Dear Reader, if you’re looking for a Batman Christmas Special review, it’s not happening. As always we will begin with the cover, Batman is being tormented by the group of villains that got together in the last issue. This is a boring cover. We have seen it before and it’s not well organized. We begin this issue with Batman gliding down to an old orphanage while talking to Julia over the phone. Julia says that she should be with Batman helping him as she makes James Bond reference. This I find funny. I’m a big fan of James Bond so I enjoy when something I like is being referenced in a different media.
In the orphanage, Scarecrow and Clayface are holding three men hostage and making them wear bird masks. Talk about adding insult to injury. I don’t want to wear a dumb bird mask. Scarecrow talks to Clayface about when he should kill off the other villains the group. He even talks to Clayface about getting rid of Clayface himself. I don’t know if this is gutsy or stupidity.
We cut to Blackgate Prison where we catch up with Jim Gordon waking up to Leo getting a back massage from another inmate. We haven’t seen Jim Gordon in, I don’t know how many issues. It feels weird to see him again. I was hoping that he’d be a main character throughout the series but in the second act wasn’t there at all. Leo goes to talk to Jim Gordon after his back massage, saying that he could get Jim out of prison. Jim is a little angry at Leo for lying to him and doesn’t want anything to do with Leo. I totally understand where Jim is coming from. Leo has been found out as an ex-crime boss and Jim still wants to work with the law.
We return to the orphanage to see Batman break in and knock out the Joker’s daughter. The weird thing is, the Joker’s daughter does not see Batman, but Bugs Bunny knocking her out. Is she on LSD or something? That is the only explanation. I don’t know whether to be laughing or freaked out! Underneath the orphanage, Bane and Poison Ivy are walking through the sewers as Bane realizes that Poison Ivy has drugged him. We learned that Poison Ivy had an easy time drugging Bane due to the fact that Bane is constantly having a strength inducing drug pumped inside of him. This apparently makes him susceptible to other drugs. As the pair walk further down the sewers, Killer Croc jumps out of the water and attacks Bane. Raise your hand if you saw this coming. I mean really knew that Bane and Killer Croc were going to fight pretty soon due to the introduction of Bane and the fact that Killer Croc stated he wanted revenge.
As soon as Killer Croc’s fist hits Bane, Bane makes short work of Killer Croc, beating him to a pulp. This is usually how a fight between these two go. Just when Bane is about to finish Killer Croc, Killer Croc destroys the tube feeding Bane his strength-increasing drugs. As much as this is a smart move on Killer Croc’s part, we have seen this a million times. Back on top, Batman continues to knock out the villains in the orphanage. He also talks to Julia while doing this, unfortunately the conversation isn’t that interesting. Just the same thing she said before.
As Batman knocks out Scarecrow and Clayface, he tells Julia that to be a hero the bad guys need to fear you. Julia is of course ticked off about this and understandably, she wants to become her own style of hero and not be in the shadow of Batman. The Scarecrow tries to trick Batman into negotiating by holding Clayface who is disguised as a hostage. For people who don’t know, Clayface can morph into any other human being. Batman knows this trick and attacks the Scarecrow and Clayface. Smart move on Batman’s part.
We return to the fight between Bane and Killer Croc to learn that Killer Croc has gained the upper hand. From the moment Killer Croc destroyed Bane’s tube, I knew he was going to get the upper hand. Killer Croc beats Bane making Bane beg for Killer Croc to kill him. Killer Croc doesn’t to kill Bane. He wanted to embarrass him. I don’t know if this is Killer Croc becoming a better person or just changing to suit his needs. Batman continues to beat up on the Scarecrow while the Scarecrow mocks Batman by telling him that he knows who is behind the conspiracy to destroy Batman’s life. Not a good idea to mock Batman while he is beating you to a pulp.
Batman runs to the basement sewers as he tells Julia that Scarecrow revealed that the Riddler knows all about the conspiracy. While the reader already this, it’s an interesting way for Batman to find out. In the sewer, Batman finds Bane tied up. We don’t know if Batman knows it was Killer Croc who beat Bane up. Outside of a restaurant, Poison Ivy meets up with Selena Kyle. We learn that Poison Ivy was working with Selena Kyle to get rid of the other 5 villains. This is surprise for me. I thought Selena Kyle wanted to get rid of Poison Ivy as well. I never expected this.
We return to Blackgate Prison where James Bard is coming clean to Jim Gordon. James Bard has nothing left to lose and knows that he has done the wrong thing but I still hate his guts. James Gordon uses this opportunity to negotiate his release which is a smart idea. We end this issue at Selena Kyle’s night club as she celebrates her victory with her newest henchman, Killer Croc. Killer Croc, you’re supposed to advance your career, not destroy it. As much as this issue felt like another issue of “set-up”, I really enjoyed it.