A few issues ago, Jason Bard was so amoral and unhinged that he was working with Hush to kill Batman all because some caped nut-job had killed his crush a few years ago. It wasn't even just that he wanted to kill Batman; he was willing to sacrifice his own men to do it. Now, we're supposed to believe that his sins are all forgiven. He's learned his lesson and, even though said lesson had a body count, we're supposed to accept the fact that he's ready to be a good guy again. He heroically demands that Mayor Hady exonerate Gordon because he has the evidence that proves that he was innocent. (Snyder and Tynion don't mention it, but I presume Hady has the power to free someone from prison on his own because martial law has been imposed on Gotham -- at Bard's insistence, of course.) However, Hady doesn't want to do so, because it's an election year and everyone in Gotham hates Gordon (at least until we forget all about it later). But, he's also bailing on Gotham (the conversation happens as he's boarding a helicopter), so it's a little unclear why he cares about an election. Of course, to make it all the more dramatic, someone -- probably the mastermind, because any time someone without a clear identity appears in this series, it's the mastermind -- sends the Penguin to deal with Gordon. Even though it's probably going to wind up being Batman sending the Penguin to protect Gordon, we're supposed to be worried that Bard is going to get the exoneration too late to save the Commish! [Sigh.]
Making matters worse, you've got Hush using the Batcomputer to remotely use all the Bat-family's technology against them. I get why Batwing would be particularly susceptible to this ploy, but are we really supposed to believe that Red Robin's wings or every item in Red Hood's utility belt are connected to the Batcomputer? Doesn't that seem a little...excessive?
The laziness in the story-telling department doesn't end there. Vicky Vale tells Spoiler that she can't bother with investigating Signalman because "the biggest villains in Gotham are wrecking the city right now." The only problem with that statement is that it's false. Sure, Clayface took a few people hostage and Mr. Freeze froze a few people, but, otherwise, the "biggest villains in Gotham" haven't really done a lot of damage. Bane is just wrestling folks in the basement of a bar and Joker's Daughter is simply fighting Batgirl in one-on-one combat. Unless Gotham has become such a bastion of law-and-order that Batwing destroying a few drones mid-air amounts to "wrecking the city," this comment doesn't really make sense. It's like Snyder and Tynion had another plot in mind entirely when Higgins was writing Vicky's dialogue.
But, even if we buy Vicky's assertion that the super-villains were wrecking havoc in the city, the GCPD apparently doesn't care. They're more concerned about a riot in Blackgate. Really? If you had to chose between a bunch of prisoners killing each other or saving innocent people from the "biggest villains in Gotham" "wrecking the city," why would you go with the prisoners? I mean, sure, the prisoners could escape, but, seriously, isn't that a secondary concern at this point?
I didn't even mention Batman apparently carrying spray paint in his utility belt so that he can spell "I OWE U [Bat Symbol]" only the tarmac where he stole a plane. They should've just embraced the absurdity and added "xoxo, Bruce."
Only four more issues, only four more issues...
* (one of five stars)