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  1. #271
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Cold Days is one of my favorite stories of recent years. Visually, it's perfect, and maybe my only ultra minor complain is that there's a picture in a wall of the room where the case is discussed that shows a scene from Batman Annual #2 that takes me out of the story for one second. I know it's pretty common to fill screens and pictures in comicbooks with panels from other issues, covers, panels from the same issue, etcetera, but I think some criteria is at hand when it goes against the logic of the fictional world it is in, with exceptions, of course. In this same arc there's a copy of the Batman/Elmer Fudd cover with alterations by Tom King that I think works better and is a nice easter egg.

    Aside for that harmless little detail, I enjoy everything in this short story. The dialogue is great and the points discussed are important not just in the narrative, but outside of it. The images that Lee Weeks uses to carry the dialogue don't come up as filler, but as well thought compositions and with a structure of their own.

    The Better Man is a nice one and done that sadly received some controversy thank to DC's decision regarding the coloring. I would have liked to have seen the original colors, if just for my opposition to dispose of art that has already been done. As an artist, to see that what you did (and intended to be published from square one) will not be seen by the public must suck. The story itself is cute and fun and Matt Wagner did a good job, but I don't think the modern process of coloring fits his style and certainly he has done a better work in many other Batman stories. The cucumber sandwiches metaphor is kinda silly, but funny in the tone of the story

    Beast of Burden has become a much better story with the passing of time thank to the short tale gaining new significance in the issues to come. The buildup to the headshot works, even when I hate the whole Ric fiasco, and I think this storyline may be one of the most straightforward of the run, but a pretty entertaining one. The grunting in the final fight sometimes is way over the top, with some combinations that I have no idea how to pronounce. Tony S. Daniel does a good job, but sometimes he mistakes which side the prosthetic arm of the KGBeast is in, which is something I can't forgive
    Last edited by Chubistian; 03-05-2020 at 10:17 AM.
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  2. #272
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Cold Days is one of my favorite stories of recent years. Visually, it's perfect, and maybe my only ultra minor complain is that there's a picture in a wall of the room where the case is discussed that shows a scene from Batman Annual #2 that takes me out of the story for one second. I know it's pretty common to fill screens and pictures in comicbooks with panels from other issues, covers, panels from the same issue, etcetera, but I think some criteria is at hand when it goes against the logic of the fictional world it is in, with exceptions, of course. In this same arc there's a copy of the Batman/Elmer Fudd cover with alterations by Tom King that I think works better and is a nice easter egg.

    Aside for that harmless little detail, I enjoy everything in this short story. The dialogue is great and the points discussed are important not just in the narrative, but outside of it. The images that Lee Weeks uses to carry the dialogue don't come up as filler, but as well thought compositions and with a structure of their own.

    The Better Man is a nice one and done that sadly received some controversy thank to DC's decision regarding the coloring. I would have liked to have seen the original colors, if just for my opposition to dispose of art that has already been done. As an artist, to see that what you did (and intended to be published from square one) will not be seen by the public must suck. The story itself is cute and fun and Matt Wagner did a good job, but I don't think the modern process of coloring fits his style and certainly he has done a better work in many other Batman stories. The cucumber sandwiches metaphor is kinda silly, but funny in the tone of the story

    Beast of Burden has become a much better story with the passing of time thank to the short tale gaining new significance in the issues to come. The buildup to the headshot works, even when I hate the whole Ric fiasco, and I think this storyline may be one of the most straightforward of the run, but a pretty entertaining one. The grunting in the final fight sometimes is way over the top, with some combinations that I have no idea how to pronounce. Tony S. Daniel does a good job, but sometimes he mistakes which side the prosthetic arm of the KGBeast is in, which is something I can't forgive
    I didn't even notice the picture on the wall. Which one is it?

    Ooops. I also didn't notice KGBeast's arm changing sides. I wonder if his art got flipped - I know that sometimes happens.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown
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  3. #273
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I didn't even notice the picture on the wall. Which one is it?

    Ooops. I also didn't notice KGBeast's arm changing sides. I wonder if his art got flipped - I know that sometimes happens.
    If someone flipped Tony S. Daniel's pencils in Beast of Burden they definitely didn't give much thought on how it would affect the arm problem hahaha. I think it's one of those details that I don't always notice, but once I do, I can't stop checking them out. The picture in the wall is from the second and third page of Batman #52. It's behind Bruce Wayne
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  4. #274
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    If someone flipped Tony S. Daniel's pencils in Beast of Burden they definitely didn't give much thought on how it would affect the arm problem hahaha. I think it's one of those details that I don't always notice, but once I do, I can't stop checking them out. The picture in the wall is from the second and third page of Batman #52. It's behind Bruce Wayne
    Oh, haha, I see it now. I can see how it could drag you out of the story - it's impossible that someone would have made a picture of Batman and Catwoman on the roof and hung it in the courtroom (or is it?), but I think it's really powerful as a subtle nod to why Bruce is so off right now. Plus, it feels a bit funny. Not quite as off the wall as we'll see in a few weeks, but I like how for all the pain and sadness of the last third of the run, there was always little bits of humor, like the cucumber sandwiches, or the guy named Tom who is a Fan of Pharaohs.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown
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  5. #275
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    I've always been a huge fan of these two as a couple. I was frankly a bit disappointed the wedding never happened.

    For these interested an alternate universe version of the events surrounding Bruce's & Selina's wedding (from Batman 50#) begins to unfold in the last chapter (8 but the prologue takes place in chapter 7) of my DC/Marvel crossover "Convergence Point". Will BatCat get a happy ending? And what of Bane & evil Thomas Wayne? -

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1319924...vergence-Point

    If so inclined, enjoy.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  6. #276
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    This week's discussion: The Tyrant Wing, True Strength (58-60, Secret Files #1) (Optional: Annual #3)

    The Tyrant Wing finally picks up the main plot directly again, showing Bane manipulating Penguin, and revealing that Penguin and Bane were behind Batman almost convicting Mr. Freeze in Cold Days. I really liked this. There's a bit of controversy since King intended Penguin's wife to be an actual penguin, and he claims that "it all makes sense given the science of penguins and their lifespans," but I don't agree. In one of the few times I depart from King's intent in interpretation, I think Penny being a human is necessary for the weight of the parallel between Bruce and Oswald to make any sense.

    Jorge Fornes makes his first appearance in Batman, and what an appearance it is. The interrogations of the villains is classic - really reminds me of the rereads I did this week of New Gotham by Greg Rucka - procedural, detective-focused. Mikel Janin, now colored by Jordie Bellaire instead of June Chung, looks really good. Now, some are really mad about the cliffhanger - and I understand that - but I think the bigger cliffhanger for me was "what is Batman feeling," and Knightmares answered that for me in spades (not to get ahead of myself.

    True Strength, the 2-3 page story from Batman Secret Files #1 (really not very recommended, most of the stories are very weak), isn't quite a standout, but it is important for the ending. I'm very curious what people think it means in terms of King's overall Batman project, if you've read it.

    The optional Annual #3 is by Tom Taylor and Otto Schmidt - it's a cute Alfred story, but the villain is really poorly handled, so I'm not as big a fan of it. You could maybe see it fitting into King's overall story in terms of Alfred's place in the plot, but given that Alfred's fate was changed by editorial much, much later in the game, and the Bruce in the Annual doesn't feel at all like Bruce in King's run (he's way too willing to compromise for personal relationships - which maybe you could say is the theme, but I don't think King's Bruce would do it this easily or sentimentally) to me.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  7. #277
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    The Tyrant Wing: I actually like the twist with Penny, though I always suspected she was an actual penguin. I like the parallels between Penguin and Bruce's loses, in the matter of love, and overall I think this short arc gives cohesion to what has happened before and what is to come. The cliffhanger is one of the best of the series and I don't mind that we had to wait so much for the confrontation of father and son now that the story is completed, but at the moment of release, it was kinda painful. I have my buts though. I think the Batman/Gordon conflict developes way too fast and the punch should have been the climax after Batman put a beatdown on the released inmates and Bane (maybe a change in the orders of events could have helped the story). Batman going on a rampage is way too "been there, done that", but it has Jorge Fornés's amazing art, so I can forgive it. Bane's catatonic state should have been adressed before in the run. As it is, the revelation is too abrupt. As a nod to Knightfall's aftermath, it works though.

    True Strength: Even knowing how this story serves a further purpose, I can't get to like it

    Annual 3: A very passionate and cute story, with some good interactions between characters, a typical Tom Taylor issue. Is it perfect? No, but I really enjoy it for what it is. The art is pretty cool too. I think it helps the bigger picture because it adds more to Alfred's role in City of Bane even if it wasn't created with that intention
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  8. #278
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    "Cold Days" is one of my favorite Batman stories. An absolute masterpiece. I mean, it's King applying religious thought and imagery to Batman as brought to life by Lee Weeks. That's just a recipe for brilliance all around. I remember there was some controversy at the time as comic journalists ran with the idea that Bruce was a confirmed atheist. King said that wasn't his interpretation though readers were of course free to decide for themselves. I don't remember Bruce's exact wording but I think the issue is more about him struggling with the concept of God's justice, not disbelief in God Him/Her/Itself. And ultimately the question of faith or lack thereof is secondary to Bruce's conclusion that the Batman is not a deity and needs ordinary people to keep him in check.

    I really enjoy "Beasts of Burden." I think the climactic fight sequence is such a vast improvement on the Bane fight from "I Am Bane." There's a sense of realism to it. I also think it's a love letter to "Ten Nights of the Beast," right down to the "I won't kill you but I don't have to save you" twist which was a thing long before Batman Begins. Generally not a fan of the concept as applied to Batman but it worked here. He's been worn down by everything that's happened up to this point and KGBeast put a bullet in his adopted son's brain. So yeah, I can see Bruce walking away without feeling guilty about it. I feel badly that the Nightwing concept was applied to his solo book in a manner that King never intended--he has the worst luck with that kind of thing, as it happened with Alfred too!

    "The Tyrant Wing" I'm kind of 'meh' on. Not great, not bad. It's there to move the story along I suppose.

    I am a huge fan of "Father's Day" (Annual #3). Gets a few tears every time.

  9. #279
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    "Cold Days" is one of my favorite Batman stories. An absolute masterpiece. I mean, it's King applying religious thought and imagery to Batman as brought to life by Lee Weeks. That's just a recipe for brilliance all around. I remember there was some controversy at the time as comic journalists ran with the idea that Bruce was a confirmed atheist. King said that wasn't his interpretation though readers were of course free to decide for themselves. I don't remember Bruce's exact wording but I think the issue is more about him struggling with the concept of God's justice, not disbelief in God Him/Her/Itself. And ultimately the question of faith or lack thereof is secondary to Bruce's conclusion that the Batman is not a deity and needs ordinary people to keep him in check.

    I really enjoy "Beasts of Burden." I think the climactic fight sequence is such a vast improvement on the Bane fight from "I Am Bane." There's a sense of realism to it. I also think it's a love letter to "Ten Nights of the Beast," right down to the "I won't kill you but I don't have to save you" twist which was a thing long before Batman Begins. Generally not a fan of the concept as applied to Batman but it worked here. He's been worn down by everything that's happened up to this point and KGBeast put a bullet in his adopted son's brain. So yeah, I can see Bruce walking away without feeling guilty about it. I feel badly that the Nightwing concept was applied to his solo book in a manner that King never intended--he has the worst luck with that kind of thing, as it happened with Alfred too!

    "The Tyrant Wing" I'm kind of 'meh' on. Not great, not bad. It's there to move the story along I suppose.
    Cold Days is just amazing. I chatted with both Weeks and King about the faith issue specifically at a con last year, as a Christian myself, and told them I thought it was a really thoughtful, sincere look at the start of a journey, not the ending. Bruce isn't saying he's against God - he's saying he currently doesn't see a way to have faith himself. And he respects the lady who is a Christian on the jury, and it's overall just something I was very moved to see.

    It is funny just how much King's whole run is an homage to so many great Batman stories, but he keeps getting accused of not paying attention to continuity.

    Interesting that Tyrant Wing was so meh for you - I really dig it (while deleting the "Penny is a penguin" thing ).
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown
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  10. #280
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    "Cold Days" is one of my favorite Batman stories. An absolute masterpiece. I mean, it's King applying religious thought and imagery to Batman as brought to life by Lee Weeks. That's just a recipe for brilliance all around. I remember there was some controversy at the time as comic journalists ran with the idea that Bruce was a confirmed atheist. King said that wasn't his interpretation though readers were of course free to decide for themselves. I don't remember Bruce's exact wording but I think the issue is more about him struggling with the concept of God's justice, not disbelief in God Him/Her/Itself. And ultimately the question of faith or lack thereof is secondary to Bruce's conclusion that the Batman is not a deity and needs ordinary people to keep him in check.

    I really enjoy "Beasts of Burden." I think the climactic fight sequence is such a vast improvement on the Bane fight from "I Am Bane." There's a sense of realism to it. I also think it's a love letter to "Ten Nights of the Beast," right down to the "I won't kill you but I don't have to save you" twist which was a thing long before Batman Begins. Generally not a fan of the concept as applied to Batman but it worked here. He's been worn down by everything that's happened up to this point and KGBeast put a bullet in his adopted son's brain. So yeah, I can see Bruce walking away without feeling guilty about it. I feel badly that the Nightwing concept was applied to his solo book in a manner that King never intended--he has the worst luck with that kind of thing, as it happened with Alfred too!

    "The Tyrant Wing" I'm kind of 'meh' on. Not great, not bad. It's there to move the story along I suppose.

    I am a huge fan of "Father's Day" (Annual #3). Gets a few tears every time.
    Though an atheist myself, I have always been of the mind that Bruce is a believer in God and I like that King touched that belief. his exact level of devoutness I can see as debatable. I love the full process of thought Bruce does regarding the figure of Batman as a God and how important it is that people become more judgmental when it comes to him, which can be also applied to online forums hahaha. I like that The Tyrant Wing leaves the question hanging about if Batman knew beforehand that the Beast was being spied on or if it was just luck that there was people to rescue him, and that the conclusion depends in the reader's view on Batman
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  11. #281
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Though an atheist myself, I have always been of the mind that Bruce is a believer in God and I like that King touched that belief. his exact level of devoutness I can see as debatable.
    If by devout we mean regularly reading scriptures, attending services, and praying, then I'd say probably not. But in terms of the way he lives his life, honoring his sacred vow and fighting injustice in every form it takes--even when that form is the Batman himself--then he's very devout.

    You could even argue that "Cold Days" has Bruce playing the God/Christ role as Batman's creator god and his human mediator.

    I love the full process of thought Bruce does regarding the figure of Batman as a God and how important it is that people become more judgmental when it comes to him, which can be also applied to online forums hahaha. I like that The Tyrant Wing leaves the question hanging about if Batman knew beforehand that the Beast was being spied on or if it was just luck that there was people to rescue him, and that the conclusion depends in the reader's view on Batman
    I lean toward Batman knowing, but I like that the question is open-ended. And I think it might be open-ended to Batman too--even if he knew, was he sure they'd get there in time? Typically he doesn't trust others when the stakes are that high. So just the fact that he's willing to play fast and loose with whether or not they'll come to KGBeast's aid is proof that he's not his normal self.

  12. #282
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Though an atheist myself, I have always been of the mind that Bruce is a believer in God and I like that King touched that belief. his exact level of devoutness I can see as debatable. I love the full process of thought Bruce does regarding the figure of Batman as a God and how important it is that people become more judgmental when it comes to him, which can be also applied to online forums hahaha. I like that The Tyrant Wing leaves the question hanging about if Batman knew beforehand that the Beast was being spied on or if it was just luck that there was people to rescue him, and that the conclusion depends in the reader's view on Batman
    Dixon has said he thinks Batman is Catholic because of all his guilt. Maybe because I'm a Baptist, I don't buy it, but I could see that being the case. I personally haven't thought too much about whether Batman has any kind of faith, because his mission is so all encompassing - similar to my thoughts on his politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    If by devout we mean regularly reading scriptures, attending services, and praying, then I'd say probably not. But in terms of the way he lives his life, honoring his sacred vow and fighting injustice in every form it takes--even when that form is the Batman himself--then he's very devout.

    You could even argue that "Cold Days" has Bruce playing the God/Christ role as Batman's creator god and his human mediator.

    I lean toward Batman knowing, but I like that the question is open-ended. And I think it might be open-ended to Batman too--even if he knew, was he sure they'd get there in time? Typically he doesn't trust others when the stakes are that high. So just the fact that he's willing to play fast and loose with whether or not they'll come to KGBeast's aid is proof that he's not his normal self.
    I think Batman didn't know - because his method of beating KGBeast was so violent and very likely fatal. I think he was pretty broken at that time, having lost Selina and Dick - and was reacting rather than acting. It's also very much an homage to the original KGBeast story, where he left the Beast to die in the sewers.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  13. #283
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    The fight with KGBeast is one of my favorites of the entire run, not gonna lie. No words, just noises practically. And pretty good fight choreography. Its an issue that was severely nitpicked at the time and lots of "controversy" over Bruce leaving the Beast to die. But how many times has he done that with the Joker or a host of other bad guys, where he could at least go and make sure they are ok, if that was his choice. He chooses to allow them to fend for themselves and most of the time they bounce back.

    Tyrant Wing was good, in that it did not provide the kind of bookended story arc that one comes to expect. Its messy, open-ended and up to a lot of interpretation on the reader's part. I thought it was an excellent way to show the kind of inner turmoil Bruce was going through at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Though an atheist myself, I have always been of the mind that Bruce is a believer in God and I like that King touched that belief. his exact level of devoutness I can see as debatable. I love the full process of thought Bruce does regarding the figure of Batman as a God and how important it is that people become more judgmental when it comes to him, which can be also applied to online forums hahaha. I like that The Tyrant Wing leaves the question hanging about if Batman knew beforehand that the Beast was being spied on or if it was just luck that there was people to rescue him, and that the conclusion depends in the reader's view on Batman
    The struggle that Bruce went through is something anyone who gave Christianity deep thought would go through. In a way, the jury was really a proxy for that struggle and Bruce, somewhat ironically, was a proxy for God's answer to us on the subject.
    Last edited by Scott Taylor; 03-12-2020 at 11:51 AM.
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  14. #284
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    The struggle that Bruce went through is something anyone who gave Christianity deep thought would go through. In a way, the jury was really a proxy for that struggle and Bruce, somewhat ironically, was a proxy for God's answer to us on the subject.
    I really love the Job quote at the end of Cold Days. Gives me incredible shivers every time I read it, combined with Lee Weeks' rendering of Batman.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown
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  15. #285
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I think Batman didn't know - because his method of beating KGBeast was so violent and very likely fatal. I think he was pretty broken at that time, having lost Selina and Dick - and was reacting rather than acting. It's also very much an homage to the original KGBeast story, where he left the Beast to die in the sewers.
    Gordon floating the possibility that Batman knew the spies would save KGBeast could be read as being informed by Wolfman's Year Three retcon of "Ten Nights of the Beast." Dick pointed out that Bruce did contact the authorities to pick KGBeast up but let too much time pass and it was still a reckless thing to do. So I think that's the interpretative lens I'd go with--Bruce knew, but it was still a dangerous game to play and out of character.

    As far as Bruce's method of beating KGBeast goes, I think it was his only available option in a brutal fight. I read the whole thing as a struggle for survival, not necessarily premeditated in the sense that he specifically wanted to break his neck. But there's all that anger on top of survival instinct and hence the lapse in judgment afterward.
    Last edited by David Walton; 03-12-2020 at 12:23 PM.

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