Newest Issue of Batman Attacks Police Racism

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In Batman #44, Scott Snyder takes on the staggering number of instances of police violence against black individuals. The issue opens with a brutal image–a young black child on the ground, shot, wearing a hoodie, with a figure running away.

That figure is . As Batman begins to investigate and get closer to the culprit, he finds himself confronted with the long-standing problem of racist attacks against black people carried out by police officers within Gotham’s police force. Moreover, the story incorporates the intersection of this issue with the issue of gentrification.

According to Graphic Policy, this issue marks one of the first times a “mainstream” comic has touched on the issue of police racism. On top of that, this is apparently one of the first to directly address institutional racism, period, without the use of analogous plot devices (see: X-Men).

This is a brave new world for Batman, and many critics seem to be lauding this move by Snyder. Bringing real world issues into comics has been touchy in the past, and given the hostile environment that black people live in, this issue’s one that’s bound to make an impact.

Upon capture, Batman doesn’t just beat up the culprit. The old ways of beating up bad guys and sending them running doesn’t exactly work out anymore, because now the bad guy’s changed. So what’s Batman to do without his fists? This represents a turning point not just for the comic’s subject matter, but for Batman as a character, period. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how this entire arc plays out.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

(via The Guardian)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.