We’re on issue fifty-one and we’re almost done but Batman is far from getting out of the fire. As always we begin with the cover, we see a face looking towards the reader as we also see Gotham City burning in the lower half of the page. This picture is straight out of a horror movie. This cover reminds the reader of the dire situation that Gotham is in.
We begin this chapter where the last issue left off with Cluemaster having captured Batman and is now torturing him. Cluemaster tells Batman that everyone already knows his secret identity, they just don’t want to admit it. This is an interesting idea that I never thought about and wonder if there is any weight to it. The Cluemaster rips off Batman’s shirt but Batman tries to insult the Cluemaster and gets beaten up for it. I know Batman will get out of this somehow. I just haven’t got the foggiest idea of how he will do it.
Shortly after this, Cluemaster rips off Batman’s mask and mocks him about how his ego is too big. Batman shows no weakness which is in character for him. Batman has been beaten up many times and always comes out of it strong. Cluemaster throws Batman cape and cowl over the edge of the tower as we get to see glimpses of the Bat family trying to save the city. This is a great way to show how grave the situation is. We also get verbal confirmation that they are in trouble. We also see the title of this chapter which is “Nobody”. Usually I don’t have anything to say about the title of the chapter but this one has me scratching my head or it could be dandruff.
While this is happening, cut to the Egyptian night club where Selina Kyle is having a meeting with some of her men. One of her associates tells Selina Kyle that he is not leaving. The strange thing about this is this man looks like the character Agent 47 from the video game “Hitman”. I wonder if he has a bar code on the back of his head. Why would anyone not want to leave when the whole city is going up in flames? Selina Kyle uses her whip to strangle quasi-Agent 47 torturing him. This scene is the standard mob boss enforcing her authority.
We return to Batman as we hear from Cluemaster that he made the invitation and helped with the plan to bring Batman down. I don’t think Cluemaster is the mastermind behind this conspiracy but I could be wrong. Cluemaster’s tale makes a lot of sense and puts a few things perspective but not everything. As Cluemaster continues to talk Batman manages to break free and punch Cluemaster, hopefully knocking him out. If Cluemaster was the mastermind, he would have known that Batman could get out of this situation.
At the GCPD, Jim Gordon and James Bard take inventory of everything that they could use to defend the city. Jim Gordon tries to leave to go help Batman but James Bard says that he is needed here. This is a very reasonable thing that James Bard has asked of Jim Gordon. James Bard knows that he is not liked by the police. Jim Gordon looks at James Bard and tells him that he needs to go out and he wants James Bard to help out at headquarters. We see through James Bard’s response that he is redeeming himself which I like. We also get to see James Bard team up with Maggie Sawyer to assemble a swat team to take back the city. I don’t think that we see a lot of James Bard/Maggie Sawyer team. We only have an issue and a half left.
We cut again to Bluebird where she is helping a little girl as Spoiler rides up on a motorcycle asking for her help. Spoiler almost reveals Bluebird’s secret identity showing that Spoiler is still new to the secret identity thing. Spoiler tries to get Bluebird to leave the city with her, but Bluebird won’t go. Spoiler obviously cares for her friend, Bluebird, but doesn’t realize that a hero never runs. After Bluebird denies Spoiler’s request, Spoiler rides off into the distance to an unknown location. I think Spoiler will come back. We see her in the End Game story line helping out.
We return to Batman as he and the Cluemaster duke it out on top of the tower with Cluemaster getting the upper hand and points a gun to Batman’s head. The fight scene here is very intense and well-drawn. Every punch makes sense and it is easy to see why Cluemaster beats Batman. Just as Cluemaster is about to pull the trigger, a mysterious figure come behind him and slits his throat. See, I told you that Cluemaster wasn’t the mastermind and yes, I know who the mastermind behind this is.
We end this chapter with the Mastermind behind the conspiracy to be revealed as Lincoln March, aka Thomas Wayne Junior, the man who claims to be Batman’s brother. I knew that Lincoln March was the Mastermind from issue 35 on. It was not that well hidden but I am not complaining. This issue was a good climax for the entire story although the plot could be seen a mile away. We have one more issue left. What could be in store for the ending?