Previously in 52...
The JSA unofficially passed the torch to, of all groups, Infinity, Inc., with insult added to injury by the introduction of an insipid new Jade.
This Week's Key Players
Renee Montoya and the Question.
Batman, Batwoman, Robin and Nightwing.
Lets start in the desert this week, shall we?
Out in the sunny wonderland that is the desert only referred to as somewhere near the Empty Quarter, Nightwing and Robin are searching for their mentor, Batman. Along the way, they get an opportunity to bust up some heavies that are running lots and lots of Apokaliptic guns for Intergang. Upon learning that Intergang is flooding Gotham under the direction of crime boss Mannheim, Nightwing and Robin split up. Robin goes off to find Batman, and Nightwing decides that, while the trip around the world has been fun, it's time to get back to work.
But where is Batman? Well, if you believe Bruce Wayne, he's gone, perhaps forever. As it turns out, Wayne's visit with his pupils to this part of the world is twofold. While training them to be the new Dynamic Duo, he's also come to the wasteland to find a way to purge the demons from his soul, to find purpose again. To do this, he's come searching for those who trained him to fight as would a ghost, the Ten Eyed Brothers, apparently a bunch of blind men with eyes on their fingertips. As Robin tracks Bruce down, the demons are cut from Bruce's soul, leading to his statement that Batman is no more.
Back in Gotham, Renee Montoya and Kate Kane watch as Charlie, The Question, waits to die from the cancer plaguing his body. Kate, not willing to cool her heels, goes out as Batwoman, determined to bust up some Intergang action and track down Mannheim. While she's out, and nearly outnumbered, she runs into the fresh-from-the-desert Nigthwing. After the new duo beats the beastly cadre of Intergang warriors, they set their sights on Mannheim, deciding to search the city from opposite ends.
In the back, we've got the origin of the Metal Men, as told by Mark Waid and Duncan Rouleau.
Justin's Thoughts and Concerns
- This issue, or, at least, a Batman and Co. themed issue, has been lauded in recent months as being handled in the main by Grant Morrison. If that's the case, this issue, much like his other recent works, made me wonder what happened to the Grant Morrison that wrote the "JLA."
- Those ten-eyed dudes are just creepy, though, really, if you want to learn to be invisible when you fight, who better to pit your skills against?
- Is it really just that simple to cut away your demons? I think not. And besides, Batman's paranoia is what made him such a good character in recent years.
- Interesting retrospective on the career of the Dark Knight at the start of this issue.
- I still can't believe Vic Sage is going to die.
- Did anyone else see Dick's comment about redheads coming from a mile away? Though we still haven't gotten an answer about him and Babs.
- Finally, someone with some extra experience in Gotham noticed that Intergang is there. Geez.
- I'd like to see this Duncan Rouleau chap actually work on a new Metal Men miniseries.
The Daily Planet
Take a second to check out www.52thecomic.com, because the notes on Black Friday in Metropolis is pretty cool, and the other updates that keep time with our journey on The 52 Steps are worth it, too.
I think this title is much more effective that "Predictions," don't you?
First off, we know that Bruce and Tim will be gone for a bit longer, as they will spend the rest of the year becoming one hell of a Dynamic Duo, as explained during the first OYL Batman arc, "Face the Face." As such, don't look for them to show up again anytime soon.
As for Nightwing, well, there's still a lot of unanswered questions out there for Dick, and no one's picked up the ball on that one yet. However, I have total faith in Marv Wolfman to do the job just fine in the coming months. Though, you have to admit, he looks damn good for a guy that was nearly incinerated about 30-some weeks ago.
Panel of the Week
Takes "finger-lickin' good" to a whole new level.