The Next Batman: Second Son revealed that the Fox family is still breaking apart years after a Batwing villain’s attack.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Next Batman: Second Son #4, from John Ridley, Mark Morales, John Livesay, Travel Foreman, Deron Bennett and Rex Lokus, on sale now.
In The Next Batman: Second Son, Lucius Fox’s family just can’t seem to catch a break as DC details the tragic events that set them against Gotham’s vigilantes in Future State. There’s a massive rift between Luke and Jace, with the latter treated as a black sheep since going off to war after a mysterious incident in the past.
Plus, Lucius himself seems to have more of a bitter nature to him, leaning towards Mayor Nakano’s anti-mask sentiment in the wake of Joker War. It hasn’t helped that the public has been abusing him for inheriting Bruce Wayne’s fortune as well. In The Next Batman: Second Son #4, though, it reaches a critical breaking point, thanks to the lingering aftereffects of a nasty villainous attack from years ago.
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Tam collapsed in the last issue, and she’s now in a vegetative state in hospital with doctors revealing her body’s being poisoned once more. She’s relapsed, as her medical team recalls that Ratcatcher kidnapped and poisoned her in the Batwing storyline “Into the Dark,” torturing Tam before dumping her body as the Gotham Underground tried to create another era of anarchy.
While she did end up recovering, Ratcatcher’s concoction was never fully removed from her system, and it seems that the toxin attack on Arkham Asylum has gotten into her body. Working as a nurse at the hospital has seemingly exposed her, and all the chemicals in her bloodstream that lay dormant have been reactivated, rendering her in this near-death state.
Without the exact toxin from Arkham, they can’t diagnose or treat her properly, so they’re hoping for the best as they effectively wing it. This causes an enraged Luke to once more accost Jace, believing that the added stress of his returning home has triggered this. Environmental concerns have been mentioned as a possible factor, so he thinks that the family’s strife has been affecting Tam’s mental health.
The other issue is that the youngest Fox sister, Tiffany, who was kidnapped but released in Ratcatcher’s assault, feels responsible and could sneak out to go find the toxin. She even eggs Luke on to find justice as she knows he’s Batwing.
With Jace also looking to steal tech from Lucius for his own mission against a terrorist named Arkadine, he might even try to solve Tam’s problems by finding the toxin. And all this does is set the brothers on a collision course as they try to save their sister, which will ironically trickle back to parents who wouldn’t want to hear both their sons are part of what they perceive to be Gotham’s vigilante problem.
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