After the brazen murder of an innocent penguin (RIP, Commander Wilhelm) and the destruction of the Iceberg Casino, Carmine "The Roman" Falcone feels the force of Batman's rage in this issue which begins with him pummeling some gangland scum. Of course, this doesn't help any with Comissioner Forbes at the helm of the police, and Batman acts shockingly naive while Falcone's puppet completely craps the bed at both police work and criminal activity. FFS, if you're going to be corrupt, you don't just let the criminals go right away, you have to at least pretend you're processing them or the state will get sued up the ass by victims.
Gotham's sky by Vincent van Gogh
Another problem with this Insta-Corruption subplot is that you need more than just one corrupt police official, even if he is Commissioner of Police. It requires a whole cabal of rotten apples that, frankly, it doesn't seem the GCPD has at this point. Sawyer, Bullock, and Bard are all tried and true and it doesn't seem like there are any out-and-out nasty cops that support Forbes. What made the corruption in Gotham work in Frank Miller's Year One was that Gotham's police department was nearly rotten to the core. You had Loeb, Flass, and Branden, as well as an indifferent city mayor and established organized crime with ties to the government. It was just Batman, Gordon, Essen, and Merkel fighting against the tide, and it took years to vanquish it. It should take a little more than a few days for Falcone and Forbes to completely screw up the system in place, even if they have some control over the police. Honest cops like Sawyer and Bullock aren't going to take this lying down.
"Go change your underwear, Bard."
What's with Falcone's wife beater look? I know that this is the New 52 and some characters sport a new fashion sense, but come on, if he's this big crime boss, the least he can do is wear some kind of formal clothing to appear like a businessman. Is it just really hot in Gotham? Because it can't be any hotter than the night of Johnny Viti's wedding. Roman, please, show some dignity. If you want to be the big boss in town again, you need to dress the part. You look like you're dodging paying your baby momma.
Stephanie Brown is having a tough time of it in this issue. As has been established, Stephanie's father, the C-list villain Cluemaster, part of a group of likewise losers (though frankly Firefly is slumming it with these guys), is now gunning for her after she discovered their nefarious plans at some kind of villain pizza party. Fortunately for her, some other purple-hooded idiot was killed after he ejected her from the last phone booth on the planet and she's on the run. Wow, we got two entire pages of this returning character. Great job listening to the fans, DC! I don't much care for Steph myself (HATE HATE HATE), so it's no skin off my nose, but the people who were orgasming with joy over the notion of her return to the fold must be a tad underwhelmed.
With Gotham erupting in murderous violence, it seems like a great time for Batman to take a trip to Hong Kong, because he totally couldn't get one of his subordinates to do that! But what's this, some black-garbed beauty scaling a skyscraper? Fans were speculating that this is my beloved Cassandra Cain, formerly Batgirl, and then Black Bat, and now nonexistent thanks to the screwed up, condensed timeline. However, it was confirmed on Twitter by the writer that this is, in fact, not Cassie, but some brand new character.
Next Issue: Japanese superhero in Hong Kong! Because DC doesn't care what Asians are where!
"So we'll chase him. Because he can take it. And I could use the exercise."
- Penguin Truth
Story: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Script: John Layman
Consulting Writers: Ray Fawkes & Tim Seeley
Art By: Guillem March
Colors By: Tomeu Morey
Lettering By: Steve Wands
Cover By: Andy Kubert & Brad Anderson
Editor: Katie Kubert
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--AHAHAHAHA, NO. Batman Created By Bill Finger