Oh shit, now Bane's punching the wall of reality! Somebody alert Donna Troy!
The nineties are back as Bane attacks, and how will you react to one more maniac? It's the ninth issue of DC's increasingly character stacked weekly Batman phenomenon. Tim and Jason, who play well off each other, infiltrate the St. Dumas cathedral with an added guest, we learn a little more about Harper's background at the same time Dick does, and a flashback reveals that Mother is really in the know, and not at all impressed with Batman's mission. And finally, in a not-that-surprising ending, a character orphaned by the new continuity returns! Now if only we could get Denny O'Neil on a new book for him.
Because Tim has been such a bore since the DC reboot, thanks to lackluster writing from people who don't know what to do with him, and Jason Todd is just awful, it makes sense for them to team up and see if they can work some personality out of each other while cracking a case. In this issue, they've found themselves on Santa Prisca, the island where supervillain Bane was born, and speak of the devil, and he appears. I'm glad he showed up, too, because he lent a lot of character to the situation, with his story about his homeland. I just wish he was depicted as a tad more clever, though it can be forgiven as he's quite angry at the situation.
"I don't know, but apparently the exit's through the gift shop."
Harper doesn't like doing all the minutia of detective work, it seems, because she's just busting at the seems to get out of the cave and find Cass, and instead of helpful, she finds Dick's advice to be sanctimonious. She reveals that her mother was murdered in Gotham, and that's how she ended up being mostly raised by her dirtbag father. She has a real problem with authority and honestly I couldn't see her training with Batman going much better than her interaction with DIck here. But Dick is compassionate and patient, something his mentor occasionally lacks in the heat of a mystery, and he's willing to listen to her, even though there's work to be done.
She was disappointed when it was only a Compsognathus.
In a flashback, we see Bruce Wayne meeting in secret with Mother, under the cover of picking up a designer bride. Unfortunately, Mother is already onto him, having found the tracking device he placed on her. He finds himself tangling with Orphan and Mother alike, who taunts him, asserting that he's wasted his potential. Bruce won't hear of this crap and runs off. I'm hoping this continues to the part where Batman punches her face in, but whatever he does, judging by her present plot, she clearly hasn't learned her lesson.
"You should---oww--see my plans for Batman Incorporated."
Speaking of the past, though, Denny O'Neil's creation from the 90s, Azrael, appears. Jean-Paul Valley was the descendent of a hereditary line of assassins working for the fictional St. Dumas. And by fictional, I mean even in-universe Dumas was fictional, just a made up symbol for the so-called holy crusade of the Order and their representative/assassin, Azrael. Jean-Paul was able to, for a time, live a life dedicated to justice instead of as an assassin, and was even chosen to replace Bruce as Batman while he recovered from his first bout with Bane. Valley become unhinged, however, and Bruce had to retrain himself to take back the mantle. Obviously the history of these events don't exist that was in this new canon, so I'm curious as how it went down. Oh, and by the way, Jean-Paul defeated Bane as Batman, or "AzBats" as fans have nicknamed him.
Overall, a pretty good issue, some interesting interactions, the artwork was decent (but, with a couple exceptions, not as good as the last issue's), and I want to see what's next.
Next: Bully Pulpit
- Penguin Truth
Bane's reaction to the cancellation of TV's The Player.
Story: James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder
Script: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Lettering By: Saida Temofonte
Cover: Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, & Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--wait...
Still too little credit for Finger.