Peter J Tomasi, writer
Christain Duce, artist
Luis Guerrero, colorist
Rob Leigh, letterer
In the previous issue, Batman is summoned to a local amusement park by The Joker where the two fight. The big reveal happens at the end of the book when The Joker falls into a river near Bolland Park and his body is never found. The epilogue shows Lex Luthor inviting another criminal, Doctor Victor Fries, to join him. This issue begins, Batman is exhausted. He’s been fighting criminals all night. Meanwhile, Deadshot receives a message to target Batman. While this happens, Alfred wakes Bruce Wayne after another short night of sleep. They travel to Gotham National Bank headquarters and then overseas. Deadshot attacks the plane that carries Bruce Wayne and a team of CEO from Wayne Enterprise as they flew over the Pacific ocean. However, a lightning strike brings the plane down, but who survives?
The action sequences are the highlight of this book. In particular, Deadshot’s entrance on the Wayne Enterprises plane and the eventual crash landing is spectacular! The art shows the plane breaking apart, Bruce saving cohorts, and Deadshot lingering ominously in the shadows waiting to clean up the survivors. The plane crashes mysteriously setting up a potential Batman Vs. Deadshot on a remote island.
However, as a story, the book plods along, not making much progress. It’s clear that the writer is setting the context for a larger story. The importance of the story is lost in the larger goal of setting the board for the Year of Villains DC event. Batman is exhausted from fighting criminals and the criminals are all being summoned by Lex Luthor and armed with a unified task. The writer does not develop any additional layers and so this reads as a straightforward villain team up issue.
The dialogue in this issue is painfully bad in parts. For example, Bruce cracks jokes during a “bored” meeting with his CEO’s. And Alfred’s responses are as old and crusty sounding as his appearance. This story would have been more interesting with a human subtext, something that would have explored Bruce’s physical or mental struggle given the stress that he’s been under.