Art by: Stephen Segovia
Cover by: Stephen Segovia
Variant cover by: Mark Brooks
Written by: James Robinson
Bruce and the family finally take down the menace Karma, Bruce proving to himself that he’s got what it takes to keep Gotham safe. Karma wielded a mask he received from a black market arms dealer in Markovia who deals in specifically cutting edge Justice League level tech. As a result, having a telepathic helmet ripped off of your head while seeing only the horrifying memories that Bruce keeps locked away left Karma catatonic. Afterward, Jefferson is slated to lead the Batfamily as the Outsiders, while halfway across the world our arms dealer is tying up loose ends after learning of Karma’s defeat.
Even with Batman cleaning up the streets, Gotham still has an alarming crime rate especially murder. In issue #988 we find Bruce back in the cowl after the Cold Days arc, with Batman investigating a simple case of murder. Jim Gordon arrives on the scene solely to speak with Batman about his absence, letting him know that his services won’t be necessary in this case because of its simplicity. Batman knows nothing is simple and implies he needs this win to get back on track. Jim recognizes he can’t stop Bruce and concedes.
I’m really starting to gain a love and appreciation for the crossover comics effort to show Bruce is destroyed emotionally. This issue does very well to show us how in reality, Bruce is distracted by the event and if not for his exceptional drive he really wouldn’t be able to leave home. The artwork is very much darker than the last few issues has been and its a welcome change. I like brightly colored comics full of action panels as much as the next reader, but Batman thrives in the dark palette and contrasting colors. The writing on top of that really helps bring a vibe of melancholy to the entire issue and its great.