I figure today is a good day to bring this bit of art made for the series and to say Happy Thanksgiving!
Anyway, since it seems like I’m eternally behind, my thoughts on a big chunk of issues:
The truncated version of The Cult was nice to see – like Knox said, would have been nice if they showed it was around Jason’s era, at least, but hey, I like that they were at least trying to find ways to put some of those classic stories in this truncated timeline.
The stuff in Brazil with Batgirl, Red Hood & Batwoman was also cool – an interesting combo you wouldn’t have seen that often (hell, I don’t think Jason interacts with Kate at all after this until Rebirth). Though the thing with Babs telling Jason that he’ll “never be Dick Grayson?” Kind of a d-bag move. Though I guess you can say that’s just her being upset that her kinda-sorta-maybe boyfriend/bat-school sweetheart is probably off with some form of the Titans boinking Starfire at this point.
The story with Batman, Bard and Killer Croc was cool because it helps further Croc’s arc to being less of a big dumb evil guy for Batman to smack around and more into a morally grey, sometimes-good-sometimes-bad protector of the Gotham Underground.
Also, the break-in to Blackgate was a neat story beat, giving Jim something to do while also formally introducing the Celebrese family into things. I thought it was funny that Harper Row’s dad was in here, like literally, the only reason why he would be around and now cowering in a corner wetting himself is because of her daughter playing a bigger role in the story.
Finally: Alfred, I know at times it seems like you just were born a Gentleman’s Gentleman ready to serve your charge, but come on. You were young once. You should know that is NOT what Julia meant when she said she was going for “high tea.”
Speaking of, this is the part where Julia FINALLY gets into the Cave, starts working with the family under “Penny-Two.” With this, I have to say that this is probably my favorite take on the character, and I kind of wish she was still around. I mean, with Alfred currently deceased, this would be the perfect time to bring her back, DC, just sayin’…
And speaking of truncating and adding classic stories, now we get the addition of Hush in here, which is…okay. At this stage, he kind of feels like an empty shell that could have been anyone. Maybe it’s because I don’t think he and Batman haven’t fully met yet? Or maybe it’s because I know he’s not the real villain of the piece. I dunno, either way, it’s certainly not in the pantheon of best Hush stories.
Another big thing in this story is Selina being revealed to be the daughter of Leo Calabrese and being charged to lead the crime family to save Gotham. I rather liked this moment – it sets the seeds for a VERY GOOD run of Catwoman later. However…I do find it a little odd that they don’t just bite the bullet and make her a Falcone. I guess the writers thought that it would be a surprise (which to their credit it is), but having her be the daughter of a new crime family never mentioned before this story and likely never really mentioned again kind of gives the reveal less teeth.
Finally, the other big thing is Stephanie Brown’s first real venture as The Spoiler going after and beating her father. It was a cool action scene, with a nice bit of symbolism to her past with her falling as a child. I dunno, it was just really good to see Stephanie back.