Written by Tom King
Art by Mikel Janin
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Clayton Cowles
The Rundown: Bruce takes on Thomas Wayne in a desert brawl as father and son work out some simmering family issues.
Both Batmen have to fight for their lives against a desert cult dedicated to protecting the largest source of Ras Al Ghul’s power. As they make their way closer to the source, the two discuss Bruce’s childhood, specifically a story Thomas read to his son every night. One that will mirror the current situation the two find themselves in as they finally make it to their destination.
With Thomas’ victory at hand, the father and son will have a final reckoning as Thomas prepares to take the mantle of the bat away from his son for the sake of family. Bruce will show his father that Batman is more than a mantle and as the two of them fight beneath the Earth, only one will emerge from its depths.
The Story: Tom King tells a very human story in this issue. While the pacing was a little slow at times, the substance of the story drew me in. The dynamic between Thomas and Bruce is interesting and King fleshes out Thomas to be more than a simple villain. His motivations are complex, but also rooted in the same type of obsession that plagues Bruce but on a deeply personal level.
The Art: Because of the desert setting of this story, Mike Janin moves the camera in for more close up panels of the characters. Stripped of all the outside distractions, the art complements the personal, one on one aspect of the story. The story is about father and son and Janin’s art focuses on that to great effect.