By Grant Morrison (writer), Tony Daniel (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Guy Major (colors)

So there’s this really big rumor going around that Alfred (highlight the invisible text for spoilers), may be playing a big role in The Black Glove. From the arguments I’ve read, it sounds like a very plausible theory. But after reading Batman #676, I’m beginning to have my doubts since the character in question is prominently featured throughout the issue. Is this all misdirection? Maybe.

For now, I’m just going to put all the rumors and theories aside and enjoy the story for what it is.

All the stuff that Grant Morrison has been writing since he came on board the series has finally come to a head. Bruce is acting out of character and it’s making Robin extremely uncomfortable. Robin believes it’s linked to Bruce’s recent brush with death and long seclusion. Alfred believes there’s a method to Bruce’s madness, and that in time, all will come to make sense. Meanwhile, Gotham, for what seems to be the first time (maybe) ever, is cleaned up of top tier villains. The situation is so good, that Batman’s found himself getting bored with all the third and fourth tier scum he has to wrangle in. This has given him plenty of time to obsess over The Black Glove and work on his relationship with Jezebel Jet.

While this book very much capitalizes on the foundation Morrison has laid over his run, the book is not without its introductions. The members of the Black Glove are finally revealed, and boy do they look like a menacing bunch. Batman’s on to them, and they know it. In fact, they literally end up inviting him to come play. And the Joker’s reemergence is one that’ll leave people confused and unnerved.

The RIP storyline is off to a wonderful start. It remains unseen if one will need to buy all the tie-in books to get the whole story or if reading just Batman will be enough. I’m hoping it’s the latter. I do know that reading the Batman story in DC Universe #0 enhanced this issue’s scene with the Joker. So if you’ve got 50 cents, hunt a copy down and enjoy. Tony Daniel’s art is top notch and Morrison’s writing is, well, very Morrison-esque. For most of us, that’s a good thing. (Grade: A-)

– J. Montes