This issue wraps up the “Cold Days” storyline, as Bruce Wayne and his fellow jurors deliberate and try to decide the fate of Victor Fries. Bruce is convinced that his mistakes as Batman have condemned an innocent man (in this case, anyway) to die. But short of admitting that he’s Batman, Bruce’s only option is to convince the rest of the jury that they put too much faith in Batman. He’s not the infallible god Gotham believes him to be.
Ultimately, Bruce is successful, and Fries is acquitted on all charges. What’s more, readers learn that it was no mere coincidence that Bruce found himself on the jury in the first place. Rather, he bribed his way in as a means of atoning for his overzealous actions as Batman.
What does all of this have to do with Batman’s new costume change? Both the costume and Batman’s failure with Mr. Freeze stem from the same trauma. Bruce is still profoundly, psychologically damaged from being left at the altar by Selina Kyle. His pain and rage have impaired his judgment and shaken his faith in his own abilities as Batman. This issue ends with Batman ordering Alfred to bring his original, pre-New 52 costume out of mothballs. Bruce simply can’t bring himself to keep wearing the suit in which he shared so much time with his would-be bride.
The trunks are back, but clearly this is no time for celebration. Somehow we doubt a costume change will be enough to ease Bruce’s troubled mind.
If you haven’t already, check out our review for Batman #53. And then read why we think the return of Batman and Superman’s classic costumes is a positive step for DC.