While Gotham goes up in flames, Batman returns to help the other member of the Bat family. The problem is that Batman has anger clouding his judgement. As always we begin with the cover, Batman, Batgirl, Red Hood and Red Robin get backed into a corner and they have cuts and bruises all over. This could be a start of the final battle or I could be totally wrong and look like an idiot by the end of this review.
We start the story with Batman standing over a defeated Bane. I have never seen a comic start this way and I don’t know how I feel about starting with Batman winning a battle when we just had the battle start on the last page of the last issue. In comics, you sometimes have the best dialogue during the fight scene. As Batman knocks Bane out, the Red Hood comes up to him and notices there is something wrong with Batman. In classic Batman fashion, Batman ignores Red Hood and goes to do his own thing. I get the feeling that Batman will do something without thinking very soon. He is angry and wants to put an end to this war on himself. We also see that Red Hood is no longer angry with Batman and actually cares about him.
We cut to Blackgate Prison where the GCPD is stopping the riot from last issue and Harvey Bullock collects Jim Gordon with Maggie Sawyer and James Bard. From the dialogue it seems that Jim Gordon figured out that James Bard has switched sides and is now an ally. There could have been a panel or two where Jim Gordon could chew out James Bard but it wasn’t necessary. Jim Gordon’s friend, Rex, comes to the conversation to tell our heroes that Killer Croc has broken the Penguin out of prison. Selina Kyle obviously wants the Penguin alive if she sent Killer Croc to get him.
On top of the Gotham Cathedral the Scarecrow beats and taunts Batwing. Batwing has no choice but to take it. Batwing’s suit is mostly robotic so when Hush hacked into the Bat computer an issue or two ago, how much did it affect Batwing’s suit? From what we know about Batwing’s suit, it could easily malfunction if the Bat computer was compromised. Batwing flies on a drone to ambush the Scarecrow. Batman is standing on two drones and menacing the Scarecrow.
While is happening, Alfred and Julia have a phone conversation discussing the state of the city. We find out that something terrible is going on in the city but we don’t get a clear idea of what it is. We soon learn that Firefly has been let free and is using a flamethrower to set multiple buildings on fire. I know for sure Firefly is working under the Mastermind of the conspiracy. What I don’t know is what Firefly gets out of this. If we go by the last 49 issues, this will be Firefly’s one and only appearance in this series.
We catch up with Batman as he helps Bluebird deal with Mr. Freeze. Bluebird witnesses Batman using a power line to electrocute Mr. Freeze. Batman is being a bit too brutal which could maybe explained by how angry he is or could it be someone else under the mask? In another part of town, Red Robin fights Clayface but almost loses until someone freezes Clayface. We all know it’s Batman. There is no secret there. He was just with Mr. Freeze and had asked to borrow something of his.
After Batman reveals himself to Red Robin, Batgirl shows up and then Batman gives the other two their orders. Red Robin and Batgirl don’t seem to notice that Batman is acting very angrily and are fine with doing what Batman tells them. After Batgirl and Red Robin leave, Batman learns that Firefly is setting fire to the city. This could be the fire that we saw on the first page of issue 1. Batman figures out that the problem may be coming from a Bat signal as he rushes towards it. I thought Gotham City only had one Bat signal or is this the one the police use all the time? Outside Blackgate Prison, Jim Gordon and his partners look towards Gotham City and all they see are flames. The way they stand looking towards the city is straight from the “Left For Dead” video game series. Although I doubt there will be anymore zombies from here on.
Batman arrives to the tower where the Bat signal is only to be taunted by a mysterious voice. Taunting again? There is enough taunting in the whole series to fill up a movie. We end this chapter with Batman being electrocuted by Cluemaster as he comes out of the shadows. I think Cluemaster is working for someone and is not the Mastermind. This issue had a decent story although there was a little bit of character confusion.