Tuesday, September 13

Batman: The Dark Knight #4, Detective Comics #880, and Gotham City Sirens #25 (Sep 2011)

“Golden Dawn, Part Four”

Well, contrary to what I thought, this long-delayed story is not ending with #4. There is one more issue after this. What do we find out now? Well, we find out that the mystery girl who previously engaged in Grand Theft Batmobile has made her way home – where her father is being threatened by some ruffians. When she sneaks into her room, she discovers she left something … in the Batmobile. D'oh! We also find that Etrigan seems to have definitely gone bad – I guess demons are prone to that kind of thing. He ends up enthralled to the demoness (?) Blaze, whom I seem to remember. Didn't she put the fire-hurt on the Martian Manhunter a few years ago in a JLA story arc? Not that that has anything to do with this. Bruce Wayne Batman and Dawn Golden, another of his childhood girl friends who seem to pop up all the time in recent years, have a heart to heart and she tells the story of how her life has sucked since a childhood when she was raised by her father basically to be a human sacrifice. Commissioner Gordon finds himself put on administrative leave while he's investigated for corruption. Finally, the cliffhanger ending has things about to get much worse for Batman and Dawn, as they unwittingly stand on a balcony of a building that is being scaled by a horde of gargoyle-like demons. “Next: The Final Battle.”

“My Dark Architect”

For creep factor, nobody beats Scott Snyder. With the Joker on the loose - with a history of targeting his family - Commissioner Gordon (obviously in the middle of a story arc that takes place discontemporaneously with what's going on in Dark Knight)  is warning his ex-wife “Barbara Sr.” (never actually seen that suffix used with a woman's name), and is horrified to be listening even as she is attacked. Racing to her hotel, he finds her infected with Joker Toxin. He gets her medical help in time to save her life. Dick Grayson Batman tracks the Joker to where he's hiding in a crypt beneath Water Street Trinity Church. Joker is babbling about the fact that he's figured out this is not the real Batman – and that only the real one can really hurt him. “Maybe so … but I'm about to get an 'A' for effort.” When Dick announces, “No more hurting the Gordons,” the truth comes out – “wasn't me, wasn't me, wasn't me ...,” cackles the Joker – which explains why the toxin afflicting Barbara Sr. is a very old concoction. “Oh no,” realizes Dick. Simultaneously, Barbara Sr. comes out of her coma, clutches Jim to her, crying, “Jim! Jim, he was so crazy. It was him!” And, simultaneously, Barbara “Jr's” scouring of surveillance video pays off – but too late – her brother is there with her. “Hi there, sis. Aren't you happy to see me?” I take it from her “AAAAGH!” as a small image seems to show him choking her that the answer is “no.” “To be continued.”

FriEnds, Part Three”

Oops, this story didn't conclude last issue. Here's the aftermath of Selina's betrayal of Ivy and Harley. Harley is broken out of Arkham by someone who is basically hiring her to kill Catwoman – which she's all too happy to do at this point. On her way out, she confronts Harley, whom she's got a mad on for also – but gives her a choice. Even as we see Ivy's intriguing meditation on their relationship – “Oh, Harley. The only human I've ever called a friend. To what lengths will I go? What are my own limits? She is the Strangler Fig. And I am the tree, choking underneath. Without me, she could never grow. But without her, I would fall if I grew too tall” – she gives Harley a choice: “I'm going to kill [Selina]. Come with me.” Turns out it's Penguin putting the hit on Catwoman. The issue ends with the three Sirens atop a building – “Are you prepared to die, Catwoman” – “Are you, Poison Ivy?” – “Yes.” – “Me, too.” “To be concluded in Gotham City Sirens #26: Swan Song”


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