|The Venom Connection|
Writer: Doug Moench
Penciller: Jim Aparo
Inker: Scott Hanna
Azbats is taking a bitch slap to Tough Tony telling him to get Bane in line for him. Azbats could care less about Tony's kids being held ransom by Bane. Robin seems worried about Azbats becoming more violent towards the criminals they are sworn to stop. But for some reason it's take awhile before Robin decides to tell Bruce that he may have made a mistake.
Azbats returns to the Batcave to find Bruce and Alfred there. Bruce fills in Azbats about Tim Drakes Dad and Shondra Kingsolving being taken hostage. Bruce learns that one of the gunmen has been vaccinated for Malaria. This leads him to give a call to oricale to trace the gunmen back to the island of Santa Prisca. (Home to Bane.) Bruce and Alfred leave the cave and everything in to Azbats as they get ready to track down Tim's dad and Dr. Kingsolvings.
Robin shows up at the cave to drop dime on Azbats only to find him in a deep trance and creating some freaky new gauntlets. Azbats says that his is sorry for the way he acted earlier with Tough Tony. He promises to work better with Robin to hold back the tide of crime in the city. Using his weird power called "The System" given to him by "The Order of St. Dumas" to help him in his quest to become the latest Azrael, he really spends the day bringing his strange looking gauntlets into creation.
Selina Kyle is trying to book a flight to Santa Prisca but can't seem to get a flight. She then learns that Bruce Wayne is using his private jet to go there as well in his search for Jack Drake and Shondra Kingsolvings. Selina sneaks on board after being tossed out when asking if she could catch a flight in the jet.
Bane learns of Jean Paul acting as Batman and vows to break him just like he did the original Batman. Bane sends his henchmen Zombi, Trogg and Bird to oversee the return of Tough Tony's kids and to take out the new Batman. When the exchange is going down Azbats jumps the gun and almost gets Tough Tony's kids killed. Azbats defeats Trogg, Zombi and Bird and swears that Bane falls next.
They story is action packed and has a great deal going on in the twenty two pages. Doug Moench again shines with his awesome dialog. Every word comes across as natural. I love the depth of Jim Aparo's Batman. Look at how freaking huge Azbat's hands are. Totally not a man you want to piss off or go up against in a bar fight. The cover by Kelley Jones is the real selling point for the book. Even if you aren't keeping up with the story the cover just makes you go "What the hell is going on in this Batman book?"
Next: Detective Comics #666