The issue is just as much awesome as this cover, a rarity in comics.
The court adjourned, a long time villain returned, information was learned, and the plot took a huge turn in the alcohol-aged installment of DC's weekly Batman hubbub. Continuity probably took one on the noggin, given that some of the events the villains present here happened with characters either no longer present in the DC universe (as in, never existed according to new continuity) or are much different. Are we all sure Batman's only been around for six years? Ah, hand wave it, because this is the best issue in a long time, and it might be the best issue ever.
"But hey, at least he looks FABULOUS in orange, right?"
The dark machinations behind the gang war are becoming increasingly clear now. Carmine Falcone's return to Gotham City was precipitated by an invitation by an unknown party, somebody who made it look like this was all Falcone's idea with the use of the Hong Kong crime lord knife. It was a big distraction to what the big kahuna behind the scheme was up to, presumably the same person plotting with Cluemaster and his cadre of third stringers, and maybe even involved with the Ten Eyed Man and Deacon Blackfire. It's all starting to tie together.
The three biggest knots in that tie are the villain Hush, formerly Thomas Elliot, a character created in by Jeph Loeb in a vain attempt to recapture his glory with Batman, the Architect, a villain from Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgin's Gates of Gotham who was driven by revenge for a perceived slight against his ancestors and finally, the hero cop Jason Bard, who arrived like a gust of competence sweeping in and helping break up the crime wave. (Wow, now that's a run on sentence!) Hush hasn't been seen since... uh, hm, you know, I can't really remember. I remember he made himself look like Bruce Wayne in Heart of Hush, then went around impersonating him after Bruce was sent through time by Darkseid, then... uh... nope, can't remember. But the thing is, he hasn't been in The New 52 yet, and the continuity is a question mark so big the Riddler would get a hard on. After all, the original Hush storyline was built on years and years of continuity, most of which is nonexistent now. Then there's the Architect, whose storyline included copious use of Cassandra Cain, Black Bat, who doesn't exist in the New 52 (yet, anyway). We'll probably get abbreviated versions of their original stories to better suit this current canon, though, just like with Blackfire.
"Just lie back and think of England." "I always do!"
And hey, that shady new police hero man who Batman is somewhat suspicious of, and has worked his way up to Commissioner in record time? Yeah, it turns out he's a bad guy working with the mastermind, who may or may not be Hush, but I wouldn't be surprised with either "yes" or "no" (still holding out for Lincoln March or Thomas Wayne Jr. from the Crime Syndicate!). I sure hope Batman here does what the World's Greatest Detective, and basically any breathing land mammal would do and have had made several copies of the data he gave the guy he said up front that he doesn't trust. I'd have sent a copy to Bullock, the Gotham warden, the press (both in Gotham and maybe Clark Kent or Lois Lane in Metropolis), and you know, the whole fucking Justice League. If that was the sole copy of the damn evidence to exonerate Gordon, I will be mighty disappointed in our Caped Crusader.
"Oh shit, I put all my funny cat photos on there!"
By the way, Alfred, maybe you ought to have said, "Thomas Elliot" and not just the way for Julia to get into the Batcave. But hey, maybe Bruce isn't stupid enough to not have security cameras that can record the intruder. Really, Hush, going right to Wayne Manor? What are you, stupid?
But hey, Hush, I'll take him. If anyone could pull that guy off, it's this team. Just in case, though, maybe they should keep Paul Dini on retainer.
Next Issue: The Bat's Out of the Bag!
- Penguin Truth
Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: James Tynion IV
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes. John Layman, Tim Seeley
Art By: Jason Fabok
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Lettering By: Dezi Sienty
Cover By: Dustin Nguyen
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Matt Humphreys
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger