Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ryan Benjamin
Summary: We begin with our Nightwing and Robin fighting a cult Scooby-Doo gang. We cut back to Bruce and Jezebel Jet on a date when she goes off on him for being a phony but Bruce is playing it all cool when the waiter suddenly collapses and some one with 9 eye tats on his finger busts into the scene. He kidnaps her and manages to smack Bruce around. We get a brief clip of Talia, Damien, and Merlyn hanging out at their artic base. The 9 eyed man is taking Jez out and tells his body guards to handle their business but Bruce beats them down off panel and he gets really freaked. Nightwing and Robin are fighting some D-list villain and talk about Bruce's diminishing mental health and how the man is due for a breakdown. Robin takes down the D-list villain and they mention the isolation experiment when they see the restaurant Bruce is at, explodes. The 9 eyed man takes Jez into the kitchen and he is pretty freaked at this point. Talia gets news of what's going down with the 9 eyed man and decides to mobilize because they got a feeling shits about to blow up. Nightwing and Robin bust in and are ready to beat some people down but Bruce has already blazed a path to the 9 eyed man. Bruce is beating him down back when Nightwing and Robin get into the room and Jez figures out that Bruce is Batman.
Comments: What do I say about this issue? First time I read it, I extremely disliked it and manage to get into an argument with Sports God about whether this issue was relevant or not. As i mediated on it during a less than thrilling math class it came to me. This issue is meant to show the toll of all of Bruce's adventures coming down on him. The man at this point has been at it so long that hes finding it harder to come back from being Batman. He carries a huge burden seeing as he has no super powers yet kicks Superman's ass annually. The art in this issue is terrible. It looked rushed and very sloppy. Bruce looks like an ape and seems to gain and loose muscle mass every panel. There are very few good panels and they aren't even average. I'm so glad he was a fill in. Story wise this wasn't the best but I concede that Sports God is right and in retrospect this issue will be important. Morrison is writing this to be a novel and you can't put too much emphasis on any individual issue until you see the final product. I understand that the point of this issue is to emphasize the toll of having to give up all and any chance of happiness you have to complete your mission. I think Batman will come out of this with a new perspective on the mission, whether it is good or bad remains to be seen. This isn't the strongest issue of Morrisons run and the art doesn't help it either. It is worth a read and I think you will have to read this within the context of the entire run.