Batman: Streets of Gotham #11 Writer: Paul Dini. Pencils: Dustin Nguyen
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.
Review: This issue gets underway with Abuse breaking out of his cell and heading towards Zsasz's arena. Upon arriving, Abuse distracts Zsasz from slitting Damian's throat(damn it!), so Zsasz decides to attack Abuse instead, which turns out to be a big mistake, as Abuse bulks-up and easily trounces Zsasz. Upon seeing this, the scumbags watching Zsasz's fights begin to panic and run for the exits, so Abuse does what he can to stop them and make them pay for what they had been taking part in. Zsasz's hired goons go to attack Abuse, but he gets an assist from Damian, who had regained consciousness(and his sword as well). The two children pretty much trounce Zsasz's men, and wreck his underground fight club. By now, Batman arrives on the scene and after talking to some thugs who were fleeing from the carnage inside, he begins to make his way in to see if he could locate Damian. In the meantime, Zsasz wakes up, grabs his knife and makes a bee-line for Abuse, stabbing him in the side of the neck. Damian knocks Zsasz away, and decides that he's had enough of Zsasz's madness, so he goes to kill Zsasz. Abuse halts Damian and asks Damian to reconsider, since Batman(who happens to be Abuse's hero)wouldn't murder Zsasz, even after all of the horrific things he had done. While the two boys talk, Zsasz gets up again and stabs Abuse in the back! Jeez, you just can't keep this guy down! Zsasz, finally realizing that Damian had to be Robin, turns his attention to him, but proves unable to land a single hit on Damian, who had learned from his earlier encounter with Zsasz. After avoiding Zsasz best shots, Damian absolutely guts Zsasz with a swift sword stroke across the madman's stomach. Zsasz staggers around for a bit before falling into the trapdoor that was used to take the bodies of his victims out to sea. Abuse is stunned by Damian's actions, but Damian explains that he stopped short of killing Zsasz, instead leaving him with an egregious wound. By this time, Batman(FINALLY!)arrives on the scene and demands to know what happened to Zsasz. This issue ends with Abuse and Damian telling Bats that Zsasz had fallen into the trapdoor, and that they were simply defending themselves, nothing more.
What I Thought: Not bad at all. Whenever I can read a DC comic and grudgingly like Damian, I know that the writer a)is not Grant Morrison, and b)did a very good job. Paul definitely fit both criteria with this issue. I was happy with the way this comic ended(not overjoyed, just happy), mainly because it means that Zsasz can one day return to continue his utterly reprehensible actions. Paul really did a hell of a job turning Zsasz from a borderline joke to a really menacing character, so kudos for that. I can also accept that Damian was able to defeat Zsasz this time, seeing as that Zsasz had a broken hand and that Damian didn't go into the fight as overconfident this time as he did last time. While not perfect, there was still a lot to like here.
Score: 8 out of 10.You know, I don't like Damian and all, but this pic is now going to be my desktop picture!