Board meetings can be a great thing, everyone comes out with some idea of what the goal is. This issue feels like the board meeting was run by a monkey. As always we begin with the cover, Catwoman and Batman fall out a window while Hush’s face is in the background. This makes Hush look menacing but I think the focus of this issue is more likely on Batman and Catwoman. Before I continue, I have read Batman issue 35 and I know it’s an aftermath of the Batman Eternal series but I won’t comment on that story line until both Batman Eternal and the current Batman story lines are finished.
We begin at Arkham Asylum where a few meda-humans try to escape. Killer Croc unfortunately catches up with them and just gives them advice. The crazy receptionist from issue 15 is talking to someone on the phone about the escaped convicts. This is a totally weird way to start the story. We only know one of the five characters in the scene and he doesn’t say much. Killer Croc attacks the meda-humans as we cut to James Bard trying to get into his car. This panel of Killer Croc attacking is a bit bright and makes Killer Croc less menacing. James Bard realizes that there is someone behind him and thinks that it is Batman. It’s not Batman but Batgirl looking for answers. This is what I expect from this incarnation of Batgirl.
We cut to Leo’s mansion where Child Services brings Jade back to him. Since when did Leo get out of jail? I don’t remember that part. I’m not sure if Jade is happy or not to be back with Leo. Her expressions don’t make it clear. Reading the dialogue, the man I think is Leo does not sound like him and it’s leading me to believe that he is a different person who is Jade’s father. We learn that Jade’s father has a bunch of zoo animals in his house with a zebra occupying the TV room. Jade’s father speaks to someone on the phone but I get distracted by the zebra and can’t pay attention to the phone call. I hope I don’t have to pay attention to the phone call because I can’t take this scene seriously at all.
We cut to Catwoman and Batman beating up thugs working for Jade’s father. They have a conversation while doing this, it’s just the classic Batman and Catwoman flirting. It looks like the pair is fighting on a subway car but it could be a little more clear. Batman questions one of the thugs for information on Hush. I can get a basic idea of what this scene is trying to say but the panel sequence is extremely hard to follow. Catwoman helps clear the room of thugs with a fire extinguisher. Do the writers have a fire extinguisher fetish as this is the second or third time we have seen this used in combat?
At the offices of Child Services Killer Croc breaks in and violently asks about Jade. I’m not sure if Killer Croc is being loving or wants the girl back just because. We return to Batman and Catwoman as they find money hidden away which, of course, Catwoman tries to get away with. I’m glad we see this type of Catwoman. It reminds me of classic Catwoman that you didn’t know if she was good or bad. Batman tries to reason with Catwoman. Unfortunately Catwoman brushes him off and runs away. It’s beginning to look like Catwoman is becoming angrier. I don’t know if this is a good thing because we already have one character driven by rage.
The scene changes to a club where we learn that Jade’s father is actually her uncle. Who is this guy? Jade’s uncle is trying to sell his niece to a crime lord called Mr. Bones. They also talk about Catwoman and how they need to get rid of her. I don’t know Mr. Bones at all. He could be a new character or an old character. Catwoman talks to one of her cats trying to figure out what her next move is to be. She talks about finding the bat cave and learning all of Batman’s secrets. This could be an interesting story.
We return to Killer Croc as he continues to interrogate people about Jade. His next victim is an old spa owner who is wearing something I would never want to see my grandmother in. Turning the page we see The Batmobile races down the street as Stephanie Brown spies on Batman. I’m not sure what Stephanie Brown wants with Batman. I think we will find out soon though. As Batman drives down the street, a villain called The Flamingo, riding a motorbike, attacks Batman. Really? A super villain called Flamingo? I think even the LGBT community will find this offensive. Batman quickly beats the Flamingo as Stephanie Brown watches from an alley. I’m glad this was a quick fight because it was beginning to become painful.
Batman stops to find a note beside the Flamingo’s body. Unfortunately the Flamingo is still alive. The note is from Stephanie Brown who’s code name is the Spoiler. It talks about how she wants to help him but can’t reveal herself. This is an interesting first meeting of the two. We catch up with Batgirl interrogating James Bard. James Bard tells Batgirl that he is untouchable but Batgirl responds by letting him drop a couple of stories. I don’t think Batgirl will let James Bard die but we only have one more page of the story and neither of the characters are in the last page.
We end the issue at Catwoman’s apartment where Jade comes to her crying. The crying Jade is just a distraction so that Mr. Bones can knock Catwoman out. Great way to end the chapter. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered.