Written by: Brian Hill
Art by: Philippe Briones
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Sal Cipriano
Bruce Wayne decides that the best way that he can take the time necessary to think about who Karma is and how the man knows his identity is to take a drive. A drive that worries Alfred. As Bruce takes risk upon risk, a memory from his past unlocks the mystery of who his new foe really is and why Batman is responsible for his existence. The next day, Jefferson Pierce has his first session with his new class Cassandra, Barbara and Duke. Needless to say, they are not in the mood to be taught by anyone and their strong personalities clash with their new instructor.
It’s a testament to Jefferson’s skill as an educator that he is able to take their barbs and scorn and use it as a means of teaching them. While I still have my fears that bringing Black Lightning into this reduces him to a glorified nanny, the exchange between Jefferson and Alfred brings a little bit of comfort. That comfort is short lived when Karma decides to begin the next part of his plan to make Batman the hero he once was and that plan involve kidnapping a busload or children and offering a deadly trade for their return.
Hill has done a great job of making this issue tense and the characters and plot interesting. The connection between Bruce and Karma is interesting as well and it is told in a way that allows Batman to have a moment of self-reflection. Isolating Bruce in this way makes for some interesting dramatic tension between the characters and Jefferson is caught in the middle trying to find his own way.
Briones’ art is beautiful and there are some great panels that I went back over multiple times including Bruce’s drive through the mountains, Batman’s conversation with Gordon and the end of the issue. Those moments are awesome to look at and frame themselves well with the tone of the story.