More major changes are on the way for Gotham City as the man who will be one of its future protectors tries to find a place amongst the family he left behind
It is often said that one cannot go home again, and that certainly seems to be the case for the future’s possible next Batman. The story of Jace/Tim Fox continues in the second issue of DC Comics’ digital-first series The Next Batman: Second Son, and his homecoming to Gotham City is about as unforgiving as the city itself can be.
While the issue is a bit “quieter” in one sense, as it’s more of a character/family piece, Tony Akins, Travel Foreman, Mark Morales, and Rex Lokus get to have a bit of fun with the formatting of panels especially in the action scenes starring one Luke Fox who is still the heroic Batwing. The digital format gives them some room to really play with the way some panels are laid out, allowing for some fun focus like a close-up of Batwing’s bullet-stopping energy shield or the times his invisibility/cloaking tech is used. And thankfully no weird feet-focused shots to end the issue this time.
The formatting when it comes to most digital screens also provides a bit of a challenge to Deron Bennett in trying to find ways to make the lettering flow in creative and non-distracting ways. A challenge that he excels at as it all flows quite easily and never once distracts or gets in the way.
John Ridley continues to work on setting this future Batman apart from the one that came before, in the sense that while Bruce Wayne had to build himself a family after the one that he lost, there is now Jace who had a family that he left behind and clearly did not plan to reconnect with at any point. This makes for a very tense family gathering where the mistakes of Jace’s past and the effects that had on others he left behind are laid bare.
There is definitely a very real part of the issue that deals with traumas and how money has nothing to do with truly solving all problems, even having billions dropped on you as the Foxs had.
While the family is a big part of it, there are some interesting nuggets to tie into the overall Gotham storyline such as the ongoing anti-vigilante sentiment that is growing under the new mayor, Chris Nakano as well as the hints of a potential new Police Commissioner that is a very familiar face.
Whether this will show up within the other Gotham books is unclear at the moment as they do seem to be connected, but also doing their own things based upon solicitations. There does seem to be a pretty solid connected plan for the Gotham books for the first time in a while and that should be interesting to read. Especially to see how Jace fits in with his possible future as Batman a long way down the road.
The Next Batman: Second Son #2 is now on sale through ComiXology.