The Spoilers:Alfred and Dick aren't so different. They've both been lying about stuff recently, but as Alfred puts it, while suiting up Dick with a disguise, they're just performers. Dick then goes to speak with Bruce, under a disguise as one Mr. Sparrow, and they chat as if Dick was an old friend Bruce can't seem to remember. Ultimately, Dick asks if Bruce is happy, and while Bruce thinks he is, there's something he's not quite getting… PERHAPS A TRANQ DART TO THE NECK WILL HELP.
Agent 0, of Spyral fame, comes crashing in through the window and tells Dick that it's time for him to come home, and if he doesn't, they'll tell the whole world that Bruce is Batman, which would fuck some stuff up in more ways than one given the current situation. Agent 0 isn't a monster though, she'll let Dick spend 24 hours in Gotham and say his hello/goodbyes to all his little friends. So he does… and reactions are mixed.
Jason and Tim don't take it well (Jason especially). Babs gives Dick a "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed" claiming that Dick doesn't die, he just disappoints, while Damian is surprised/pleased to see Dick alive (same could be said for Dick reacting to seeing Damian alive). Regardless of the initial reactions, Dick convinces everyone to at least hear him out as he gives them a present from the cave along with a little emotional speech… But each time he gives the speech, everyone catches on to something… He's using code in the words he chooses.
Remember Grayson: Futures End? Cluemaster's Code? Every first letter of each sentence Dick says spells out "Break it." Inside there are instructions for everyone, Damian needs to find The Hood, Tim and Jason need to use Hood's info to hack his system, Barbara needs to cover it up to make it look like Checkmate did it… What's this all for? So they can take control of the hypnos, which comes in use for the first time when Dick comes face to face with Agent 0, and see's through her blurred out face and learns her name…
What the FU--END!
The Opinion:I'll get to Netz in a second, if you follow me on twitter, you've probably already seen my thoughts. As for the bulk of the issue, it was really great. Through out each scene of Dick talking to his family, I thought something was up when everyone started to speak up after Dick's speech. I thought he was using the hypnos to broadcast something in their head or something, but when Damian finally spells it out I just kind of went "GAH! Tom King you clever bastard!" Not only did he perfectly utilize an element from the Futures End issue, which have since been long forgotten by a majority of the series. I'm not just starting to question everything I've read, and I borderline want to go back and check to see if anything was hidden throughout the series… I'm totally going to do that aren't I?
Before we get to Ms. Luka. If Bruce is all "I don't remember anything?" What's the point of putting Dick in a disguise? Just be like "Hey Dick, don't talk about Batman stuff, okay?"
SO, LUKA. Shut up, your name is Kathy Kane. We all know it is. Go to the Grayson Vol. 1 trade and in the back, read the pitch from Tim Seeley where it's all "KATHY KANE this, KATHY KANE that." Now admittedly, Luka Netz could be Kathy Kane's birth name, since she was the daughter of Otto Netz, but obviously never went by the Netz name. But for the sake of criticism, let's pretend that's not the case, and this is just Luka Netz. New character.
BOY does that make this a shitty reveal, doesn't it?
There is nothing that annoys me more than a comic book mystery that leads up to a big wet fart of nothingness. This reveal makes the mystery utterly pointless, because the answer is a new character that no one had any chance of figuring out in the first place. Basically, here's how it goes "HAHA! You thought its as Kathy? We fooled you! Red herring all along! It was really this new character! WE GOT YOU, IDIOT!"
Imagine someone said "Guess a number between 1 and 10" and showed you a fuzzy image of what that number was going to be. You see there are clearly two digits. The only logical answer is 10, right? So you say 10, then the person goes "Nope, wrong! It was 13!" spits in your face, slaps you, then runs off laughing. Yeah, that sucks doesn't it? That's this reveal. This potentially being a new character just completely invalidates any sense of mystery or secrecy that lead up to this point, because the answer has zero reason to have been kept secret in the first place.
So, one of two things happened, either Kathy Kane got the boot somewhere between the series beginning and now, because like I said, the evidence is literally in writing, I physically held it in my hands this morning just to confirm what I already knew… Or, DC went "Kathy Kane and Kate Kane is confusing! Let's give her a real different name!" and it really is just Kathy Kane and my reaction means nothing.
Either way, fantastic issue as usual, but that was a crappy reveal.