Writer: Scott Snyder Penciller: Greg Capullo
“Superheavy” takes an issue off this month, as we get an origin story on Batman’s latest villain, Mr. Bloom. The story opens with us not long after the events of Zero Year, where a body is found close to the water. The teenager looks as though he had been both shot and fallen to death… but from where? Batman hits the trail and traces the case back to a villain who in the present, is starting to make a name for himself.
Batman #44 is a nice getaway from our current state in the Batman books. We have Bruce back behind the cowl, he’s doing his usual ass-kicking and detective work, inside of a noir-ish setting. “A Simple Case” brings Scott Snyder and Jock back together, with a little help from writer Brian Azzarello. Though he gets more of an assist here, the whole is haunted by Azzarello. If you don’t know what I mean, read any of his work he’s done on the Dark Knight (“Broken City”, “Noir”, “Flashpoint”). I think without him on this, it would have been an “ok” tale that could easily be forgotten, but he makes it that much better.
I’ve always enjoyed Jock’s artwork, but it’s far from my favorite. He does his usual thing on here and Snyder does a great job of writing. We get a mystery that Batman works backwards to solve and does so, with an unfortunate result. The story overall works for me, and I enjoyed it. My only problem with it was the label of an “origin” story of Mr. Bloom. This thing doesn’t work as an origin story just because SPOILER ALERT we see him at the very end, giving his drug to the soon-to-be dead teen. He was on 1 page and the only presence he had in the book was for a “surprise reveal”… that wasn’t all that surprising.
Good story, good art, a bit misleading in its synopsis. Enjoyable as a stand-alone story.