Even though I think Pete Tomasi has been writing the hell out of this book, I've been teetering on the edge of dropping the title for the past four issues. Mopey, sad bastard Batman is not my favourite Batman... in fact, he's my least favourite Batman. I know his kid died, and as a parent I agree that is a trauma not easily overcome, but as a comic book fan, I a) still don't like Damian's death as a creative choice, b) don't like the "team-up" nature of helping Bruce deal with his grief, thinking it undermines the trauma and c) am still trying to understand the timeline of Damian's life...was he 10 or, really, only like 2 years old? And really, wasn't he with Dick almost as long as he was with Bruce?
Anyway, it's fitting that Dick, Captain Sunshine, would be the one to help Bruce out of his funk through a smelly, bullshit Virtual Reality simulation that allows Bruce to keep replaying the climactic battle with Talia and co. I hate Virtual Reality in modern day fiction. It's so far away from being anywhere close to the promised land of the Holodeck that most feigns at making it seem like a believable technology always take me out of a story, even one where guys put on masks and capes and punch each other in the face for fun. The Danger Room gets a begrudging pass, but I give that special props to being manipulated by super-geniuses and future-folk. Other teams having a Danger Room-like place are BS.
That said, the final page of this book did cut me a little, I felt the tears welling up. We've been dealing so much with Bruce's grief and guilt that we've seen none of Alfred's, or Dick's or anyone else for that matter (well, I don't read any other books, so it may have been handled over in Teen Titans or Nightwing). It's a beautiful scene, and nice to finally see Bruce thinking of someone else other than himself for a change. Now, next issue, in 2 months time, is going to be the litmus for whether I continue reading. Where does Batman and... go from here. Carrie Kelly is fine but I'm not sure I need to be around for it