The Riddler's spider has been drinking too much coffee.
When did I become such a lazy reader?! I don't know what to blame but I'm willing to blame Scott Lobdell! Or Rob Liefeld. Or the large amount of time I devote to my Lord and Master, Satan.
This issue begins with Bruce Wayne hiring a new butler.
Cue Beavis and Butthead laugh.
Finding out about Bruce's new help will have to wait because the story decides to change dates and locations so that we're now back to Batman, Jim, and Lucius's attempt to storm Riddler's headquarters. Or their attempt to fall directly into The Riddler's trap.
Although Jim Gordon and his band of hit-eaters are still patrolling The Riddler's sewers, so I figure a bunch of them are going to die in a few pages.
In the meantime, Batman figures out The Riddler's plan but he's still not sure where The Riddler's holed up. He has a guess but I don't have a guess because he's not showing me the pattern of The Riddler's electronic pings. My guess, although it seems way too obvious, is that the pattern is a question mark and The Riddler is holed up in the dot. Batman heads after him leaving Lucius and Gordon to somehow stop the air strike that will be hitting the city in forty minutes.
I don't know what destroying the city will do for The Riddler. I suppose all he really wants is for people to respect his intelligence. And if an entire city has to die so that other cities will say "Boy, Eddie, you sure are smart!" then by god that's what has to happen!
If Batman's "ONE CHANCE!" doesn't pay off, he decides to leave a message for Alfred.
Sexual harassment! Oh wait. Alfred doesn't work for Bruce anymore. I guess it's okay then.
The Riddler has been one step ahead of Batman throughout this entire story and this final encounter isn't any different. He expected Batman to eventually find him and so he set up one last game to play. Batman will now have to walk the Seteh game board and win the day by answering riddles. Unless I'm misremembering how the game is played. Probably not though since Batman's adversary is called The Riddler!
Batman #32 Rating: No change. Zero Year has gone on for quite some time now and I'm ready for it to be over. Although I'm really enjoying the actual game between Batman and The Riddler now that's it's finally been set up. The problem is that Zero Year was not actually a Riddler story. It had several chapters detailing several different aspects of Bruce Wayne's early transformation into The Batman. But it was touted as a Riddler story from the beginning, so it's really felt extra long being that it took so long to get to the meat of the conflict. I've really enjoyed the story even if I complain sometimes about it dragging on. Here's the main reason I feel it's dragging though: I like shorter Batman stories mainly because I like seeing which crazy villain he's going to encounter next. So when he basically encounters one or two villains over an entire year, I feel cheated! And Detective Comics wasn't helping with all of that Man-bat crap going on!