Finch to King: "Do you mind if I do a rapey cover?" King to Finch: "Yes!" D. Finch to M. Finch: "He said yes!"

The Facts!
• For those of you who don't understand language, the previous caption is a misunderstanding between an imaginary Tom King and a less imaginary David Finch. It is not actually an imaginary Tom King agreeing with a not really that imaginary at all David Finch.

• Tom King wrote The Omega Men which was a fantastic piece of writing. The fact that it was also a comic book is practically inconceivable unless you have a history of reading comic books by Warren Ellis, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and me. Although I hope you haven't read my comic books because that would mean you've broken into the secret shoe box underneath my bed. Tom King also co-wrote Grayson which was one of the best comic books DC Comics has published in years. Tom King writes The Sheriff of Babylon which is so smart that I don't even understand it. Tom King writes The Vision which is, I've heard, an excellent book as well (I'll read it when his twelve issue run is collected!). That's a lot of comic book acclaim to have garnered in the year or two in which Tom King has been writing comic books. He also wrote some superhero novel which I should probably read because it supposedly has comic book pictures in it. I don't want people thinking I read actual books without cartoons in them! That's why I my Tumblr page where I discuss fancy books is a mystery.

• I sucked Tom King's dick pretty long and hard there, didn't I?! Well guess what, Tom King! I'm walking away before you come! Because your run on Batman stinks!

• I wanted to end that last bullet point sounding as if I were fed up with Tom King's Batman but that isn't actually true. I like a lot of stuff about it but the entirety of the Gotham story either lacked the subtlety I enjoy or it was too subtle for me and so I missed how brilliant it was and now I'm probably embarrassing myself by criticizing it! Maybe I should reread it before pointing out the bits I hated! Any decent critic would surely do that, just to give it a chance. I'm glad I don't consider myself a decent critic or else I'd have to dig out the last five issues and try to reread them in a different context!

• Dammit! I hate myself because I'm going to reread them now. What happened to the lazy, arrogant, fly-by-the-torn-seat-of-his-pants reviewer who first began this blog five years ago?! I guess that fucker is dead. Ptui! Good riddance!

• Okay! I've finished rereading it and I enjoyed it a lot! I think about Issue #4, the story suffers from being told too quickly. A bunch of things happen that really should have been allowed to take place over a full issue or two instead of being crammed into one or two pages. But I feel like rereading it allowed me to not care so much about the glaring faults in pacing which I obsessed over last time and let me see the bigger picture. I think.

• As I've so brilliantly and eloquently pointed out before, Gotham the superhero is a metaphor for Gotham the City. I know, I know! I probably just blew a few minds with that revelation. But what I wasn't seeing before was that "being Gotham" means also being dark and murderous and dangerous and confused and scared and everything else. So of course Gotham wants to save Gotham. But by taking on the name, he also becomes the thing which needs to be saved from itself! That's pretty much why he can't survive. Even Batman admits at one point that Gotham can't be saved. I don't think Batman means that in a pessimistic belief that the city can't be saved. I think he means it in a self-destructive way in that he can't be saved. Batman is Gotham and, one day, Gotham will kill him. Then it will kill Dick. And then Damian. One after the other, Gotham will defeat them and there will be nobody left to save Gotham and Gotham will lose the fight for survival. Which--and this is an important bit--is why Batman wanted so much to believe that Gotham and Gotham Girl would be the city's ultimate saviors. Sometimes super bad things happen to the city and Batman can't fight those things without super powers. He often does his best but he knows, one day, much like the plane crash that almost killed him, something will take his life and he'll give it gladly. So a couple of super kids whose parents tell him are really great kids come along? Of course Batman is going to allow himself to believe they'll help keep the people of Gotham safe. He even tells the Gotham Kids' parents how much they remind him of some other great parents he once knew. Batman is willing to trust his emotions to help him figure out how to keep Gotham safe. Ultimately, this fails him due to Gotham's emotions being manipulated and turning him into a monster. Which just proves to Batman that he's been right all along in crushing the emotions of all of the Bat-kids any chance he could get!

• I wonder how much Tom King had to compact this story due to the whole Monster Men thing being planned to, almost certainly, coincide with the new season of Gotham beginning? I have a feeling that timetable caused the majority of problems I have with this story.

• Anyway, The Monster Men are coming soon because Hugo Strange and Psycho-Pirate were never apprehended at the end of the "I Am Gotham" story. Until that story begins (which could be now? I don't know when it begins and I have yet to open this issue!), I think we might have some Gotham Girl Year One stuff to get through. My prediction is it begins with Gotham Girl in a towel! No wait! I retract that prediction because David Finch isn't the interior artist!


If this had been Finch, Gotham Girl would have been in a towel for sure! Or her underwear! Or maybe naked but with cut hair falling about and hiding all the interesting bits!

• Gotham Girl really is young if she thinks that qualifies as a great joke. It doesn't even have any swear words or Jesus in it!

• This is the "I Am Gotham" epilogue. That probably means The Monster Men will be coming all over the place next issue.

• Even though Gotham Girl dies a little faster when she uses her super powers, she continues to act like a hero protecting Gotham. Just like Batman, she and her brother were also willing to die to save the city. Just in a completely different way. I wonder if Gotham and Gotham Girl bought their powers from Kobra?

• Gotham Girl stops a villain named Colonel Blimp who is really into ransoming submarines. I will admit that I looked up Colonel Blimp in the old Who's Whos comic books. You know, just to make sure he wasn't new. It's still possible he's an old villain who just wasn't popular enough to make the Who's Who but who people remember from that one issue he appeared in fifty years ago.

• Gotham Girl flies around talking to Hank constantly. It's beginning to trouble Batman. He already had one super powered person flip the fuck out and almost destroy his city. The worst part is he had to call in the Justice League for help. They'll never let him live that down now!

• Duke's penis tells Duke that they need to save Gotham Girl. So Duke tells Batman that they need to save Gotham Girl. Batman already knows that they need to save Gotham Girl. So I guess Duke's penis's plan is going to be put into action.

• This issue begins by recounting several days in Gotham Girl's week. So it's all Monday! Then Tuesday! Then the next one! Then Thursday! It reminds me how Batman Rebirth #1 was all about the passing of time and how Batman stories are cyclical. And then Tom King brought in Solomon Grundy to do his weekday chant. And now this? I think there's a theme happening!

• Batman tries to talk to Gotham Girl but she flies off giggling about meeting Batman. So he turns to Alfred for help.


Rebirth Alfred is the fucking sassiest motherfucker! I love it!

• Alfred has had some really snarky shit to say since Tom King took over. He really gets Alfred's "I think I've given enough fucks and yet he still chooses to worry me into an early grave" attitude.

• On Saturday, Kite-man decides maybe he's not so shitty that he doesn't deserve a little Rebirth moment himself. Which makes me think Colonel Blimp and Captain Stingaree are a couple old bottom-of-the-barrel Batman villains as well. Plus Captain Stingaree is really ringing a bell. It's a bell I've lost somewhere deep in my subconscious but I'm fairly certain I hear it ringing. It's either that or the tinnitus.

• Batman finally gets Gotham Girl...Claire to settle down for a moment. He reveals who he is and what he suffered as a ten year old boy. And how he still feels the urge to talk to his mother. And Claire hugs him and cries and simply misses her brother.

• You know what? It's nice to have an epilogue to a story where a hero dies that deals with mourning. Fuck just glossing over that shit like often happens. Or sometimes it's just done in a hacky way that tries to appeal to the reader's emotions. This one doesn't do that. This story takes its time in the way mourning sometimes does. I'd put it right up there with some of the best Requiem issues that followed Damian's death.

• The epilogue to the epilogue story makes me hate the idea of The Monster Men story arc because it's keeping me from immediately experiencing the next story arc which is the one I want to read: Batman joins the Suicide Squad to invade Santa Prisca in hopes of retrieving the Psycho-Pirate from Bane's clutches! Goddamit, Monster Men Story! You had better be fucking good for making me wait for another Batman working with the Suicide Squad story! I hope it's as good as Ostrander's!

The Opinions!
I will readily admit that some of "The Facts" are also opinions. But they're more comments on the facts and since my comments and opinions are practically facts anyway, it all seems to work out! But this part is where I really let my opinions fly! So if you don't like sexist, racist, homophobic, anti-animal comments, don't worry! You probably won't get any of that here! Anyway, I loved this issue. And after rereading the first five issues, I loved so much about those that I'm just going to blame the flaws on the editors and DC management! This was a touching story about a person mourning the loss of her brother. It's also a Batman story with a really good Alfred moment! So don't worry that you won't get some Batman story in your mourning story! Because it's there. Since, you know, Batman went through this same thing a few years ago!

Rating!
+3!