Karma had made a very large statement, kidnapping a news anchor and burning her to death after she sends Gotham a message – Batman’s kids for theirs…Goading Batman into his trap in his effort to make him “better.” However, against his wishes, the rest of the family mobilizes anyway with Barbara sending Cassandra in to run recon while she runs support. This undermining of authority infuriates Jefferson, but for now, they have to suit up and help Batman and Orphan. When Orphan arrives, she gets an immediate perspective on what is going on there. Karma had put the children bound and gagged in a circle with a large explosive in the middle. When she’s done observing, Batman finds her and cuts off communication in the local area including her support from Barb. The two decide to divide and conquer – Orphan gets the bomb, Bruce gets the ne’er-do-well. Without support from Barb, Cassandra knows little more to do with this bomb than to punch it. Meanwhile, Karma and Bruce have a much-needed dance of violence in tandem with conversation. Karma remains in a solid advantage being able to read Bruce’s mind and starts getting the best of him. Just in the nick of time, Jefferson shows up at the scene and places a polarity shield on the bomb which allows Orphan a perfect moment to get the kids out of there. Upon return, she brings a means of escape and it’s time to go, Bruce now has to run after taking more than few lumps and no means of besting this new foe. Bruce then has to lay down the law on his kids, Jefferson has the authority and speaks for Bruce.
Katana brings intel stating that Karma got the mask from an arms dealer in Markovia that deals exclusively in experimental tech. The intel comes from the files Amanda Waller got from Brainiac. At the same time, Karma has hired some mercenaries to take a stand in the lobby of Wayne Enterprises. Killing an employee and taking the night guard hostage, Bruce again suggests that he do this alone. Considering how the last exchange went, Jefferson refuses and insists on bringing the team that Bruce insists on him teaching. They raid the lobby and subdue the mercenaries, now it’s Bruce’s turn to prove himself as he faces Karma for their final showdown.
This issue was very well done! Doing well to continue into the next arc and direction for the series, while simultaneously showing us a Batman that feels that maybe he is, in fact, losing his edge. Black Lightning stepping up to the plate as the true teacher was a very nice touch to this beat, showing us that the family may have been taught sloppily how to handle their crime fighting. The art style does well to convey the raw emotion of a scene without losing its action-packed pace then slowing down proper for everyone to be debriefed.