Welcome back to yet another review, this issue had a great pace with little to complain about. As always we begin with the cover, Batman, Batgirl, and Jim Gordon are in action poses. This is drawn well and like the last cover it looks like it’s been done in water colours while looking very similar to a movie poster. We start our story in a forest in Brazil as Batgirl chased down the Voodoo Master from the last two issues. While Batgirl is chasing him she starts to interrogate him. I don’t think interrogating a guy while he is running away from you is a good idea. Somehow Batgirl miraculously appears in front of him in the shadows. This looks really creepy.
We cut to Gotham as Batman and Killer Croc fight some cultists to save Croc’s friend. I feel like I’m missing something here. Last we saw of Batman and Killer Croc they were just jumping down a hole to get to the cultists. The cultists open a portal as James Bard backs Batman up. This is beginning to look like a story that you would tell with John Constatine. Batman uses a grapple to save the hostage from being sucked into the portal. One of the cultists just screams “no” and does nothing. Look, if you can magically open a portal, surely a guy with a grappling hook should not be a problem at all. The heroes save the hostage as the cave collapses in on them. The cultist is still yelling “what have you done” and all the while doing nothing. Buddy, you’re the worst magic user in comic book history.
At Blackgate Prison, the Warden is getting a phone call about a hostage exchange. The hostage takers want to exchange their hostages for Carmen Falcone. This will be extremely stupid if they exchange the hostages. In this scene, I just don’t like the artwork. The black lines denoting muscle I feel is overdone. Jim Gordon returns to his cell where he finds his friend Leo is missing. We find out soon after that Jim Gordon is causing trouble for the other inmates. We also find out that Leo is changing his appearance for some reason. Jim Gordon beats up some prisoners to save the hostages. The panel of Jim Gordon swinging a fire extinguisher is drawn beautifully. We see Leo talking to himself as he pulls a new set of dentures out of a case.
We return to the Voodoo Master as he thinks he has got away from Batgirl. Of course this is when Batgirl jumps out and attacks him. This is a bit predictable; that is, would happen that way. Batgirl captures the Voodoo Master only to find out that he’d recently been killed. The dagger the Voodoo Master had been killed with looks similar to a weapon the League of Assassin’s use. We return to Batman, James Bard and Killer Croc as they land in a pool o0f water. Batman and Killer Croc see if the hostage is all right as James Bard tries to arrest Killer Croc. James Bard was just helping Killer Croc, why is he trying to arrest him?
Back in Blackgate, Jim Gordon continues his fight against the hostage takers as he gets tasered from behind. That looks like it really hurts. The prisoners attempt to kill Jim Gordon as Leo rushes in to save him. We learn that the prisoners know Leo by a different name… Rex Calabrese, the Lion. This adds a little bit more clarity to Leo’s past.
Back to James Bard, he and Killer Croc are arguing about Killer Croc’s arrest. Killer Croc tells his friend to go to Batman as he and James Bard begin to fight. James Bard is kind of dumb to think that he could take down Killer Croc by himself. James Bard fires his gun at Killer Croc causing a wall to collapse between Killer Croc and the other three people. Batman tells Bard that they have to go otherwise they will be buried. Why didn’t Batman prevent James Bard from causing a cave-in?
Catching up with Jim Gordon, the Warden complements him on his heroic action. This is a victory for Jim Gordon and one step further to redemption. Jim Gordon finds Leo and asks him why he helped Jim Gordon. Leo explains that he doesn’t want to see another daughter grow up without her Dad. This gives more background for Leo and an interesting way to character development.
We cut to Bat Woman watching the children from the sweat shop going back to their families. This is a happy scene in a dark series that I’m glad for. Batgirl approaches the Red Hood and tells him that she feels like a failure. The Red Hood comforts her and says the he will help her until her mission is done. While I know there won’t be a romance between them, this scene is showing that their relationships is getting repaired. Back in Gotham City Batman talks to Alfred via com-link. I feel we didn’t really need this panel and it adds little to the story.
We cut again to a café where Stephanie Brown is blogging while she puts on a costume. The blog post that Stephanie Brown is writing is angry and kind of creepy. We end with Stephanie Brown becoming the Spoiler. I feel this incarnation will be angrier than the last time we saw her. This issue had me feeling the heroes had accomplished something for once.