Writer Tom King
Art Lee Weeks
Color Elizabeth Breitweiser
Cover Weeks & Breitweiser
Variant Cover Kaare Andrews
Bruce Wayne had been summoned for the appeal of Viktor Fries for the murder of three women based upon inadmissible evidence. Throughout the trial, we are shown that Gotham’s police seemingly depend on Batman’s ability to gather evidence and coerce confessions from perp to even get convictions from the bigger named villains. Jim Gordon even has a hard time stating to the jury how they would come across evidence that was previously missed. The whole is very sketchy and even Bruce knows this, showing a level of anger and disdain for himself and what’s happening at a level not many of us are used to. At the end of the issue, we are shown citizens of Gotham being complacent to the obvious obstructions of justice they have normalized, ready to send Mr. Freeze to prison for the rest of his life. Being the beacon of justice that he is, Bruce hangs the jury and votes no to this.
The jury is becoming increasingly frustrated with Bruce, trying to reason with him by presenting the facts in a similar manner to how Batman himself presents them to the police and how they, in turn, present them in court. Proving that there is a prevailing bias for Batman’s detective skill, an infallibility in his investigations that allow for people to form prejudices based upon who Bruce himself determines is a “bad guy.” This notion not only frustrates Bruce but show us, the audience, what exactly goes on in Gotham. Tom King does a very good job at showing us a side of Gotham that is very reminiscent of Amerca as a whole. That the opinions of the crowd are easily swayed by whoever that specific group decides to deify.
This issue is great in my honest opinion, it shows us a darker side of what exactly it is Batman (and by extension the bat family) does. Honestly, it’s not looking good for my man Bruce here, with how the evidence is presented, its hard to fathom that Bruce is anything short of a rich, costumed, nonlethal George Zimmerman. Taking down folks based on more than hunches but making folks feel threatened enough to take lethal action against him. King and his cerebral writing have me feeling like I’ve idolized the wrong hero growing up, it hurts but the facts are there. I know in my bones this will turn out to be a plot device for another conflict, but even then I will always look back at this issue and wonder if the person Batman is beating on deserves it, or does he just have a hunch.