I was finally able to find this issue. I think my local comic shop was clearing out files from folks that haven’t been paying for what they’d ordered. Oh well, it worked in my favour!
The cover features Bruce Wayne on the top half staring at the Batman costume, perhaps contemplating giving it up? The bottom is Nightwing and Batgirl swinging into action. It’s very simple yet elegant, and promises an issue in which the Bat-Family takes the forefront.
Again, the art follows in the same vein as the previous two issues, and is really fitting for the story that Murphy and Hollingsworth are telling. It’s a dark story with excellent art that reflects that. You can actually feel the oppressive darkness in the air in Gotham just by looking at the pages. The book is beautiful.
The book opens on a new Joker suiting up, monologueing about how Harleen Quinzel is ruining her Joker. That’s right, the Harley replacement is shaping up to be the series new antagonist. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. Shortly after we see the Bat Family fighting all the mind controlled rogues from the end of last issue, and as usual, Bruce seems to be taking things too far. We can see that he is losing control, and both Nightwing and Batgirl are growing to fear that they can no longer stay by his side. We see less of Jack Napier, but he is slowly working to take over the city from the political arena, working to consolidate support from all over Gotham. But this issue is more focused on Batman, and the loss he suffers midway through the issue when Alfred passes away feels like it is going to break him. This issue seems like it is a little heavy on story development, which means that we’re likely to see more action in the next couple of issues.