Gotham’s vigilantes really have their work cut out for them now.
Bruce Wayne’s recent experiences with near-death, a freer life, and a bleak Bat-resurrection have changed him. He’s a teensy bit mellower now, as evidenced by his new formation of a team comprised of allies in the fight against crime in Gotham. The squad being trained by Batwoman has been assembled to deal with the coming threat of a mysterious organization targeting Gotham’s caped crusaders, which Batman came face-to-face with for the first time in Detective Comics #935.
In last week’s Detective Comics #936—written by James Tynion IV, with art by Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Brad Anderson, and Marilyn Patrizio— we find out how that fight ended. The Colony, as the advanced-tech corps call themselves, took out the Dark Knight.
But that’s not the major plot development that rocks the fledgling Bat-squad to its foundation. It’s the revelation of the person commanding The Colony.
The army’s leader is none other than Colonel Jacob Kane, Batwoman’s father. It’s the best sort of shocker plot twist, the kind where the clues have been there all along. The hints were there since the beginning of the new, post-Rebirth Detective Comics run.
Kate Kane/Batwoman and her father haven’t been on speaking terms for a while. In Detective #934, he pleads with her to come see him.
Once they talk, the colonel tries to dissuade her from taking on the job of training the Bat-squad.
And when we see the Colony leader addressing his troops, the rhetoric he’s spouting is very similar to the Bruce-bashing in Jacob’s conversation with Kate.
Those cameras were watching the Bat-squad. We get that line where Kate says, “you’ve been listening in.” And that haircut’s clearly the same as her dad’s in retrospect.
Col. Kane’s speech to his daughter in ‘Tec #936 makes it clear that he wants her leading The Colony bat-army by his side. While I love this surprise heel-turn for Jacob Kane, it does sadden me as a fan of the dad-and-daughter dynamic that’s been part of Kate Kane’s Batwoman career. Taking the surrogate relationship Bruce has with Alfred and making it an actual military family bond was a great twist on the Bat-mythos, one that differentiated Kate from Bruce and gave her strengths and motivations he didn’t have. Moving forward, it’s extremely doubtful that the two will repair their relationship after such a breach of trust. But it looks like there’s a formidable new villain who’ll be plaguing Batman, Batwoman, and crew for a while to come.