After a good amount of time with no contact, Jason finally reaches Roy and Kori who are waiting outside of Gotham, sending a car to pick them up. While waiting for his companions, Jason sits in Wayne Manor, and sees Damian sitting outside alone. He goes out to speak with the kid, and has the closest thing you can get to a heart-to-heart with him before Roy and Kori show up. As Kori embraces Jason, Roy talks to Damian a bit, and one can make an educated guess as to how that'll end up, as Damian leaves to get into something more comfortable...
Once Kori lets Jason down, he asks if she wants to come in, but she's a bit hesitant... Jason understands, and goes in with out her. He brings up how Kori's brain works differently, or so she says... He knows exactly why she's hesitant to go in, because of Dick.
Speaking of Dick, there he is! Jason asks if he's going to say hello, but Dick too declines. Despite all their crap between them, Dick does ask Jason to promise and watch over Kori, to which Jason has no problem with.
Before Jason heads to see Bruce, he ends up having to break up a fight between Roy and Damian... for some reason... should have just let them go, that's entertainment! Anyways, Jason makes his way down to the cave and finds Bruce waiting for him. Jason brings up Superman saying that Bruce vouched for him, which leads Bruce to tell his former ward that he doesn't approve of his methods, but must admit he gets results. Jason grabs his helmet and heads for the door, but not before asking Bruce what he thought of the Joker's "creating" him. Bruce tells him that he is his own man, and not the Joker or he could have created Jason in anyway. Without saying it out loud, Jason thanks Bruce as he leaves.
Before he departs, Jason visits his old room. Alfred finds Jason, light-heartedly asks if he's planning to stay, to which Jason plays along with. If there's one person he can never hold anything against, it's Alfred.
As he's about to leave, Jason puts on his helmet, to find a little surprise for him, a message from the Joker, who is none too pleased about how his favorite pet bird had turned out. Joker killed him, and he came back, it's safe to say Joker doesn't appreciate the joke, so he gives Jason his freedom to be his own man... in the form of an acid bomb inside the mask.
Jason screams out in pain, as Bruce, Alfred, Damian, Roy and Kori rush to him. Bruce takes off the mask, to see that Jason's face has been burt up pretty badly, and now the WTF cover makes sense!
As usual, there were a good handful of great character moments. Damian and Roy's interactions were as expected, but none the less great. The whole Jason, Kori, Dick thing was nice to see (would someone tell that story already!?) and the meetings with Jason and Bruce/Alfred were nice and heartfelt. Art was an improvement as well.
While the art was better, three different artists is a bit annoying. I also have just more logic issues, even for comic books. Are you telling me that the mask that was handled by the Joker, and has been sitting next to Bruce for lord knows how long, no one thought, "yeah, let's look in to that." REALLY!?
The Bottom Line:
If there's one thing you can generally expect from this title, is that every now and then you're going to get a issue full of great character beats, and that's what this issue is. Don't know how bad Jason's face is burned, but damn is it funny to watch fanboys and girls squirm on tumblr. I'm not going to say that I'll flat out miss Lobdell on the title, but these are the kinds of issues that I hope continue when Tynion takes over.