Written by: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason
Art by: Jorge Jimenez
Colored by: Alejandro Sanchez
The story begins in Wayne Manor and Bruce Wayne is sitting in a chair reminiscing about lessons learned and his former teacher advising to use darkness as his ally. Future Batman, Tim Drake, suddenly crashes through the window to greet Bruce! Batman kicks Bruce in the chest sending him flying while verbally chiding Bruce. Batman of the future asks Bruce if he’s surprised to see him back on this world so soon. The Tim Drake of the future storyline is being told in Detective Comics currently. Bruce challenges Tim’s typical thought process of sacrificing the lives of others to complete a larger mission. Bruce Kicks Batman through a wall to emphasize his resolve to stop him from killing anyone else.
The story continues as a verbal sparring match occurs while the two combatants beat each other physically. Tim calls Bruce out for his judgmental “Bruce knows best” perspective. Bruce tells Tim Drake to leave. However, Tim isn’t leaving until he gets what he came for. Bruce tells Tim, “you’ll have to go through me.” The physical fight escalates. Tim throws a knife at Bruce. Bruce pulls the knife from his leg and throws it at Tim. Tim draws a gun and shoots Bruce in the chest and Bruce collapses in a heap. Tim collects Bruce’s limp body and tosses it into a box then heads to the Fortress of Solitude.
Meanwhile, Superman is cleaning up the damage caused by Mr. OZ (See Action comics). He is recalling his decision to include statues of his parents in the Fortress of Solitude to embrace his Kryptonian heritage along with his earthly upbringing. Helex joins Superman in the task. Suddenly, future Batman appears firing a pair of guns as he enters the Fortress. Superman plows Batman off his feet and tosses him into a wall. Superman recognizes the suit enhancements. Tim informs Superman that he is using a voice disguiser. Superman slaps the device off his face as a show of strength.
A verbal exchange ensues, Superman asks Batman why he came to the the Fortress of Solitude and who sent him? Batman says, “To make sure that you don’t stop me from completing my appointed task.” Batman shoots Superman with arrows from his forearms, which Superman stops them with his heat ray eyes. However, in the process gases are released which are meant to slow Superman down. Batman gains control of Superman’s Krypton battle armor and goes on the attack. Batman tosses Superman through the side of an ice wall and out of the Fortress. However, Superman regains his balance and drives himself into the battle armor, rips it open, and tosses Batman out onto the frozen ground. Superman asks Batman what he is here to prove. In a sudden twist, Batman ignites a trap made of red kryptonite and captures Superman. Batman tells Superman that with Bruce Wayne and Superman out of the way he can now complete his mission:to kill Superboy.
This is a fast-paced book with action throughout. The fighting between Bruce Wayne and Tim Drake is intense and crisp. Tim Drake operates like Batman: he has a plan and a backup plan for everything that Bruce Wayne and Superman throw at him. He defeats them both with relative ease, given that he’s captured both in one issue. When Tim Drake says that his mission is to kill Superboy, as a reader, I believe that he will fulfill his mission.
The art is gorgeous, and the depictions of Bruce Wayne, Superman, and Tim Drake as future Batman are spot on. Bruce Wayne is depicted as a grizzled yet confident warrior who is convinced that he will stop Tim Drake. Superman is portrayed as an all-powerful being who can literally walk through walls of Ice. Tim Drake, future Batman, is depicted as a Batman who’s advanced in both technology and the wisdom gained by having lived in the future. This is a must-read issue as it connects to storylines that are developing in Detective Comics currently. It reads as impactful and not just a throwaway, like some tie-in issues can.