This is a triumph.
Once again, Grant Morrison has constructed a perfect Batman story. Not suprisingly, he does it with the help of some of his best new villains, Dr. Hurt and Professor Pyg.
We see the "return" of Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father, although surely that can't actually be him. He's got the new dynamic duo on the ropes and things aren't looking good. Time to flash back three days! I love the parallels between this intro and Batman RIP. We see Dick Grayson makes a great Batman and Damien is the kind of Robin we all secretly want sometimes. (His scene beating on the Joker is fantastic.) Commissioner Gordon even makes the comment that his officers prefer the Grayson Batman to Bruce's, so clearly more and more people are realizing that the cowl has changed hands.
The Joker is involved too, but like every good Joker story, I'm not sure where this one is going yet. I do know that I'm now ready for Bruce Wayne to come back and kick some butt. There is no shame in Dick Grayson being outmaneuvered by three of the craftiest villains in Gotham.
Frazer Irving's art deserves a ton of the credit for this wonderful issue. Batman's cowl is awesome, the texture doesn't look like it only printed on the page. The Joker's facial expressions are exaggerated to the perfect degree, it felt like Joker was playing up his madness. And wow. Professor Pyg might be the scariest villain I've seen in a long time. That last page really disturbed me. This book is so exciting and so well done, I had to read another comic before hitting the sack last night, I was too wound up after this one.