[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencils: Bruno Redondo
Inks: Juan Albarran
Colors: Rex Lokus
In the wake of the tragedy at Delhi, Batman has convened a meeting with Ollie, Dinah, Natasha Irons and Michael Carter (Booster Gold). As the adults speak, out side Harley Quinn is practicing some crazy tricks with Connor Queen to test his archery skills. Bruce addresses the meeting with the notion that Ra’s al Ghul is right and that the world does need saving from itself. He doesn’t get beyond promising to rebuild Delhi before he gets a call from Brother Eye alerting him to a security issue at Wayne Manor. Bruce promises he will return soon, refusing any help from the rest of the group.
At Wayne Manor he learns that one wing is blacked out from Brother Eye’s surveillance and after suiting up begins tracking from Selina and Alfred’s last known positions. He finds blood that matches Selina’s and makes his way to Alfred’s presumed location. There he finds his daughter, Athanasia, holding a gun to Alfred’s head. Bruce pleads with her as she recounts Bruce’s sins: “You weren’t there for my birth, you weren’t there for my death, you stopped the man who was going to make the world a better place.” There’s a lot to unpack with that, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Talia wouldn’t be forthcoming about the truth of Athanasia to Bruce or vice versa.
In Athanasia’s mania, she shoots the puppy she’s been holding just before the cavalry arrives in the form of Dinah, Ollie, Michael, Natasha and Harley. Dinah apologizes for intervening, with the caveat that Selina contacted her to coordinate the intervention. Bruce gives a heartfelt “thank you” to end the issue.
Great character moments are always welcome in great story telling no matter the medium. This issue does a lot with a really great one-off type issue. While not advancing the overall plot forward, it’s a nice breather that adds some humanity to Bruce, but also echoes his classic modus operandi. Bruce wants to prevent people from experiencing the same type of loss that he did as a child. He’s “failed” a lot in this series, but it only seems to server as a way of showing his determination. While it is true that the scope of his mission has expanded, it doesn’t change what’s at the core.
The existence of Athanasia is plot point for lots of exploration and drama for Bruce. One can only hope that Bruce will eventually get through to her. There’s a lot of backstory for Athanasia that’s reference and hopefully it will be explored fully at some point.
It could’ve been very easy to have trouble with the next episode after Delhi’s destruction, but Taylor, Redondo, Albarran and Lokus get it all right in this change of pace issue- no negatives!
The aspect of the original Earth-Two that was so intriguing was the idea that the characters were allowed to age, get married, have children and experience aspects of life without retconning. It was easy to do that with Golden Age characters who were all but forgotten. However, when the Golden Age versions of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman were introduced it suggested possible futures for their Earth-One contemporaries. Anytime story tellers have unencumbered possibilities it allows for “no limits” story telling. Injustice 2 is doing for the ’80’s/ ’90’s DCU what the original Earth-Two did for DC’s Golden Age characters, and it is fabulous.