Again, I have mixed feelings about this issue. There is a lot I like, but the usual problems I have with decompressed story telling abound.
First, what I liked. There was a moral to the story. In the sword fight between Catwoman and Talia, they both boast about how their hard childhoods growing up in the streets or under the boot of Ra's Al Ghul have made them tough.
Talia says she's been around the world and Bruce is the only one worthy of her. Selina points out that Bruce is broken and will "betray" Selina to keep his oath made as a child to war against crime. Selina's problem is that Bruce is the man she loves and while she loves him she knows he's not the greatest man in the world.
Selina grabs Talia's blade with her bare hand without cutting all her fingers off and kicks Talia in the face and then takes the sword and stabs Talia while Talia is down. (No Duncan MacLeod She. I will explain that line should anyone ask).
Selina then goes to Holly and ASKS, not demands, that Holly confess to the 200,000,000 murders Holly did that Selina took the rap for because Selina wants to marry Bats and because Selina confessed to the crimes is technically a federal fugitive.
Talia asks her sword-bleeding out buddy Bruce if Selina is his betrothed. He says yes. Talia approves.
Damian and Dick wait outside the gates of the Forbidden Zone and don't meet Charleton Heston. They do talk and Dick says Bruce is selfless and gives all he has and being happy, and I am quoting directly "being happy . . . that's not bleeding. That's not giving. That's asking for something and it's not easy for Batman to ask."
Damian, Dick, Bleeding out Bruce and Selina walk out of Petra 2.0 and debate how long it will take to get to civilization. It's like 14 or 15 hours.
Damian also asks if Bruce is happy, he says he's getting there.
So what's the moral of the story. Selina understands Bruce. I like how she call the oath Bruce made when he was a boy as being childish. It is because it was made by a child. I wish DC writers would write Bruce's crime campaign as something other than an OCD crusade. Rather make it noble and not Miller-esque psychotic.
And I even like that Talia gets Selina. I also liked how King showed that Talia likes Bruce not because he's a great dancer and enjoys long walks on the beach, but because he's "worthy" of her. It says something about her character i.e. she's a first-class narcissist and basically sees him as a Cracker Jack Prize. He's an object to her, a trophy. She doesn't want other women playing with her toys.
I like the Dick-Damian bonding even though I now and will always hate Damian and in my head canon don't acknowledge that he exists.
The art was also good. As a fencer, I have complaints about the various thrusts, parries and cuts flow together, but that's really an inside baseball complaint.
What I didn't like.
Decompressed. The whole story could have been told in four pages. I like it when we see the thought behind the fights, get a sense of struggle. The fight dialogue here could have been said at a tense afternoon tea between Selina and Talia and we would have gotten the same revelations.
Second. Dick's idea of what loving someone means. Maybe it's because he was raised by Emotionally broken Bruce (even though Alfred was there too) but loving someone truly means giving of one's self totally. It can be argued that it's the ultimate form of giving. Just ask that tree that Shel Silverstein wrote about.
Also, if we learned Holly's answer to Selina's request, I missed it. I see that as a loose thread that doesn't need to be loose.
Observation, Selina really is good at stabbing people with swords. Both issues had a lot of swords being pulled out of bodies, which is dangerous. Tissue forms around swords and knives and other things thrust into people. Pulling those things out can result in further damage to the body and even cut an artery or vein. But I concede comics logic.
I do like the fact that for the first time in a long time, the story is about Selina and not Bruce. We finally get a sense of how she feels. The lack thereof in previous issues has been something I've complained about.
Still think though balloons are a good tool today's comics writers don't take advantage of.
So a lot to like, despite the fact that I can read this in like two minutes.
Or I could be wrong.