Review: ‘The Next Batman: Second Son’ #3 Brings Major Change To Gotham City As The Future Batman’s Origin Story Continues
by Scott Redmond
The Fox family’s tense reunions continue as the effects of the Joker’s latest attacks are felt & a familiar face steps into a big new Gotham City role.
After all these decades of being represented upon the comic pages and various forms of media, Batman and Gotham City are almost synonymous. When one appears, generally the other is not far behind, even if only as a looming ever-present presence. This is also very true when it comes to DC Comics’ The Next Batman: Second Son which not only follows the story of future Batman Jace Fox, but also dives into a deeply changed and still changing Gotham City.
Much of the story is devoted to the Fox family and the drama that is coming from Jace’s return to the city, stemming from an unspecified incident that led to his fleeing in the first place. At the same time, John Ridley makes sure to spend a good amount of time bringing in the recent Joker Arkham attack from the main Batman series and Infinite Frontier #0 as well. Tied to this is the big move of setting up what familiar face is going to step up to lead a newly changed GCPD as Commissioner to fill the empty shoes of Harvey Bullock and Jim Gordon who both held the position in recent times. This move is a bit surprising since it’s happening here in a digital-first book and not in the main Batman series, but it’s a nice bit of welcome change at the same time based on what character was chosen for the role.
This journey through various areas of Gotham gives Travel Foreman, Mark Morales, and Rex Lokus a lot of varied material to bring to life. They easily pivot from destruction and sadness to some action right back into the character-focused tense moments. The action pages once again are focused on Luke Fox as Batwing and they are just really well done, as they showcase some of the Batwing suits powers in beautiful ways. I never tire of their shots of him slipping out of camouflage/invisibility mode. There is a fluid-like movement to the action that almost leaps off the page, helped by the solid lettering of Deron Bennett. There are pages with a fight involving a handheld saw that was so easy to ‘hear’ the saw sound in one’s head while reading.
The Fox family is very different from the Waynes and Ridley makes sure to address that within the pages of this issue, pointing towards the racism that this family faces in their newly minted billionaire status.
These are the types of discussions and moments that hopefully will happen quite often within the series in regard to the Fox family as a whole, with Jace as the future Batman and even with the person that has been chosen to be the new police commissioner. The reality that their new roles in this world aren’t going to be as easy as it was for Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon who were widely accepted powerful white cis-heterosexual males in Gotham City.
The Next Batman: Second Son #3 is now on sale digitally through ComiXology.