5230picon.jpgreviewbubble.jpgThe Batman is Gone

We’ve been lead to believe that for the last six months Batman, Nightwing, and Robin have been touring the world bonding with one another. But instead of good times, Batman has lead Nightwing and Robin on journey tracing Batman’s training history.

01.jpgFor a long time, Batman has been a dark brooding, and often quite paranoid avenger of the night. The JLA Tower of Babel storyline by Mark Waid (JLA #43-46), had Ra’s al Ghul using Batman’s notes on the weakness of other JLA members against them. Then of course more recently, in the events of Infinite Crisis, it is revealed Bruce Wayne created Brother I to keep tabs on all metahumans on the planet. Brother I turned to Brother Eye when Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord trigger OMACs to rise up against the metahuman population.

As week 30 opens, we discover everything is not right for the dynamic trio. Instead of a chummy adventure, Dick and Tim are one step behind Bruce. The two speculate on the method to his madness.

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It appears that the pressure of the last couple of years have been too much for Bruce. The guilt of the many deaths at the hands of the OMACs, Blue Beetle’s death because Bruce ignored his requests for help, and the total distrust of Superman is enough to crack any sane person. It appears like Bruce is giving up the mantle of the Bat.

During their search for Bruce, Nightwing and Robin bust up some smugglers and discover Intergang has taken over Gotham City, moving heavy weapons and ordinance into the city. Robin agrees to continue his search Bruce in the hopes of getting everything worked out, while Nightwing heads back to Gotham to put an end to Mannheim’s schemes.

Back in Gotham, Vic is being administered morphine to keep the pain to a minimum, and Renee has to face the reality he is not long for the world. Kate Kane has offered up her apartment for as long as needed, and as she heads off into the night to follow leads, Renee spends some quite time meditating in Vic’s room.

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It’s good to know that even in his dying days, Vic is pleased the time spent together these long months have been good for Renee in preparing her to take over the role of The Question – or so we are lead to believe.

It is also interesting to see Renee and Kate make some type of amends with one another to the point I almost see a reigniting of the romance they once had. But could this rekindling be short lived? Even Renee questions what her return to Gotham will cost her in the end. Could the cost not only be the loss of Vic, but the loss of Kate Kane as well?

While tracking the whereabouts of Mannheim, Batwoman is attacked by a pack of animal creatures we’ve seen lurking about, usually in the service of Whisper A’Daire, who still want Kate’s heart for Bruno, and to fulfill the prophecy.

In the nick of time Nightwing shows up to lend a hand. Even as Robin, Dick has always spouted quips during battle, and getting his first glimpse of Batwoman, he can’t hold back. I like Kate Kane as she has been portrayed so far, as she can give as good as she gets.

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Of course the only bad thing about this meeting is the obvious references to another red headed crime fighter of Gotham. The two team up and begin to canvas the city for the whereabouts of Intergang.

Finally, Robin does find Bruce in the middle of the dessert. Instead of walking away from the Bat, Bruce wants the demons inside him expelled. The way to do that is to defeat the Ten-Eyed Brothers.

He’s Batman, of course he defeats them.

In a weird sword ceremony, the group appears to cut the demon from Bruce’s soul, leaving him a different person.

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As we know, Batman is not gone. Over the next six months, Tim and Bruce will begin a new adventure in becoming a dynamic duo that click and work perfectly with one another (see Face the Face). It is refreshing to read the OYL Batman titles and really see a Batman who has excised his paranoid delusions, now focusing his attention on what he should be doing – fighting crime and saving people, rather than keeping tabs on his teammates.

I’m hopeful we’ll see more of Bruce and Tim over the next six months honing their skills and bonding with one another.

The Good

  • An all Bat issue
  • Renee and Vic’s relationship
  • Seeing old teams, and the forming of new ones
  • The intro pages give readers two origin stories this issue

The Bad

  • Vic Sage is dying
  • The cover is simply amazing

While the overall mystery of 52 is not really explored in this issue, readers really need to catch up on what is going on with the missing heroes. We’ve seen Clark Kent coping with the loss of his powers, and now we see what the Bat family has been up to. What we need to see now is Diana and her view on the year. The writing was good this week, and the artwork was top notch capturing the action and the quite moments of the characters. I’ll say 52 – Week 30 was much better than average and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

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Parting Shot
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Discuss the issue in the Major Spoilers 52 forum.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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