Injustice 2 Chapter 52 resolves several cliffhangers and brings the current narrative arc to a satisfying, if mournful, close.
There will be spoilers…
OH MY GOD SHE DID IT!!!
Remember last recap when I said Athanasia had better not shoot that puppy?
Rest in Peace, Ace the Bat-Puppy. You survived Amazogeddon, only to die at the hands of a dangerous assassin with the emotional maturity of a 12 year old. You will be missed.
Once again, writer Tom Taylor reminds the readers that no one is safe in this narrative, even puppies. And it’s ridiculous and somewhat sublime; with the stratospheric body count this series has racked up, one more death really shouldn’t make a dent. But it does. Once again Bruce has lost someone he loves to gun violence. Granted, Ace hasn’t been around long, and likely served more as a reminder of his failure to protect the people of Delhi than anything else, but even so, Bruce chose to take in and care for the orphaned dog. It’s kind of a Batman tradition.
Alfred attempts to defuse the situation by taking Ace’s body from Athanasia, but Batman’s pissed, and uses the distraction to disarm his daughter. Unfortunately, Bruce doesn’t appear to be operating at his best, cognitively speaking. Not only does he waste time taking apart Athanasia’s gun after taking it from her, he forgets to account for the fact that Athanasia carries two pistols. With surprising speed, she knocks Batman and Alfred unconscious.
Both men awaken later, tied to chairs, as Athanasia goes off on her absentee father. She’s in full righteous teenage anger mode, and once she starts ranting, she has trouble stopping, as years of resentment and loneliness and fear boil over. Bruce apologizes, and (truthfully) argues that he didn’t know about her. But Athanasia isn’t having any of it, making the quite valid point that Batman is the world greatest detective…Bruce’s infallible reputation makes it hard for a long lost daughter to believe he simply didn’t know about her.
It’s a tense conversation. Athanasia has lived a traumatic life, and likely has never had a chance to vent about it before now. She reminds Bruce that she’s already died and gone through the Lazarus Pit, which likely has something to do with her stunted emotional maturity. The Lazarus Pit doesn’t come without side effects, many of them neurological in nature, and Athanasia was young when she was reborn.
A quick scene change reveals that Selina Kyle has survived, recovering in the Bat Cave with the aid of Brother Eye. She’s hurt, though, and not sure if she can effectively help Bruce out of his current predicament. Luckily, though, Brother Eye reports that other assistance has arrived…
Back to Athanasia and her captives, where she’s almost finished her denouncement of Batman’s dad credentials. She doesn’t want an apology, she doesn’t want a new start, she just wants to kill the man she holds responsible for the destruction of her life. She’s interrupted, however, by the arrival of the other members of Batman’s Insurgency, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Steel, Booster Gold, and Harley Quinn, who make quick (and delightful) work of taking out Athanasia.
Bruce and Alfred are rescued, Athanasia is captured, and Batman is reminded once again that it’s okay to ask for help. And wonder of wonders, he says “Thank you”! Friends are the family you choose, and even Batman’s gotta admit he gets by with a little help from his friends. It’s odd, and a little discomfiting, that it’s taken this level of destruction to start to humanize Batman, but that’s what Injustice 2 is giving us, and it’s a heartwarming end to story that began with the death of a puppy.
Injustice 2 Chapter 52, published by DC Comics on 4/3/18, features writing by Tom Taylor, lettering by Wes Abbott, and art by Bruno Redondo, Juan Albarran, Rex Lokus, and Alejandro Sanchez.