SYNOPSIS: Every general puts their plans into play as Selina Kyle’s cat’s cradle threatens to pull the city apart. Red Hood, fundamentally changed, struggles to find his new role in this broken city. Claws fly, secrets are told, and hearts are on the line in the penultimate chapter of the Gotham War event.
Well, this story hasn’t gone the way I thought it would. At all.
If you haven’t been reading Batman, well, then you really need to. He’s done some pretty questionable things and I can kind of see forgiving him because of the Zur En Arrh influence behind it.
Selina tries to get to the bottom of things, but so much is happening around them that she really can’t get past the surface level as much as she tries. I appreciate Howard’s narration from Selena’s point of view. She still deeply cares for Bruce and Howard gets that across. I’m also really digging her maternal instincts towards Jason. Could it be that with all the things he’s done, and Bruce still sees him as family, that Selena looks at him and finds hope for herself in rekindling the romance?
Further complicating things is Gotham’s need for salvation. It’s bad enough that the Bat and Cat factions are going at it, but Vandal Savage is firmly in the mix now, forming his own coalition of Arkham abysmals. Howard throws in a surprise twist or two, one recalling The Dark Knight Rises, showing us who the real villain is. Motivations get further fleshed out and I can see why Savage is part of the story. I’m on board with it, but with immortality brought up, I’m also feeling shades of Ra’s al Ghul.
Leon plays true to form here. I know it’s not realistic, but I enjoy it when he gives Catwoman expressive ears. The emotion we see between her and Batman comes through, especially the great amount of grief he is going through and the resiliency she gives the Bat.
An ending splash page made me excited for the next installment. Wow, has this crossover sped by! Maybe too fast? Better than it feeling drug out and bloated, though. I’ve got very few quibbles with this issue, most of them very minor nitpicks concerning Jason. I can’t see him referring to Bruce/Batman as “B” and while Bruce views them as father and son, Jason does feel a little infantilized in this issue.
Big things are alluded to and the only way to find out if they land on their feet is to keep reading. I know I plan to! – Javier E. Trujillo