I have to admit, this is the best comic cover I've seen in a while. It's the perfect pyschedelic for this issue.
No time to unwind, there's a trip into the mind, and once you're there you'll find, Harp and Cass are entwined, but for now, nevermind, the past is so unkind, and before the truth's defined, Bluebird's trip is resigned and Dick's next, as he's inclined. Scrambled brains and dozens slain in the eleventh entry in DC's current weekly Batman chronicle. The new continuity's Cassandra origin is told (and it seems mostly the same, but taken up a few levels in horror), we get some not-so-subtle clues that she ties into Harper's backstory, and Dick is desperate to know what Batman did all those years ago (as am I). So let's take this mind trip, because it's a huge step up from that last stinking issue.
David Cain took Take Your Daughter To Work Day very seriously.
David Cain is still an ace killer in this new continuity, but instead of being a hired gun, he's one of Mother's underlings. Some people see this as an insult to the character's previous incarnation, who was fairly well established as an independent contractor, while this version is loyal to Mother. I don't really mind that they changed him, because David Cain was more of an "in" to Cassandra's story to begin with than a character on his own, save for a few bits of Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive, and remains that here, too. It seems that David Cain is one of Mother's designer people who she kept around for her own, ostensibly to clean up any messes made by herself or her clients.
"So as I was saying, no dating until you're 18."
Like in the old canon, David Cain decided to raise his daughter as a perfect killer, barely speaking to her, having her learn body language so she reads people's motions and her reflexes are honed to respond perfectly. This is why she doesn't speak well, because he never really taught her to. In this continuity, it's part of his project to show Mother that the new methods she's employing, the Scarecrow's fear toxin, is too gimmicky, and the old ways are the best. The old ways are, apparently, traumatizing children by slaughtering dozens of people to numb them to death. Mother is pissed at Cain's initiative, but he's determined to prove her wrong.
Cassandra, for her part, was molded into exactly what her father wanted, at least at first. But apparently something happened in Gotham that broke the child soldier's resolve. Harper begins to witness this event, but is pulled back by The Sculptor, Given Harper's recent revelation that her mother was murdered in the city and there were no leads and the rapport she's built with Cass, it's pretty clear where the writers are going with this story. It seems likely that the woman Harper saw Cass kill in that vision of the past was her (Harper's) mother. She didn't get a good look and the Sculptor was eager to move her away from it, for her own good. What will happen when Harper discovers her new friend murdered her mom? Super awkward. Guess there's no aisle in the greeting card section of CVS for that.
"--explosive diarrhea. Guess you'll find out."
When Cass drops in on a conversation between Batman and Mother during the pursuit of Crane in Prague, Dick loses his cool and interrupts the psychic connection. And instead of simply ASKING Sculptor what happened, since she apparently knows everything, he grabs her and insists on a trip to the past... which I'm just now realizing doesn't make sense for Sculptor to be able to do. How is she showing memories of things she wasn't there for? All right, I'll suspend my disbelief a bit.
But just for now.
Even though the road they're going down seems pretty predictable, perhaps it's only because of my years of experience with comics, especially Batman comics, and the story is still pretty compelling. It sure beats the borefest of the Santa Prisca stuff. I think we might be returning to that, so I'll enjoy this while i can.
Next: Mother Dearest
- Penguin Truth
Story: James Tynion IV & Scott Snyder
Script: Ed Brisson
Artist: Fernando Blanco with Christian Duce
Colors: John Rauch
Lettering By: A Larger World Studio
Cover: Guillem March
Editor: Chris Conroy
Asst. Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Group Editor: Mark Doyle
Batman Created By Bob K--wait...
Still too little credit for Finger.