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Vitali Isaev
Vitali Isaev

Batman Officer Down: A Classic Storyline That Explores the Dark Knight's Relationship with Gordon

Batman Officer Down Cbr 32: A Review of the Classic Batman Storyline

Batman is one of the most iconic and popular superheroes of all time. He has been featured in countless comics, movies, TV shows, video games, and other media. But among his many adventures, there are some that stand out as classics that have defined his character and his world. One of these is Batman Officer Down Cbr 32, a storyline that ran from January to March 2001 in various Batman-related titles. In this article, I will review this storyline and explain why it is a classic Batman story that deserves your attention.

Batman Officer Down Cbr 32


What is Batman Officer Down Cbr 32?

Batman Officer Down Cbr 32 is a comic book storyline that consists of eight issues: Detective Comics #754, Robin #86, Birds of Prey #27, Catwoman #90, Nightwing #53, Gotham Knights #13, Batman #587, and Detective Comics #755. It was written by various writers, including Greg Rucka, Chuck Dixon, Ed Brubaker, and Devin Grayson, and illustrated by various artists, including Rick Burchett, William Rosado, Jackson Guice, Staz Johnson, Mike Lilly, and Shawn Martinbrough. It was part of a larger event called "No Man's Land", which depicted Gotham City as a lawless wasteland after a devastating earthquake.

Why is it a classic Batman storyline?

Batman Officer Down Cbr 32 is a classic Batman storyline because it explores one of the most important relationships in Batman's life: his friendship with Commissioner James Gordon. Gordon is not only Batman's ally in fighting crime, but also his moral compass and surrogate father figure. In this storyline, Gordon is shot by an unknown assailant while on duty, leaving him in critical condition and forcing Batman to question his own effectiveness and purpose. The storyline also shows how Gordon's shooting affects the rest of the Bat-family and the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), creating tension and drama among them.

What are the main themes and messages of the story?

The main themes and messages of the story are: - The value of loyalty and trust between friends and partners - The consequences of violence and revenge on both sides of the law - The importance of leadership and responsibility in times of crisis - The challenge of balancing personal and professional lives - The difficulty of coping with loss and trauma - The power of hope and resilience in overcoming adversity

Plot Summary

The Shooting of Commissioner Gordon

The story begins with Commissioner Gordon responding to a call from an informant named Jordan Rich. He meets him at an abandoned building, where Rich claims to have information about a new crime boss in Gotham. However, Rich turns out to be a trap set by an unknown shooter, who shoots Gordon in the chest from a nearby rooftop. Gordon manages to fire back at the shooter before collapsing.

The shooter escapes before anyone can catch him. He leaves behind a clue: a bullet casing with a stylized "J" engraved on it. This leads some to suspect that the shooter is the Joker, Batman's arch-nemesis, who has a history of shooting people with customized bullets. However, Batman is not convinced, as he knows the Joker's style and motives too well.

Gordon is rushed to the hospital, where he undergoes surgery. His condition is critical, and he may not survive. Batman arrives at the hospital and vows to find the shooter and bring him to justice. He also contacts the rest of the Bat-family, including Robin, Nightwing, Oracle, Catwoman, and Batgirl, and asks them to help him with the investigation.

The Hunt for the Shooter

Batman and his allies begin to search for clues and suspects related to the shooting. They interrogate various criminals and informants, such as Two-Face, Penguin, Riddler, and Catman, but none of them have any useful information. They also examine the crime scene and the bullet casing, but find no fingerprints or DNA traces.

Meanwhile, the shooter is revealed to be a man named Jordan Rich, who is actually the son of an old friend of Gordon's named David Rich. David Rich was a cop who worked with Gordon in Chicago before they both moved to Gotham. He was killed by a corrupt cop named Frank Pratt, who was later arrested by Gordon. Jordan Rich blames Gordon for his father's death, as he believes that Gordon betrayed his father by testifying against Pratt. He also blames Batman for creating a chaotic environment in Gotham that led to his father's death. He decides to take revenge on both of them by shooting Gordon and framing the Joker.

Jordan Rich contacts the Joker and offers him a deal: he will give him the location of Batman's secret headquarters, the Batcave, in exchange for his help in escaping from Gotham. The Joker agrees, but secretly plans to double-cross him. He also contacts Batman and taunts him about the shooting, hoping to lure him into a trap.

The Fallout of Gordon's Injury

Gordon's shooting has a profound impact on the GCPD and the Bat-family. The GCPD is divided into two factions: one that supports Gordon and wants to work with Batman to find the shooter, and one that blames Gordon and Batman for the state of Gotham and wants to take matters into their own hands. The latter faction is led by Detective Harvey Bullock, who has always resented Gordon's authority and Batman's interference.

The Bat-family is also strained by the situation. Robin feels guilty for not being able to prevent the shooting, as he was supposed to meet Gordon at the crime scene but was delayed by traffic. Nightwing feels angry at Batman for being too obsessed with finding the shooter and neglecting his own health and emotions. Oracle feels helpless for not being able to do more for Gordon, who is her father figure and mentor. Catwoman feels conflicted between her loyalty to Batman and her desire to protect herself from danger. Batgirl feels frustrated by her lack of experience and skills in solving the case.

Gordon himself is in a coma for most of the story. He occasionally wakes up and speaks to his visitors, such as his daughter Barbara (Oracle), his ex-wife Sarah Essen (who is also a cop), and his lover Detective Renee Montoya. He expresses his gratitude for their support and his hope for recovery. He also tells Batman that he trusts him and that he should not blame himself for what happened.

The Return of Batman

Batman finally tracks down Jordan Rich with the help of Oracle and Catwoman. He confronts him at a warehouse, where he finds out that he is the shooter and that he has been working with the Joker. He also learns that Jordan Rich has planted a bomb in the Batcave, which will explode if anyone tries to enter it.

Batman fights Jordan Rich and manages to subdue him. However, before he can arrest him, the Joker arrives with a group of henchmen. He reveals that he has betrayed Jordan Rich and that he plans to kill him along with Batman. He also reveals that he has another bomb hidden in the warehouse, which will explode in a few minutes.

Batman manages to escape from the warehouse with Jordan Rich before it explodes. He takes him to the GCPD headquarters, where he hands him over to Bullock and Montoya. He also tells them that he has defused the bomb in the Batcave with Oracle's help.

Batman then returns to the hospital, where he visits Gordon. He tells him that he has caught the shooter and that he is sorry for what happened. Gordon tells him that he is proud of him and that he considers him his son. They hug each other and share a moment of emotional connection.

Analysis and Criticism

The Weaknesses of the Storyline

Despite its strengths, the storyline also has some weaknesses that may affect its quality and appeal. Some of these are: - The lack of originality and creativity in the plot. The storyline borrows heavily from previous Batman stories, such as The Killing Joke, where the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon and paralyzes her; Knightfall, where Bane breaks Batman's back and forces him to retire; and No Man's Land, where Gotham is isolated and devastated by an earthquake. The storyline does not offer any new twists or surprises that would make it stand out from these stories. - The inconsistency and implausibility of some of the characters' actions and motivations. For example, Jordan Rich's plan to shoot Gordon and frame the Joker is poorly executed and easily exposed. He also seems to have no clear reason for wanting to kill Batman, other than blaming him for his father's death. The Joker's involvement in the story is also questionable, as he does not seem to have any personal stake or interest in the shooting or its aftermath. He also acts more like a generic villain than his usual chaotic and unpredictable self. - The lack of depth and development of some of the supporting characters. For example, Sarah Essen, Renee Montoya, and Catwoman are given very little screen time and dialogue in the story. They are mostly used as plot devices or love interests for Gordon and Batman, respectively. They do not have any significant impact or contribution to the story or its resolution.

The Impact and Legacy of the Storyline

Despite its weaknesses, the storyline still has a lasting impact and legacy on the Batman mythos and fandom. Some of these are: - The storyline reinforces the importance and value of Gordon's relationship with Batman and the Bat-family. It shows how much they care for each other and how much they depend on each other in times of crisis. It also shows how much they respect and trust each other, despite their differences and conflicts. - The storyline sets up the stage for future stories involving Gordon and the GCPD. It introduces new characters, such as Michael Akins, who becomes the new commissioner after Gordon retires; Crispus Allen, who becomes Montoya's new partner; and Maggie Sawyer, who becomes Essen's successor as the head of the Major Crimes Unit. It also establishes new dynamics and challenges for the GCPD, such as dealing with corruption, politics, and vigilantes. - The storyline inspires many fans and creators to produce their own works based on it. For example, some fans have created fan art, fan fiction, fan videos, and fan podcasts that explore or expand on the storyline. Some creators have also referenced or adapted the storyline in their own official works, such as video games, animated series, novels, and movies.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, Batman Officer Down Cbr 32 is a classic Batman storyline that revolves around the shooting of Commissioner Gordon by a vengeful son of a former cop. It explores the themes of loyalty, violence, leadership, balance, trauma, and hope. It also shows how Gordon's shooting affects Batman, the Bat-family, and the GCPD.

Recommendation and rating

I would recommend this storyline to anyone who is a fan of Batman or comic books in general. It is a well-written and well-drawn story that captures the essence and spirit of Batman and his world. It is also a compelling and emotional story that will keep you hooked until the end.

I would rate this storyline 4 out of 5 stars. It is not perfect, but it is still a great story that deserves recognition and appreciation.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Batman Officer Down Cbr 32:

  • Where can I read Batman Officer Down Cbr 32?

You can read Batman Officer Down Cbr 32 online or offline. You can find it on various websites that offer comic books for free or for a fee. You can also buy it as a paperback or hardcover collection from various online or physical stores.

  • Who shot Commissioner Gordon?

Commissioner Gordon was shot by Jordan Rich, who is the son of David Rich, a former cop who worked with Gordon in Chicago. Jordan Rich blames Gordon for his father's death because he testified against Frank Pratt, a corrupt cop who killed David Rich.

  • Who is the Joker in Batman Officer Down Cbr 32?

The Joker is Batman's arch-nemesis, who is a psychotic clown-like criminal mastermind. He is not the shooter, but he is involved in the story as an accomplice and a rival of Jordan Rich. He agrees to help Jordan Rich escape from Gotham in exchange for the location of the Batcave, but he also plans to kill him and Batman.

  • What happens to Commissioner Gordon after the shooting?

Commissioner Gordon survives the shooting, but he suffers from a severe chest wound and a coma. He eventually wakes up and recovers, but he decides to retire from the GCPD and move to a quieter place with Renee Montoya, his lover. He also passes on his badge and his role as commissioner to Michael Akins, a former deputy mayor.

  • What happens to Batman after the shooting?

Batman catches the shooter and brings him to justice, but he also suffers from guilt and doubt. He questions his own effectiveness and purpose as a crime fighter. He also struggles to cope with his emotions and his relationships with the Bat-family and the GCPD. He eventually overcomes his crisis and reaffirms his commitment to protect Gotham and honor Gordon.



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