Batman and Two-Face lay on the road, badly injured by the Beast’s attack. 171 miles down… too many to go. The surviving officers try to stop the assassin but they are no match for him. Batman steps in, and, activating his Bat Knuckles, attacks the Beast. However, the injured Batman is no match for the villain, who begins pummelling our hero. Fortunately, Two-Face joins in the fray, feeling that the Beast is messing around with him and Batman’s bet. In response, the Beast badly injures Harvey with some throwing stars. As the Beast readies to finish his enemies, he is suddenly hit by a car.
Duke Thomas, also known as Lark, these days, has come to the rescue, and takes the two badly injured men to a nearby safe house Batman knows of. After they leave, the Royal Flush Gang approaches the Beast, asking where Batman and Two-Face went. His response… is not very helpful. He did say he was going to make a mess. Meanwhile, the heads of Gotham’s crime families are not too happy with the current situation. The Beast is rapidly spiralling things out of control, and when the madman finds out that they can’t actually afford to pay him, well, it’s a point of concern with Penguin’s colleagues. But Cobblepot isn’t worried. He has a plan.
At the safe house, a long-time friend of Batman named Harold Allnut is able to restore Batman and Two-Face’s health. Duke updates Bruce on the situation back home – the police have a file that supposedly will decrypt itself soon – and, that file is said to contain definitive evidence that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Our hero is undeterred, and insists they push on. Duke accepts this, but goes on to say that the supposed cure Bruce is desperately seeking, well, it probably won’t work. It’s based off a similar compound that was used to cure people infected by the last Joker attack, and it didn’t work then. Bruce doesn’t care. He knows about those tests. But he has to believe there is hope, there, at that house, so very far away.
When Bruce neglects to explain why this house is so important, Duke gets frustrated and decides to head home. So, Wayne reveals that long ago, when he was still a troubled child, Alfred sent him to this house, which was a sort of rehabilitative clinic, back then. There, Bruce met Harvey for the first time. They became close friends and shared some great moments together… before things well… became what they are. It took them a long time to piece together that they had actually met one another as children…
So Bruce is going, no matter what. For his friend’s sake. Duke is pleased, saying he was hoping for an answer like this, he just needed to hear it. Officially on board with this mission, the three head out, and Batman comments that Duke is a good partner. Thomas replies that he’s trying…
Not long after this, they take a boat into a tunnel, when suddenly, they are attacked and the boat is destroyed. Two-Face’s goons pin Lark and Batman to the ground, while Dent taunts his enemy. Two-Face happily mentions that he heard Bruce’s little story about the house, and eagerly points out that Batman was definitely sugar coating their shared history. He also suggests that the cure could easily be a ruse to kill the Dent persona over the Two-Face side of him. Though Batman denies the possibility, Two-Face said he and the Dark Knight always saw the world differently. What do you see now?
Well, here we have another solid issue. There are a few points I want to talk about in this review. First, it should be noted I totally missed the reference that this is supposed to be KG Beast. Apparently my tiny Canadian brain failed to put together Russian guy + The Beast = a pretty obvious reference to KG Beast. Oh well, Snyder went out of his way to make that clear in this issue, and yeah, I like this new take on the villain. This whole action bit at the beginning of the comic was pretty brutal and well done.
Second, I’d also like to point out this comic has lots of great little details. Harold Allnut is a familiar if not previously dead face last seen in Hush. It was a small cameo, but a good one. I like how the blue speech bubble denotes Harold, who is mute, is speaking in sign language. That was cool, I like when writers do little things like this to denote alternate forms of communication and such. I mean, if you have all these talented letterers on hand, you might as well use them.
Third, most things that I’ve been liking about this comic are holding up nicely. The art is polished, the writing is moving along nicely, and overall, this feels like a fresh, different story for Batman. I like how Snyder keeps throwing cool new Batman gadgets our way. They keep things surprising during the fight scenes and add a little bit to the current Batman’s available resources. The villains, also had some great moments in this comic. I like how there’s practically an army of these guys that have shown up in this story so far – that was exactly what I was hoping for out of this arc, and boy has Snyder delivered that in Spades. Hehehehhe, get it? Spades? Let’s move on. I also enjoyed the ending. I can’t imagine Batman has just been blinded or… Two-Faced, but I know one thing for sure – Batman is in rough shape. He’s got enemies all around him and it feels like our hero is circling the proverbial drain. He’s been poisoned, beaten, shot, blown up, and now, has just received a healthy dose of acid. Needless to say, I’m pretty interested in what happens next.
Finally, there’s one other important aspect of this comic worth mentioning that I haven’t really talked about yet. All these issues have included a back-up story with them called the Cursed Wheel. These smaller, bonus stories have largely focused on Duke Thomas. Declan Shalvey, who I’ve been seeing everywhere lately, handles the art well in this comic, and Snyder is producing a pretty solid story, overall. As a rule, I never cover these in the recaps. You’ll have to buy the comics for yourself to get that extra little bit of content, which seems more than fair given how thorough these reviews tend to be anyways, but honestly, the Cursed Wheel has been great so far and is definitely worth your time.
All told, this issue once again gets a firm recommendation. My Own Worst Enemy is not shaping up to be the best Batman story in the world, but it is fun and a pretty great read.