Bloom is “the anti-thesis of the Joker” in Batman

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Batman Bloom (3)

Bloom is a working-class supervillain. While various other comic book fiends operate from lofty perches, privileged positions in life and without a care in the world, Bloom is a street-level antagonist that appeals to the disenfranchised. And that makes for a different kind of nemesis to tackle. If you’ve been reading Batman comics lately, you know that right now it’s former police commissioner Jim Gordon under the hood.

With the original Batman out of action following the events of Endgame, Gotham has a new dark knight patrolling its streets, and a new threat in the form of Bloom. Eventually, he’ll need to be taken down by the current current capeless crusader, in a storyline that will see the two tangle once again in issue #48 of the ongoing Batman comic.

So what makes Bloom so special then? “The truth of it is, Bloom is Jim Gordon’s monster,” Batman writer Scott Snyder said to CBR.

Warning, spoilers:

Batman Bloom (1)

Bloom is anybody who feels they don’t get a fair shake. He’s anybody who feels the weight of class divisions or racism or homophobia, all of those things, and feels those things are too entrenched and too hard to overcome so you better go after what you need in life. “Go arm yourself. Get your superpowers and take what you need.” He’s the anti-thesis of the Joker. Anybody could be Bloom. Anyone’s life could warrant Bloom’s creation.

Bloom is the antithesis to everything that you would hope a city or a country like America could be. Nobody gets ahead. Whatever you’re struggling with, whether it’s a personal problem or a national problem, it’s completely entrenched and intractable. And what Bloom is saying is: “Go blow it all up. Get what you need for yourself and forget everyone else.”

Here, the way that he invites other people in and the way that he grows when other people join him, I hope runs in parallel to what we are seeing in the world today. The thesis of this arc, what we really tried to do with this one, with all of the zaniness — the giant robots and the monsters and the cloning machines — is make a story that shows why Batman matters to a world in which he doesn’t exist. Because he doesn’t really exist for Gotham either.

And that’s one of things that Jim says in “Batman” #50. He says, “I stand next [to Batman] and I know that he is a ghost.” Ultimately, he fights these giant, silly monsters that threaten the city in a huge way but he does it to show us to be brave when we are facing our own challenges that seem impossible. It’s brave to take any steps towards police brutality or racism or homophobia.

Batman Bloom (2)

Of course, there’s more than just a backstreet superhero tussle on the horizon. Bruce Wayne is slowly recovering his memory just in time for a certain big screen appearance (CONVENIENT!), while the Joker has also resurfaced, looking none the worse for wear. Expect the cowl to be worn over a familiar face once again, by the time Snyder and artists Greg Capullo hit issue #50 of Batman.

Last Updated: January 18, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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