The word of the issue is EXPOSITION. One of the most dreaded words in all of story telling. The teller has to convey thoughts and ideas to the viewer/reader/watcher. Key points or concepts must be conveyed so the audience knows what is going on. When done correctly, it can be subtle and informative. Done poorly, the story comes to a dead halt and becomes very boring. It is a hard line to walk.
This issue does an okay job with it. There isn’t much that happens outside of a lot of monologue-ing. We know there is a crime worthy of Batman’s attention, but nothing else seems normal about it. This story run, going back to Batman’s detective roots is a lot of talk and little action.
What i really liked about the monologue-ing that Ted Carson and Bridgit Pike do, is the density in which Carson speaks. Carson is the first to admit to Bridgit how bad they are and how low on the criminal ladder they truly are. He then talks about how every defeat at the hands of Batman teaches him how to be better, how to grow. Soon he will be one of the greatest villains in Gotham. Really? I will be the first to admit losing teaches people the most and it does help people grow, but that doesn’t mean going 0-16 means next year you win the national championship.
Batman then proves this by kicking the crap out of both Fireflys in a matter of seconds. He berates them for the idiocy and obviousness of their hideout, and then shows them good guys learn as well. Batman had improved his fire suppressant.
There is one more thing i kinda liked about this issue. Ever since Knight’s End when Bruce dons the new black suit and feels everything Valley did was his fault, Batman is even more heavy handed with how he deals with issues. He is the final word no matter who he talks too. He still knows he is one of the top intellects, but in a scene with Alfred and Gordon, Batman is no longer being heavy handed and stone cold.
Alfred, knowing Bruce so well, tells Bruce to spit it out, meaning the answer to the murder. Bruce says he would except he is stumped for once. What i like is how Bruce and Alfred talk out the case, and Bruce is actually valuing Alfred’s input. That is so not the Batman we have known for the past twenty years.
The scene with Gordon, Jim doesn’t know why he bothers talking to Batman when Batman is always ten steps ahead of them anyway. Batman, for all intensive purposes, apologize for the way he has handled things. Again not something the Batman we know would normally do.
I really like this Batman. Bruce is questioning how he has done things to this point. He is also thinking of those around him and how his attitude to this point may have affected them. It feels like Bruce is starting to appreciate those who are still around him and support him after the botched wedding. It is a fresh step for Bruce. Granted it will come back to hurt him as Batman.