Writer: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins
Artist:  Lee Weeks
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $5.99

Now when this book was released, it was labeled as a limited series. My thoughts were that it would have a few issues. I was wrong. It appears each issue will have one specific story and move to the next.

With that said, let's look at one of my most anticipated books of 2019.

The book begins with an introduction to a traveler, Tempus Fuginaut. He can travel through the Multiverse and knows about the Dark Multiverse. He is looking for new heroes forged from fear to fight an upcoming Crisis.

He turns his gaze towards Knightfall. We are introduced to the Knightfall story arc. Where Batman is broken, and Jean-Paul Valley aka Azrael inherits the Mantle Of The Bat. Eventually, Bruce Wayne comes back to reclaim what Azreal Batman perverted. In this world, Bruce Wayne fails and Azrael stays as the new Batman.
Azrael starts by burning Gotham city to the ground and then rebuilds it. 30 years pass and this Gotham is in a period of shift once again. We see Azrael Batman once again. His suit is now an amalgamation of Azrael and Batman and honestly? I think it looks awesome.

Now Jean-Paul Valley is referred to as Saint Batman. He is visibly frail, and wheezes while he was talking with his wife. However, there are tubes in the back of his suit, and with the press of a button, venom courses through his veins, empowering him again.

He has issues though. We are introduced to his annual tradition of meeting with Bruce Wayne. He has kept Bruce alive, but mainly as a head and torso. Bruce's limbs and most of his skull was removed by Saint Batman.

Saint Batman is seeking Bruce's acknowledgment that he was right to hand over the mantle and that Saint Batman's methods were what Gotham needed. If Bruce would admit it, he would end his suffering. Of course, Bruce won't.

After the public slaying of Penguin and a random citizen, five explosions ring out across Gotham City. Saint Batman grabs his venom and goes out to confront those who would dare defy him.

It appears that the explosions were a diversion. Tourne, the son of Bane has come to rescue Bruce Wayne. This character has an important ability. He can summon venom naturally in his body and transform into a jacked-up Bane. Pretty cool idea. After he liberates Bruce Wayne and they escape, we are introduced to his mother, Shiva. She offers Bruce Wayne the ability to become Batman again. She opens a box and the head and torso of Bruce are engulfed by what's released from it.

Saint Batman is being pushed beyond his limits. Much like Bane's plan to wear down Bruce Wayne, the son of Bane and Shiva did the same. The final confrontation is here. The real Batman reveals himself as Tourne and Shiva confront Saint Batman. Batman doesn't quite look right through. His cape is shifting. It becomes clear that he is now remade by nanites.

An epic fight ensues. Eventually, Saint Batman is defeated by a one-arm Tourne, who stabs him in the back. Yes, Saint Batman rips his arm off and drinks it to fuel a venom rage lol. I said it was an epic fight.

Shiva and her son stand before the real Batman and rejoice how healing can begin once again now that Gotham's beacon of hope has returned. Batman reveals that they were wrong and that their vision of Gotham propping up the world would never happen. He promptly kills them both. Then he leans down and tells Jean-Paul finally that he was right, and that his vision was the right one.

Overall, this was a definite good read. I do think it would have benefited from a longer story arc with Saint Batman and a little more time with this new version of Batman. However, I suggest you pick it up and give it a read yourself. #LongLiveTheBat

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