So, things are pretty F'd in Batman Inc land. Knight is dead, as are all of Leviathan's hostages, most of the Batman Inc members who fought the Heretic are beat to all hell, and a couple of Man-Bat ninjas swiped Bruce. Dick, Jason and Tim arrive to the scene to clean up. While Tim goes off to track Bruce, Dick tells Jason to meet up with the Hood and and try to organize the rest of the Inc team, while he comfort's Squire, whose friend and partner is now dead.
Elsewhere at the Batcave, Damian remains frustrated, saying that he knew this was going to happen with out him. He points out to Alfred that while Bruce thinks he's going to grow up to destroy the world, he's been doing some some research, and long story short, The Heretic is indeed the clone of Damian we saw in Batman & Robin #12, way back when.
Elsewhere, things continue to get worse for Batman Inc. The Hood swears allegiance to Spyral, and betrays Jason, Tim walks into a bomb trap set by Talia, and a bunch of Leviathan brain washed kids storm Nightwing and the police, who can't really open fire on children. Meanwhile, Leviathan storms the Wayne Enterprises building, but luckily enough, thanks to Talia calling a guard's attention, Ellie, the girl who Batman got a job to get her off the street manages to escape... hmm.
On the roof of the Wayne Enterprises building, Talia speaks to Bruce who wakes up crammed into a safe. See, Talia is quite clever, as all of the night's trials were tests, tests for her to know just exactly how long it would take him to escape the death trap she's put him in, down to the microsecond. Why does she need to know this? Because by the time he gets out, he will be just that late. It all will be gone... did I mention she has the trigger for the bomb Otto Netz created? No? Yeah, well... Shits fuuuuucked. And into the pool Bruce goes, as The Heretic throws the safe in.
Damian has finally had enough, and tells Alfred he's going out there. Alfred isn't going to stop him, saying that he'll tell Bruce that he was over powered, as he gives Damian his Robin suit. Damian suits up in the tech suits we saw back in The Return, and flies off to save his father... all the while, Dick is being beat up by a bunch of kids, Hood presents a woman in red with Jason, and Tim might be walking into certain doom, as he approaches the Wayne Enterprises building.
This issue continues the break-neck speed of the last one, and just doesn't stop. The drama is high, and action is explosive, and there's FREAKING BATCOW! ...and Titus, and Alfred the Cat, all snuggled up with each other, d'aww... But back to the actual story. The sense of urgency and the team being in a truly dire situation is what helps make this book such an entertaining read. It's the definition of a page turner, and has plenty of it's own "Oh shit" moments, that don't need to be "WTF Certified" (seriously... Seriously?). On top of that, as always, there are plenty of little lines of dialogue and visuals that cater to small details peppered in through out the issue that make it that much more of an immersive experience. For instance, Damian is still a vegetarian, that wasn't just a one off line, it was brought back here. I love that kind of stuff, where if one doesn't pay close attention, little things like that could go completely over people's heads. Gah, this book is just so good.
Fill in art, but I'm just putting that here out of principal. Only three pages, and Jason Masters did manage to blend it pretty well, colors help a lot too.
The Bottom Line:
I mean, what can I say about this book that I haven't already said before? Morrison and Burnham are delivering the final arc that was promised, and things are really starting to heat up in this issue. This title is its own beast (leviathan, if you will) and damn do I love it for that fact. It's hard to make Batman anymore entertaining than this.