No Man's Land Vol.4 - Bruce reveals himself to Gordon
From No Man's Land Volume 4, chapter title 'Falling Back'.
Written by Greg Rucka. Art by Rick Burchett, James Hodgkins and Klaus Janson.
This scene was anonymously requested on another post and as I'd previously uploaded these scans to a different comm I thought I'd share them here too. Am I right in thinking that I can't link to the post with the whole scene elsewhere because it's against the rules?
Anyway, I absolutely adore Batman and Gordon so my love for this particular scene knows no bounds.
A little background first for those who aren't familiar with NML. Gotham has suffered a devastating earthquake with the government subsequently declaring it a No Man's Land. Batman was noticeably absent during the first few months after the quake because Bruce Wayne was in the capital, lobbying the government to support the city but when this endeavour failed he secretly returned home. Meanwhile Jim, along with his wife Sarah and a small group of officers, toughed it out, using some very questionable tactics at times to try to maintain order and obtain control over the increasingly ominous gang warfare which threatened Gotham further. This encounter is the first time Jim and Batman meet since Batman's return.
It starts off with two pages of a very awkward silence giving way to a rather subdued conversation about Jim's garden and how well he's tended it. Then Jim finally asks Batman a rather important question, namely, if he and Batman are friends. Batman affirming that they are provokes a mixed response in Jim
Jim goes on to thank Batman for saving Sarah from Two Face's gang and then confesses that originally he and Sarah wanted to leave Gotham but he couldn't get a job elsewhere - everywhere he applied to laughed at him, either behind his back or openly to his face, which got him thinking that maybe...
Two things I love about this page - the little movement lines in the 'No' panel and then Batman immediately calling Jim out like that!
Jim carries on ragging at Batman for not really being his friend because Batman wasn't there for him and doesn't trust or respect him. Batman insists that isn't the case
I'm not sure why but Jim using the phrase 'don't blow smoke at me' multiplies his awesome levels one hundred fold.
Batman's response is pretty simple
D'awww Batman! You're such a woobie at times. He then ratchets up the woobie factor by lauding Jim, telling him there's no man or woman living that he respects more before making a monumental decision because 'words don't mean anything, they don't fix the damage' and
Bruce's expressions in all these panels, particularly the first one, strike me as so very childlike which somehow just makes me flail even harder.
Bruce heeds Jim's request and by the time Jim has slowly turned around Batman is no longer de-cowled. They arrange to meet the following day to plan their next strategy with Bruce actually pausing to wish Jim good night.
And so ends a scene which I think can safely be termed a classic? Also, I have to admit, if Chris Nolan decided to do his own version of this for the (hopefully) third film, it's pretty much a given that I would spontaneously combust!