Thanks to everyone who's offered feedback (and especially the guy who found the coding leakage on the main site).
Oberten, "Utterly and ruthlessly elegant" made me smile from ear to ear. Finest review I could wish for on this tale. Blushing profusely, I thank you.
Stephensmat & Random, you guys covered a lot of the same territory: You nailed it about Lois, she has invented herself as much as the others in that foursome. And what she does, the way she goes about it might not make sense to anyone else, but it works for her. The angles from which she comes at things, they're uniquely hers and that's why she's the
As for the wedding, I'll paraphrase what was said back in Chapter 1: Bruce and Selina may not be that much older than Dick and Barbara, but the age difference is a significant one for something like a wedding. Selina is content to leave more of the ordinary planning stuff to Alfred and the Wayne rolodex where planning an extravagant party for 300 isn't a once in a lifetime thing. This (as you touched on) frees her up for all those details an ordinary bride and even Barbara doesn't have to think about, such as Mxyzlptk blackout dates and if there's a way to lock out shapeshifters that doesn't involve magic.
"He hasn't recognised that chin yet" is my new favorite line and you can expect to see me steal it at the first opportunity.
But I should still clarify what Bruce meant about being with his own kind: Yes, Superman and Clark have the same chin, but Lex is in a different mode
when he's faced with Superman, his great superpowered nemesis, than he is with Kent, that journalistic pain in the ass. Yes, Wayne and Batman have the same chin, but Lex sees the one as that business rival with the old money patina that the Luthor billions can't buy, while Batman is that inconveniently smart guy in the ludicrous pro-wrestler getup who kept the Alien from being as stupid as Lex hoped on 4 separate occasions. In each case, it's a different Lex looking at that chin. But with Wayne and Tommy, Luthor is in exactly the same mode. He's in his tux, holding his scotch, sussing out if you have a connection to Earl Spencer and if there might be an angle in that for him. So Bruce's worry is similar to when he saw Mrs. Ashton-Larraby dressed as Harley Quinn. It was one thing when she was alone by the grandstand, it was another when she was talking to a tall thin waiter of Joker's build. You never know what might spark a connection (and that's why he didn't risk accompanying Selina dressed as Catwoman without presenting himself in a Batman costume).
Who would have thought that giving a stolen item back would be the thing that brings down the house of cards?
EXACTLY! Certainly not the people who impose that Simon simple street kid origin on Catwoman. That creature couldn't play on this field any more than Matches could. (Seriously, even poor Clark needed both Bruce and Selina briefing him, and he's no dolt --and neither is Random.)
And yes, I thought using the banks' self-policing operations against their customers was echt Bruce. We have this operation (banks knowing their customers) that is crimefighting in nature (to prevent money laundering) but self-interested (the banks themselves lose the ability to exchange currencies if they're branded MLers). So of course if something is tripped, they're going to act in their own best interests and kick out the problem children. Re-purposing crimefighting to separate Lex from his money is just totally the Bat-brain. It's the Bat-brain at its most Brucian battiness.
One question though?
Again, I should probably clarify some stuff that's muddled about Selina. She is
conflicted because she has absolutely no grudge against the rich and never has. She has no desire whatsoever to take their stuff away from them simply because they have more than other people and "that's not fair." She LIKES the rich having enough to squander on baubles they don't need, she LIKES them enjoying their privileges at these big parties, and she definitely likes that they're often so bored it's a thrilling event when their well-insured valuables get pinched (which we saw back in Wayne Rises. It's something to talk about and dine out on). This isn't a position she takes in defiance of the Gotham Post. She honestly feels this way and the Post honestly has it WRONG.
So she's done this to make a point: "You think Catwoman steals from the rich just because they have more stuff and gives to the poor out of some warped sense of fairness? That's so wrong, I can't even begin to address it other than to SHOW YOU what it would look like if that's what I did. See how this IS NOT like that other thing?"
But having done it, she feels bad because she doesn't want that woman to HAVE to sell the emeralds. To steal the necklace fair and square, to know the woman would collect the insurance (nobody feels bad for the insurance company, sorry) and have the bragging rights to owning jewels worthy of Catwoman's attention, that's one thing. But to make these people whom she doesn't hate or resent--who she is in fact one of as much as Bruce is--to make them have to downsize, eh, that's really not a heist she feels great about. Yes, chances are if they're at that particular party, if they're investing with Luthor, they probably aren't nice people and probably do deserve the reversal. But that doesn't mean she can't watch the emerald necklace go by in the middle of the hysteria and wince. "Ouch, those are nice. Pity."
Nah, I'm no criminal mastermind and I'm sure the financial three-card monte described in this chapter would be obsolete since, oh, 2010 latest. I hope.
Yep. Lex is a genius, probably one of the 5 smartest people in the world (though I hardly think THE smartest as Mr. Johns has declared), but he can be incredibly petty in certain very specific areas and Bruce hits the sweet spot on most of them.
I think you're the only one who remembered Selina's jitters on the flight in. Bruce really COULD have taken that into consideration, couldn't he. (jackass) And yeah, the security guy got screwed, caught between the 1-percenters feuding. (I suspect Metropolis is a crappy place to be a working stiff for that very reason.)