Batman issue 44 – Snyder, Azzarello, Jock, Loughridge (spoilers)

batman 44Batman Issue 44
Published by DC

Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Script: Scott Snyder & Brian Azzarello
Art: Jock
Colours: Lee Loughbridge
Letters: Deron Bennett

Cover: Jock

Genre: Superhero

This issue has garnered quite a bit of interest in the media due to the social comment included in the story. The shooting of a unarmed 15-year old black boy by the police. A innocent with no connection to gang activities, a young man only trying to save the family business.

Comics can make very relevant comments. British Anthology 2000AD has a long history of political commentary. It isn’t something I’d expect from DC. So while I haven’t read much Batman in the past decade I decided to give this issue a go.

There are spoilers below but out of sequence and I don’t reveal the ending, just give some details.

This is a flash-back tale set just after Batman has started his career, this was part of the New 52 relaunch.

The story starts with the discovery of a boy’s body in swamp land just outside Gotham. Shot four times, but killed by a fall from a thousand feet. Batman meets with Jim Gordon and they discuss the case.

The plot slowly reveals who killed Peter Duggio. He tried to save the family business while his father was dying in hospital. A gang intended to take over the area but Peter was knocked back for help from the Gotham PD. Double crossed by The Penguin when he tried to block the gang’s intentions by offering his business as a front to launder money. Shot by a suspended policeman simply because a black youth made him nervous. But the start of Peter’s troubles came because Bruce Wayne was planning to redevelop the neighborhood. And Peter looked up to the Batman, wanted to push back against the wrong he saw.

In this issue Batman is clearly affected by the way his life affected the life and death of Peter Duggio. Whether this is something that will continue to affect the story of Batman obviously I can’t tell. Personally I doubt it.

It is however thought provoking and deals with the topic of gang crime and highlights the violent deaths of young black males in USA.

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