Welcome back to yet another review, this issue fell short when delivering a story about a fan favourite character. As always we begin with the cover, the Spoiler jumps out of the page as the fire burns behind her. There’s a motorcycle jumping behind her while cutting off portions of her body. I understand what they are trying to do but this looks like they failed in every way although the artwork looks nice enough.
We open with Stephanie Brown as the Spoiler spying on her father, the Cluemaster. Her father is talking on the phone to someone who is annoyed that Stephanie is not dead yet. This is kind of a scene we see often but it feels a bit different because one of the people talking is her father. Hush comes out of the shadows and grabs the Cluemaster, angry that he’s not killing his daughter. I’m unsure if Hush is the same person on the phone and watching him from the shadows. It’s not really clear.
We get a flashback of Stephanie Brown attempting a bike trick as her father yells at her to stop. This is an odd place for a flashback like this. We’re not sure who is even having the flashback. Stephanie makes the jump but falls shortly after and badly injured herself. Her father scolds her for being an idiot and shows that he can be a good parent. I’m glad we get to see another side of Cluemaster, a caring one.
Returning to the present, Hush threatens Cluemaster as Stephanie Brown learns that her listening device is being hacked. I’m not sure if Hush knows who exactly is spying on them but I know that he knows someone is doing it. So far this book needs a lot more clarity. Cluemaster tells Hush about his underdogs doing the work. We get to see what each of them are doing, such as the Ratcatcher and the Prankster. The Ratcatcher … really? I mean, can you come up with a lamer name for a Super Villain? He looks like a farmer with a gas mask on. At least the Prankster looks decent. Hush finished up with Cluemaster giving him standard orders of ‘don’t get caught’ as he leaves. -It‘s obvious that Cluemaster is afraid of Hush as he has every right to be.
We cut to an Art Gallery where Batman is trying to deal with a zombie made out of energy. We learn that Batman can’t even touch the creature otherwise he will die. This creature looks amazing and is probably a minion of Blackfire. Batman gets hit in the hand by the creature as he hits it with nth metal (from the Hawkman series). It’s going to be interesting to see what, if anything, will happen to Batman’s hand. Batman finds out one of the victims worked in Arkham Asylum as he tries to get a hold of Batwing. This is a really interesting way to go back to the James Corrigan and Batwing story. Last we see of Batman, is him just standing over the body as we hear the Cluemaster start to talk. There is nothing important on this page and feels like filler.
Returning to Spoiler, we hear her talk about how her Dad has gone too far. She starts to fix up a motorbike for her getaway. I don’t think that would be the smartest idea while you are trying to hide from people. The Cluemaster walks up behind Stephanie and throws a gas bomb at her. This of course starts a fight scene where Cluemaster is trying to justify his actions. Like every fight scene in the universe. Stephanie gets away on that bike as an explosion happens behind her. How the heck did that explosion happen? There was no indication of anything like that.
Cluemaster gets up and chases Stephanie on another bike. We also get a brief scene from the Terminator as Stephanie realizes her father is chasing her. Overall this is a good motorcycle chase. It feels like it is very fast paced. Stephanie Brown tries to call someone as her father gets rights beside her and starts to attack her. Stephanie eventually gets rid of her father by putting one of his grenades in his wheels. This is an uneventful end to the chase, I feel.
We turn the page to find Stephanie jumping off her bike as it starts to explode. OK I give up. I’m not going to try to understand where the source of these explosions are coming from. Stephanie gets away from the explosions and jumps to a high platform where Cluemaster yells at her. The police arrive to arrest Cluemaster. I think that’s who Stephanie was trying to call. This was a clever plan on Stephanie’s part. We end the chapter with Cluemaster being hauled away by the police as Stephanie just smiles. This is kind of early to put Cluemaster’s capture in here. It gives Stephanie less of a reason to be a hero. This issue could have been a lot better, It felt like this was rush work.