So, yeah. A week late with this. As you might've noticed, I had a week's worth of rage building up inside of me for that previous entry. Forgiveness, please.
I can't imagine why I didn't jump right on the review for this issue. It opens by highlighting a long-time supporting character for the Batman franchise that hasn't been seen or heard from in a very long time. The anticipation for this character's return was staggering, and I waited with baited breath to see them in the pages of this weekly series.
I'm talking, of course, about Lock-Up.
Okay, okay. Fine, I guess I have to talk about Stephanie Brown, Spoiler. Apparently at this point in the New 52 continuity, not only is she not yet Spoiler, but she has only now discovered that her father, Arthur Brown, is a complete and utter loser. Oh, and also a supervillain, but I use the term "super" pretty loosely, because he's the poor man's Riddler, called Cluemaster. And he's been hanging out with a veritable Round Table of Batman adversaries, I'll tell you. Signalman, Firefly, and Lock-Up are in his little cadre of never-was...es. Somebody lurking in the shadows knocks Steph out and later orders Cluemaster to kill his daughter, which he's more than willing to do, but somehow she hazards an escape. Pretty embarrassing for all involved.
Hey, that's a real Legion of Doom you've got going there, Cluemaster, but are you sure it's complete? You couldn't scrounge up a few more losers for your little tea party? Was Captain Stingaree too busy? Did Cornelius Stirk make too many unusual meal requests for the meeting? Crazy Quilt on the mend? Couldn't get enough money up front from Penny Plunderer? Not enough chairs for the Trigger Twins, perhaps? Couldn't scare up the Gentleman Ghost? Seriously, did you gather them all there to decide which one of you was the least threatening? Arthur, I think you win. At least Firefly has a high-tech suit and burns things with flamethrowers and napalm. Lock-Up can take a good punch or two. Even Signalman... well, no, I guess Signalman is pretty much as useless as Cluemaster, but at least he didn't steal his gimmick.
I guess now would be a good time to speculate who is the guy in the shadows. Now, I'm not trying to say that it's Night-Slayer, but it's totally Night-Slayer.
Actually, at first guest, it might be Carmine Falcone, who has already made his presence known in Gotham, and was instrumental in getting douchebag Jack Forbes installed as a puppet Commissioner while Gordon is in the slammer. But then, we see him over at Mayor Hady's office, and then back at Cluemaster's home again within a few scenes and it's not clear that the night has even ended, so perhaps it's not Falcone after all. Perhaps this person is the same one who addressed Bruce Wayne at the beginning of the series, and Falcone is just throwing us off.
If that's the case, who could it be? Who's rounding up these third-string villains, and why? I suppose the reasoning behind it is because the more obscure and downtrotten the individuals on the team are, the smaller their egos are likely to be, and thus less clashing over who is in charge. It will be easier to control villains who are hungry for glory and yet humbled by their small status in the villains community. I imagine getting together guys like Joker, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy would be pretty dangerous, and extremely risky, because they're not likely to follow directions or even get along with each other, and thus this group of low grade villains most readers have to Google first.
Then again, they could be more obscure, I guess. Just look at Penguin's inner circle, made of people like Imperceptible Man and Hypnotic. Maybe if he wasn't too busy feeding people to elephant seals (gross) he could scrape together Catman or Copperhead.
Calendar Man asked for too much money, I guess.
Anyway, with Forbes firmly in control of the police, he tells Bullock and the rest that the real enemy of Gotham City is Batman, and he'll direct all the GCPD's resources in taking down the guy who's been saving everybody's asses for 75... I mean 25... I mean 6 years. Six years. Obviously the goal here is to distract Batman with having to evade the law, tying his hands in taking on people he doesn't want to hurt so that Falcone can cement a new power base in Gotham. Whether it's connected to the bigger conspiracy is not quite clear yet, but it seems extremely convenient that Falcone should come back at the same time.
Also, nice free hand sketch of the Bat symbol, Forbes.
Our Caped Crusader isn't having any luck finding answers to the burning questions he has, and it looks like things are only going to get worse for him. But then, when do they ever get better?
Next issue: Bats vs Babs!
- Penguin Truth
Story & Script: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Consulting Writers: Fay Fawkes, John Layman & Tim Seeley
Art By: Jason Fabok
Colors By: Brad Anderson
Lettering By: Nick J. Napolitano
Varient Cover By: Andy Kubert, Johanthan Glapion & Brad Anderson
Editor: Katie Kubert
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger