than ever before, Batman’s pursuit of justice has never been more swift or efficient. But who is the new Dark Knight? And why is he...or she here? It might have something to do with a strange new villain plaguing Gotham City known as Mr. Bloom in “Batman Volume 8: Superheavy!”

I have to admit that when I started reading what would become “Batman Volume 8: Superheavy,” I sighed in utter protest and couldn’t believe they were replacing Bruce Wayne AGAIN. I saw the “Batcop” suit and became even more skeptical. As the tale unfolded before me, my wall of pessimism quickly dropped.

The concept of Jim Gordon taking on the role of a government sanctioned Batman really opened a door for all sorts of great drama, mystery, and gritty action and violence for comic readers to enjoy. Scott Snyder really has once again proved he’s the man for the job when doing something as impossible as re-inventing the wheel.

New super-villain Mr. Bloom could very well become an iconic addition to Batman’s infamous Gallery of Rogues. He’s just the sort of character Artist Greg Capullo has made so twisted and grotesquely striking in appearance that I could see him making a permanent impression on the psyche of readers that resonates for decades to come. A tragic and tormented past is all he needs to fit nicely next to Mister Freeze, Kirk Langstrom, and so many villains that litter the streets of Gotham.

“Batman Volume 8: Superheavy” comes with 15 pages of bonus material for fans to enjoy. Variant covers by Sean Murphy (Teen Titans), Dan Hipp (“Teen Titans GO!”), Ant Luci (DC Bombshells), Tony S. Daniel (Action Comics), Andy Kubert (The Dark Knight III: The Master Race), and Jock (Detective Comics) are showcased. A schematics of the “Batcop” suit is provided with a breakdown of its different features. Character sketches and cover and interior pencil art are included as well.

The graphic novel collection is rated T for Teen. It contains violence and gore, profanity, smoking, adult situations, and frightening and intense scenes. Mr. Bloom likes to impale people with pointy fingers. Jim Gordon enjoys a cigarette while in the Batsuit at times, which might be a confusing picture for younger readers.

“Batman Volume 8: Superheavy” has quickly become one of my favorite runs of the monthly series. As they started bringing Bruce Wayne back into the story, I found myself dreading the idea of him returning as the Caped Crusader. That was hard for me to admit at first. However, Scott Snyder’s tale began to unfold and “Batcop” left an undeniable impression on me. I just want Jim Gordon to continue being some form of Batman, even if Bruce dons the cape and cowl again. Can we get a Jim Gordon, Alias Batcop monthly title? I think the success of the “Gotham” TV series more than proves there’s enough interest in the character to justify such a thing.

“Batman Volume 8: Superheavy” is available now in hardcover, paperback, and digital editions.

Check out a preview of "Batman Volume 8: Superheavy" below.

"Batman Volume 8: Superheavy" Preview