Jim Gordon gets his own Batman: Zero Year backstory issue and it’s all about the Bat Signal. Say what? Is it good?
Detective Comics #25 (DC Comics)
This issue takes place 6 years prior to the current events in the DCU. You can probably guess where this story is in the timeline. Gordon is still just a detective, all the cops are corrupt and Batman has only recently hit the scene.
Speaking of Batman, he doesn’t show up in this issue really, yet the story does hinge on his actions. This issue is filled with gumshoe detective narration and when I say filled I mean it’s nearly all of the book. It’s also filled with a ton of Jason Fabok rendered rain, which is always nice.
Really love Fabok’s rain.
Writer John Layman has himself a rather been there done that story on his hands here. There’s a touch of ingenuity, like the flashlight Gordon got from his daughter that ties into later developments, but the rest is stuff we’ve seen over and over since Batman’s conception. That said, Layman writes some good prose, and Gordon is always strong, commanding and interesting.
Who are these dudes?
I for one always like seeing flashbacks of Gordon, because it’s nice to see he wasn’t always the grumpy older man who only gave orders. A failing in this story though is having all the detective work take place off page. It dilutes the prowess of Gordon and reduces the issue to him recounting events that aren’t so exciting. The backup does tie in nicely with the flashlight storyline, but why it contains Man-Bat is anyone’s guess. Maybe he’s featured in the next issue?
Artist Jason Fabok does an exceptional job with what he’s given here. Everything is exciting, well laid out and flows nicely. The fact that it’s a bit of a stifling comic (with limited action and mostly narration), yet still interesting to look at means extra kudos to Fabok. And again, I really dig how he draws rain scenes.
I hope you like narration!
- Well paced and well written narration
- The rain, the rain!
- Been there done that
Is It Good?
Not really. It’s been done so many times before and the only inventive thing is a cute little hook that’s not as profound as it thinks it is. Jim Gordon could have done more in this issue, but all the real work, the detective work, is off page.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!