A young Boy has a strikingly similar story to that of Bruce Wayne’s childhood trauma. Almost too similar.
Writer: Tom King
Artists: Travis Moore
Cover Artist: Tim Sale & Dave Stewart
Colorist: Giulia Brusco
Variant Cover: Oliver Coipel & Dave Stewart
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
Bruce Wayne was a young boy of eight years old when his parents were murdered in front of him. As a result, that young boy made a pledge to avenge the evils of society and wage a war on Crime. He dedicated his every waking moment to achieve this end, not for revenge, but to prevent this type of tragedy from ever befalling another living soul.
What You’ll Find Out:
A young boy named Matthew has recently lost his parents. They were murdered in a most brutal fashion. He is being comforted by the Magnanimous Bruce Wayne. They share a lot in common, and Bruce feels that he can genuinely help the boy.
Matthew is a young Affluent man who is consoled by his Butler Taylor. He even has his Butler call him Bruce or Master Wayne in jest. He seems so distraught, and Bruce tries to help by telling him truthfully after Matthew asks ” Please, you have to tell me, only you know. The pain, does it go away?”
Bruce Replies”I…I wish that I could. I do. But I think it’s better to have the truth to know. It’s Always there. Scratched into you.”
What Just Happened?
Batman, of course, is on the trail of the murderer. He follows up on some leads, that takes him back to Victor Zsasz. The number of stab wounds in each victim seems to suggest a pattern. “Thirty-Seven on the mother. Seventy-Three on the father. That’s how he likes it.”
He and Gordon visit Zsasz. They find that he has some new cuts on his body. He is known to carve a mark on his body for every victim he has murdered, and here are two fresh ones on his arms.
They find that he has never left his cell, but he cut himself with a letter that he received. Some kind of junk mail that was circulated through the Cellblock. It was meant to be uplifting an spiritual, but Batman determines the almost gibberish text is an address backward. (Easter Egg it’s Dennis O’Neil Ave). This leads Batman to a Murder scene.
He confronts Zsasz, who has obviously been communicating with the Copycat, and he is not saying anything. Odd for someone so proud of his cuts.
Another Murder scene, and another Clue. This time the hands of the victims were positioned like the hands of a clock. 11:11 and 11:11 they each pointed to. or as Batman deciphers 11 Twice or 2-2-2-2. Could this be Two-Face? He did recently escape?
He wakes from a restful sleep next to his Bride to be Selina, and says” It’s not Two-Face. if you add them up you get 8. or Two Cubed 2^3, and Two-Face would never make that Mistake.”
This revelation leads Batman to the Address 2202 where he finds a very surprised Butler. Mr. Taylor, Matthews Butler to be exact. Since the evidence leads him to the Murder suspect, he decides to pressure him for some information, Batman Style! By lowering him into a pit of Hungry Lions.
Taylor whilst hung upside down from Batman squeals that he is the Trustee of the Estate for Matthew. Batman send him to prison, leaving Matthew without a guardian.
Bruce takes this opportunity to meet Matthew, and comfort him once again out Matthew.
In his desire to recreate the life of Bruce Wayne, Matthew has created his perfect scenario to assume his version of Bruce’s life. He ordered his Butler to make him Bruce Wayne. Matthew mentions the phrase that Bruce told him “When your parents die. That kind of pain. What it does to you. It’s always there. Scratched into you.” as he etches out his parents Epitaph and writes Thomas and Martha Wayne on the Grave stone as well as his Face. Batman send him to Arkham, and he walks the hall with his scared face and a content smile.
Final Thought: This is a bit of a departure from the story as of late with Batman and Catwoman, but I am glad that we are getting a bit of Bruce Wayne written into the story. Tom King writes Batman as an actual human, and now he has Bruce blended in to show the multi-faceted nature of Batman’s character.The story was a good bit of detective work with an unexpected outcome, but a predictable twist. I enjoyed the details most, the letter, the nod to Denny O’Neil and especially the cover by Tim Sale. Worth a read, but more of a palette cleanse in between stories.
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