An extremely short post before we reach the last issue of the run. Really, there’s not a lot you can say about this one seeing as the bulk of it is made up of Batman’s fight with Damian’s clone, the “fatherless” of the title, who is referred to on the book’s jacket as “the heretic” as well. It’s an exciting fight, not only for being action packed, but because Bruce is fucking furious with this guy for killing his son – just look at all the guy’s expressions that Burnham draws. Crazy.
It ends quite abruptly, however, with a reveal that I hadn’t paid any thought to: what this guy looks like under his mask. Quite strange that it never occurred to me, seeing as I acknowledged quite early on that he was probably an accelerated-aged Damian. Still, even if I had considered it carefully, what would probably have never crossed my mind is the the idea that he actually has a baby face for a grown man’s body, particularly hideous in this scene because when Beryl – who wants to kill him for what he did to Cyril – used her sling shot on him a while ago, she actually took out one of his eyes. Seriously, Bruce lets the man-baby go free when he finally looks upon him face to face, actually going, “Urr. God. No.” in disgust, and no bloody wonder.
Still, the killer of what I think was probably a lot of people’s favourite character by that point doesn’t get off scot-free, which is somewhat of a…comfort. I don’t know – once I saw his face, I was as revolted as Bruce, so when Talia decapitates him for failing her at the end of the chapter I didn’t exactly give off a massive cheer or anything. It came as a surprise to see Talia casually murder him, though it’s actually fairly obvious in hindsight. One of the things I hadn’t mentioned about previous posts was that, since the guy killed Damian, she’s been pretty pissed off, not letting him call her “mother” anymore, and having the people who made the fight against Damian unfair killed via apparent skull crashing. Lovely.
Incidentally, seeing as I have nothing else to say about this penultimate chapter of our run, I suppose I should also mention another thing I forgot to bring up in my last few posts. Somehow Talia has time to go see her father in his little prison shortly after Damian’s killed and there we find Ra’s playing chess, and paying his daughter, um, compliments: “Bravo. You have become a monster at last. […] I salute you.” Yet he also implies that she’s forgetting “one vital detail”, which I now believe is Kathy Kane’s involvement in all of this. As is revealed near the end of this, apparently to prepare us for the last, Spyral is some kind of “international intelligence community” who has been closely monitoring Bruce, and supposedly Talia, ever since the former created Batman Incorporated. What has this to do with Ra’s’ scene?
Well, the thing I noticed in his scene, that I meant to mention, was that he’s using red and black chess pieces, a familiar pairing of colours in this run, black representing chaos, and red the power of good. The really important thing about this game he’s playing is that he uses a black horse to take the red’s queen. When you get to the end of this issue then, take careful note of how Talia refers to herself after killing Damian’s brother: “I’m the wire mommy. The red queen.” Then look back at Spyral’s latest, possibly last, scene: their logo is red and black too. Though it’s inconsistent with what these colours have typically represented, as Kathy Kane wouldn’t appear to be a villain, it does look like pretty heavy foreshadowing that Talia will indeed be filling that second grave of Bruce’s vision, and that the one killing her will be Kathy.
That we’ll find out in the next post. It’ll probably be quite a long one as I want to cover every little thing that I can so that my follow up post, to end my write-ups of the run, will be focused on it all as a whole, not tying up loose ends that I may have missed in the last ever issue. See you then.