Riding a wave of confidence brought on by the prototype Bat-suit’s incredible abilities, Terry rushed into a confrontation with Ra’s al Ghul, only to discover an opponent more deadly than he could have possibly imagined. Bruce is in a race against time to save Terry from an opponent he knows better than anyone in his life, friend and foe alike. Will Bruce make it in time? Has Terry finally met his match? Let’s find out.
Writer: Dan Jurgen
Artist: Bernard Chang
Publisher: DC Comics
“RISE OF THE DEMON” part four! Can an older, physically weakened Bruce Wayne come out of retirement to rescue Batman? As Terry battles a renewed and more deadly Ra’s al Ghul in Tibet, only Bruce knows that Terry is facing two life-threatening menaces—Ra’s and the experimental Batman suit that he’s now wearing. It’s a race against time and a battle against impossible odds.
What’s the skinny?
Batman has arrived at the lair of Ra’s al Ghul and the home of the League of Assassins. After a brief confrontation at the end of the previous issue, it was shockingly revealed that Ra’s al Ghul is none other than Damian Wayne, estranged son of Bruce Wayne and former wearer of the mantle of Robin. Bruce races to tibet to rescue Terry and along the way revisits the last time he saw Damian. Through a series of flashbacks, we see the last time father and son were united and get a glimpse into how Damian came to be the leader of the League of Assassins.
Terry faces perhaps the greatest challenge of his life in the form of Ra’s al Ghul, better known as Damian Wayne and a prototype batsuit with an AI that’s hell bent on accomplishing the mission at all costs. Damian has been ever the prideful warrior and in battling his father’s successor he’s found the ultimate insult to his pride. Both Bruce and Terry face deadly opponents that target the core of who they are and challenge everything they proclaim to be.
What’s the catch?
Bruce rushes to rescue Terry from Ra’s al Ghul and the out of control AI Bat-suit. When he arrives he lands at the base of a mountain, atop which rests the headquarters of the League of Assassins. Bruce creates a ridiculously hard climb for himself, one that I don’t believe he could come close to completing at his age and in his poor health. Why not just use the flying Batmobile to land outside the front door?
Is It Good?
As I noted earlier in this review, flashbacks with Bruce and Damian are present. I love the way Bernard Chang handled these. There’s a subtle malestrom-like pattern beneath every flashback panel and the colors have a filter that lightens them in a way that’s very distinct from the rest of the images. Another factor of the art that I really took notice of was the handling of combat. When I read a comic that involves noted martial artists such as Iron Fist, Black Panther, Wolverine and Batman, it’s important to me that the artist showcases their skill. Chang’s panels highlight Damian and Batman’s unique skills and tools beautifully.
My only problem with this issue is Bruce Wayne’s choice to land the Batmobile at the bottom of a mountain. The guy is very old and weak but he’s also off the charts brilliant. I have to believe Bruce Wayne wouldn’t place himself into such a handicap without good reason and I can’t find one.
I’ve never been a fan of the overuse of cliffhangers in comics. It’s predictable and it gets repetitive and boring. It’s not often that two back-to-back issues will both end in major cliffhangers and not frustrate the reader, but that’s exactly what Dan Jurgens has managed to do here: one stunning conclusion leading into the next. The issue addresses Terry’s greatest insecurity–is he good enough to wear the mantle of Batman or is he just a pretender in a fancy suit? While Terry fights for his life against an AI suit gone rogue and the world’s most dangerous assassin, Bruce has to face his own fears and insecurities. Will Bruce fail Terry as he failed Damian and can he still be a use to the world?