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King & Weeks Finally Gave Us the Real Dark Knight in Batman #51

While his substantial wealth is a topic of discussion for the other jurors, it does not play into his experience watching Freeze essentially play the court like a fiddle with the help of his slippery lawyers. Bruce Wayne’s rage as he witnesses how faulty the judicial system is and how easily his work to put Freeze on the stand can be brushed away with a healthy dose of aggressive (and meticulously worded) defense questioning is palpable. Things come to a head when Bruce excuses himself to use the restroom during a court recess and proceeds to rip a public urinal off the wall and smash it to pieces (it's good thing he is a billionaire).

It's that kind of blind rage when it comes to perceived injustice that truly encompasses Batman (and no, we don't want more stories with Batman smashing toilets, but if anyone could make that work, it'd be Tom King). The entire reason Bruce put donned the cape and cowl in the first place was not to avenge his parents' death; he wanted to make the city that took his family away a better place to live, and maybe avoid another tragedy like the one he suffered. The fact that Batman doesn't play by the rules (other than his own) makes him extremely effective with regard to immediate results, but do they work in the long term?

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If the combined escape/release rate of Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary is any indication, we'd have to say, "No." For the first time since the police procedural comic series Gotham Central readers are seeing the broken justice system of Gotham at work, and there isn't much Batman can do about it. All of his wealth and brain power and tech and toilet-smashing abilities can't change human nature or how it has constructed the world around him.

Batman can inspire change, but he can't force it, and watching Bruce Wayne go down a rabbit hole that even he may not be prepared for is exciting. Who says jury duty has to be boring?

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