After the conclusion of Infinite Crisis, the entire DC line jumped ahead one year, with the skipped year’s events detailed in the weekly miniseries 52. James Robinson scripts an 8-part storyline, Face the Face, covering Batman’s return to Gotham after a year’s absence, running through both this book and Batman, starting in Detective 817 (May 2006). Leonard Kirk does the pencils, and Andy Clarke on inks.
Harvey Dent, his sanity restored along with his face, back during Hush, has been appointed by Batman to tend to Gotham while he was gone. The storyline opens as Harvey takes down the KGBeast. It’s an intense and brutal fight, ending with the KGBeast falling from the rooftop. But when the police find the Russian murderer, he has been killed, shot twice through the head.
And Harvey seems a bit less than pleased when Batman shows up, to take his city back. Although Batman has nothing but admiration and gratitude for Harvey’s efforts.
Jim Gordon is back in the Commissioner’s job again. The more things change, the more they stay the same. This issue also introduces a new police officer, Jamie Harper.
Poison Ivy does not make an actual appearance in this story, but her actions are certainly dramatic. Enough to prompt Gordon to turn on the Bat-Signal.
So this first chapter concludes as Gordon introduces Batman and Robin to Officer Harper.
Many of Batman’s villains appear in this storyline, but most have small roles. It’s part of James Robinson’s style of writing, and I have to admit I do enjoy it, even though some get short-changed, like Ivy, who is taken down between this issue and the Batman story that follows it.