This comic… So good. I will get into SPOILERS. So if you don't want to be spoiled, just skip to the very last paragraph, and rating.
The book is set 20 years from today, back in the good days of '94. Bruce Wayne Batman, is in the morgue examining the body of Joe Chill. Chill has died from a head injury, that would have required unusual strength to perform. Three other men have had the same fate. All having links to the Francavilla crime family.
Bruce infiltrates Francavilla's house, injects him with a truth serum, and gets him to talk. Francavilla admits to knowing Thomas Wayne, as we cut to a flashback to Thomas saving Fracavilla, after a drive by shooting. Francavilla knows the Wayne's have a lot of money, but not power. So Francavilla invites Thomas to a party, which introduces him to Martha, and to a drug business.
Once Thomas and Martha had Bruce, though, Thomas tried to get out of the business, but they wouldn't let him. They tried to intimidate Thomas, but this didn't work, and they hired Chill to kill the Wayne's.
Meanwhile, a hooded man has entered the Francavilla home, and is killing his way through the house. Batman stops him, but the man is too strong, and gets way. Batman tracts him to his apartment, and finds that it is his father, Thomas. Thomas explains to Bruce that after Chill shot him, he had Leslie Thompkins report him dead, so that he could protect Bruce from the crime families until he was able to do away with them. He's able to do this because of a short term strength enhancer drug. Bruce is upset at him, sayin that he is selfish, and never wants to see him again.
To make up for what he did to Bruce, he took up the mantle of Batman to honor Bruce's memory once he died. It ends with him admitting addiction to this superpowered drug, and him saying he has no one left to disappoint.
The drug he is taking is the drug that is taken from Hourman, but he gave the name of the character who is Metamorpho. Whether this is a mistake, or not, I'm not sure. Hopefully we will find out one day. At this point in time, Thomas is 65 years old. Let that sink in for a moment… Batman is the same age as my grandparents. I imaging my grandpa being Batman, and that is just too cool.
It seems as though this character is filling the role of Hourman (with the drug), and Wildcat (because of his age, and experience), but I still hope they bring those other characters in as well.
The art holds up to the regular artist, with Robson Rocha doing a great job there. And Tom Taylor is one of the best newer writers right now. DC better get ahold of this guy, because if they don't, someone else will. This comic was so awesome that feels familiar, and then turns it on it's head. If that were done with an in-continuity, thing would be different. But that's the beauty of it. It does things you wouldn't expect. Taylor has a whole world to himself, and he is playing with everything right now.
Earth 2 Annual #2:
Reviewed by Corbin Pool