The Long Payback
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Phil Hester
Inker: Ande Parks
Colorist: Michael Spicer
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover: Bernard Chang and Marcelo Maiolo
Last time: Terry clashed with his old foe the Stalker; and among a truly rare moment of peace he got to spend with his girlfriend Dana, the Stalker smashed in, and left Terry and Dana falling to their deaths.
What’s Happening? With Reed Strong: As Terry and Dana plummet to the earth, Terry’s wings manage to self-repair in time to drop Dana safely on a building, before flying right back into the fray. The two trade blows until Stalker manages to start a getaway in his ship, Terry getting blasted in the afterburners. Meanwhile, the shadowy figure been seen tying up criminals around Gotham struck again, much to the admiration of the streets’ citizens. As Bruce and Matt watch Terry’s struggle from the Batcave, Terry manages to strike at the exhaust and bring the ship down, as Stalker tumbles out. As Terry strikes at his foe, Stalker gets the upper hand and begins to strangle Terry; reminding him that his cause is noble, saving his starving village- and if someone has to die for them to live, so be it.
Reed Strong’s Good Read: This hasn’t been a particularly exciting arc so far, but there’s something to be said for formula. Similar to the one-shot that came before these three issues, just seeing Terry get to clash with an old rogue while we get a healthy balance of mystery in the b-plot is what helped the show do as good as it did, and it does the comic justice as well. Stalker isn’t the most interesting lead, but he’s noble and giving him a real, tangible sense of stakes helps makes Terry’s struggle and battle interesting enough to keep going.