Batman: The Imposter #2 – Mattson Tomlin, Writer; Andrea Sorrentino, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: This series continues to be brilliantly drawn and tightly plotted, but there’s just one problem—this isn’t Batman. At least not any version of Batman we know. The opening flashback makes that clear, as we find out a young Bruce Wayne brutally beat classmates at his school—seemingly provoked only by words. In desperation, a foul-mouthed Alfred seeks Leslie’s consent to medicate the boy, talking about how he terrorizes the staff. When she refuses, Alfred ships Bruce off to military school and quits. So clearly this isn’t the Bruce—or Alfred—we know, and it explains why this Bruce seems to be so deep down the rabbit hole. More obsessed than ever with tracking down his impostor, he stumbles into Leslie’s office beaten and bloodied, and his tentative grip on sanity seems to be slipping even more than usual—as does Gotham’s tenuous grip on public order.
What does Batman look like in a world without Alfred and Gordon? The answer really isn’t pretty. Bruce commits far more crimes than usual, even assaulting officers when he needs to and blurring the line between him and the impostor. His slow-burn romance with Blair Wong has some nice moments, but it’s hard to tell what’s genuine and what’s emotional. It’s interesting that most of the most famous villains are missing from this story, with only twisted versions of Ventriloquist and Ratcatcher present alongside the impostor. Maybe that’s because the villains aren’t the point here. Bruce is his own arch-enemy here, and that makes me wonder—is there even an impostor at all? Could it be that Bruce is doing these terrible things as Batman without being aware of it? Clearly this wouldn’t be a possibility in any other version of the character, but this version of Bruce is deeply disturbed, and it’s entirely possible he’s his own worst enemy. But he’s not an easy character to read about.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.