Batman revives his gangster alter ego Matches Malone and attempts to get an “in” into criminal organization Leviathan which is taking over Gotham’s underworld by meeting with pint-sized crook Small Fry, but things don’t look to be easy. Meanwhile, the extent of Leviathan’s grip is revealled with members infiltration the legal system, the Gotham Police Department and even the public school system. Matches takes a fancy to a torch singer named Lumina Lux, but that may end up getting him killed.

With the world believing Robin (Damian) to be dead, Bruce forces him to sit out the action. But while Robin may be benched, Damian may have figured out a loophole to get back in the game… or to get himself into hot water.

There are some nice bits of continuity. Alfred tends to Bat Cow. There’s a brief cameo on a computer graph of the original Batwoman, Kathy Kane and Azrael.  Kathy Kane’s appearace is actually kind of odd. Wasn’t she essentially replaced by Kate Kane? Why go to the trouble of reestablishing her and not other more prominent characters like Wally West or Stephanie Brown? Oh well… moving on.

The art by Chris Burnham is very nice! Lots of detail, slightly stylized, just very attractive all around.

The story itself is… good. It’s not great. It’s certainly not bad, but it doesn’t bowl me over. The dialogue is very nice, though. The characters all come across as they should. Morrison obviously loves Damian, so he gets a hefty chunk of the action. Still no sign of Batman’s team… y’know the Incorporated part of the title? I find that odd, but they’ve been gone for two issues, so I’m not holding my breath waiting for them to return. Plus, Looker is getting her own one-shot that may or may not even tie into this series.

All in all though, a solid issue.

Final Score:


Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
Cover by Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn