As short-lived villain who’s only had one major appearance in Batman comics, Mr. Bloom is one of the strangest and most mysterious members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery. Introduced by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo in 2015’s Batman #43, Mr. Bloom has a relatively small role in the Batman mythos, but he also actually came incredibly close to wiping out Gotham City when the original Batman was out of commission.
Unlike the more openly selfish villains, Mr. Bloom did this all in an attempt to “liberate” Gotham from the people who control it. Bloom also did all of this during Commissoner Jim Gordon’s relatively brief tenure as a mecha-wearing Batman. Now, CBR is taking a look back at Mr. Bloom, what he can do and how he was ultimately defeated by Gotham’s Dark Knights.
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Who Is Mr. Bloom?
Mr, Bloom was introduced during the “Super Heavy” story arc. Following the events of “Endgame”, Batman is missing and presumed dead. To maintain the peace within Gotham City, Jim Gordon is given a robotic suit to serve as the new version of Batman. Working directly with the Gotham City Police Department, Gordon became the chief protector of Gotham City. During his investigation into a host of dead criminals who briefly had powers, Gordon realized a connection between many of his recent arrests and tracked the source of their powers: the mysterious Mr. Bloom.
Mr. Bloom sees the original Batman as a “wild flower” like him, operating outside the structured system of society to better the world. Mr. Bloom had a particular dislike for the new Batman who took his place, seeing that as a corruption of what Batman means. Mr. Bloom soon spreads his influence around Gotham City. He considers the city a “garden” that needs to be pruned of all life, and ultimately tried to bring it all down to grow something new.
Daryl Gutierrez designed the technology that Bloom used to give to hand out powers, but it was originally intended to protect Gotham. One of his test subjects, an unidentified man or woman, stole it from him and transformed into Mr. Bloom. While Bloom’s true identity is a mystery, he revealed that he was left to die after trying to help Gotham in some capacity at an earlier date. Once he got powers, Bloom became a villain in order to bring the city down so something better could ‘regrow’ in its place.
HOW STRONG IS MR. BLOOM?
Despite his slender frame, Mr. Bloom is powerful. Bloom is capable of healing from any number of otherwise fatal injuries, even surviving a gunshot to the head and being blasted through buildings. He’s capable of manipulating and expanding his body, growing from human-size to gigantic in moments. He can lengthen his fingers into claws, which he can use to stab people from far away or in close combat. He’s also proven to be a technologically-advanced villain, at one point using a transmitter that let him take over robotics in his area. He’s also shown fueling his fingers with electric and pyrokinetic powers.
More than just his own capabilities, Mr. Bloom also has a line of high-tech seeds. Implanting them into other people can give them supernatural abilities, but the seeds can be amplified from afar to kill the host with a lethal dose of radiation. Despite that risk, Mr. Bloom was quickly able to spread seeds around Gotham City to various criminals and civilians. This led to an entire group of Mr. Blooms, comprised of former gang members arrested by Jim Gordon over the years, who could help him take his enemies by surprise. Anyone who activated the seed, in turn, gave Bloom more personal power as well, fueling a massive artificial star at the center of Gotham that grew along with him.
HOW DID BATMAN DEFEAT MR. BLOOM?
Bloom proved to be too dangerous for Jim Gordon to contend with alone. The villain had Gordon in his clutches when Mr. Bloom revealed to Gotham that he’d spread many of his power granting seeds all around the city. Soon, Gotham was tearing itself apart looking for the seeds, so is residents could empower themselves. By all accounts, Mr. Bloom had earned a dark victory over the city, but his actions led an amnesiac Bruce Wayne to return to Wayne Manor. He convinced a reluctant Alfred to activate “The Final Machine”, a device that restored his memories and skills so he could fight Mr. Bloom.
To contend with the empowered Mr. Bloom, Batman even brought along a massive robot suit. The two fought in the heart of Gotham City while Jim Gordon was able to short-circuit his power source. In the end, Mr. Bloom saw himself as a hero to Gotham City, the kind of person who could “liberate” the city from the people controlling it. Mr. Bloom is ultimately absorbed by the small star generated by all the power he’d amassed, and seemingly killed. While it’s not clear if Bloom will ever return, it would be interesting to see him grow to be a bigger threat.