Monday, May 30, 2016
We saw an earlier chapter of this some time back, but we found the conclusion at the comicon: from 2002, Batman #605, "Courage" Written by Ed Brubaker, pencils by Scott McDaniel, inks by Andy Owens.
This issue does take a moment to acknowledge a couple of points that I had thought were going to fall by the wayside: Batman visits the grave of Vesper Fairchild, who had been murdered and Bruce Wayne framed for it. And in the Batcave, to his then-current support team of Nightwing, Robin, Cassandra Cain/Batgirl, Oracle, and Alfred; Batman admits "I'm not an easy person to know." The conspiracy behind the frame-up is revealed, but that it had two parts that hadn't occurred to them: it was a two-pronged attack on Bruce Wayne and Batman.
Then-president Lex Luthor was behind the first part, since Wayne and Luthor had been at odds since the "No Man's Land" crossover. Luthor's man Amherst, whom Batman had recently captured, had hired a professional to break Wayne, and said professional had used a nerve strike on Vesper: a nerve strike that Batman would know, which threw suspicion on him killing her to protect his secret identity. Batgirl had recognized the move, since she had learned it from the same man who taught Batman: the assassin David Cain, Batgirl's father.
Most of the rest of this issue is a shell game, as Batman's team tries to trap Cain, who knows Batman's identity and doesn't consider that "emotional cripple" fit to be Cassandra's father-figure. Batman beats Cain down, but won't kill him; and Cain, having no reason not to now and at Cassandra's behest, confesses to Vesper's murder. In Washington, Luthor asks his staff to track down Amherst; but they won't find him: Batman had him taken to Arkham, and committed under an alias. This would be as close to justice as Vesper would get, since I'm not sure she was brought up when Luthor's presidency ended.