When we last left off, Bruce Wayne had just regained consciousness after his beating at the hands of Bane.

Batman #498

Written by Doug Moench
Pencilled by Jim Aparo
Inked by Rick Burchett
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Lettering by Richard Starkings
Edited by Jordan B. Gorfinkel & Denny O’Neil

Bruce has come out of his coma, and he realizes that, at least a present, Bane runs the city.

We see this point illustrated with Bane and crew murdering their way through Gotham’s remaining crime bosses, absorbing their gangs by force in the process. It’s meant to reference the murder montages at the end of the films in The Godfather series, but it feels a little more like the Assault on NERV, in terms of an utterly ruthless, extremely brutal organization killing their way through a group of people who are in no position to fight back.

In the Batcave, Tim is having a rough time with this, but Alfred gets him to keep going, and once he’s composed Tim suggests bringing Dr. Chandra Kinsolving in to do physical and psychological therapy.

This has to be tough for Tim – first his father left comatose and paralyzed, then his mentor.

Alfred, Tim, and Jean-Paul bring Bruce upstairs, with Bruce rambling in a depressed, semi-lucid state before they bring Dr. Kinsolving on board. 

Alfred and Tim put together a cover story of Bruce wrecking a Porsche, and the two smash up one of Bruce’s Porsches before shoving it off a cliff, before bringing in Dr. Kinsolving.

Somewhere in the DC Universe the hosts of Top Gear are weeping openly and they don’t know why.

When Dr. Kinsolving comes in to meet her patient, Bruce is barely cognizant enough to pick up Alfred’s cues on their cover story.

“Ixnay onway Atmanbay, sir.”

Dr. Kinsolving suspects something is hinky with that cover story, but that just gives her more reasons to take Bruce on as a patient.

After she leaves, Tim asks if he should contact Nightwing. Bruce responds no – he’s his own man now. Instead, for the time being, the mantle will pass to Jean-Paul, but with a warning not to challenge Bane.

Elsewhere, Bane tries to recruit Catwoman. She agrees to work with him but not for him. With Batman out of action, it’s hard to turn him down outright.

The issue ends with Robin and Batman II going to meet Gordon at GCPD, as Bruce wonders about telling Chandra that he is–was Batman.

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