WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Detective Comics #975
The latest issue of Detective Comics has seen Kate Kane (aka Batwoman) officially turn her back on The Batman Family. This follows hot on the heels of Kate being all but expelled from The Gotham Knights following her murder of an out-of-control Clayface in direct defiance of Batman's orders. The final pages of the issue see Kate meeting with her father, Colonel Jacob Kane, and accepting his offer to take up leadership of The Colony - a paramilitary group with no qualms about killing to protect the people of Gotham City.
The Colony have been an ominous presence since the very beginning of James Tynion IV's run on Detective Comics. When Batman realized that some group was monitoring him and the other vigilantes of Gotham City through military-grade drones for some unknown purpose, he took steps, following the designs of Tim "Red Robin" Drake, to develop a more organized superhero team under Batwoman's command. This would enable the more inexperienced heroes to watch each other's backs and be developed into a more efficient unit for whenever the unseen enemy made itself known.
When The Colony finally revealed themselves, the Batman Family were stunned to find that they were under the command of Col. Jacob Kane, who explained that he had established The Colony as a gift for his daughter. The intention was for The Colony to combine the tactical command structure of a traditional military group with the training and technology that made Batman so efficient as a single agent, effectively creating an army of Batmen. Unfortunately, any chance of The Gotham Knights and The Colony working together were dashed when Col. Kane went on to speak of his belief in the existence of a terrorist cell called The League of Shadows that Batman believed to be entirely mythical and Col. Kane's announcement that The Colony would be using targeted drone strikes to kill the thousands of League of Shadows sleeper agents he believed to be hiding in Gotham City. Thankfully, Batman's team was just able to neutralize the threat and until recently had managed to contain Col. Kane and those Colony soldiers they had captured.
Detective Comics #975 also sees Batman calling a conclave of his closest allies to discuss what they should do about Batwoman. Unsurprisingly, the group is evenly split on the subject of whether or not killing in the line of duty can be justified, but it is Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon who stuns the assembled group into silence when suggests that the only reason Batman established The Gotham Knights in the first place was because he had gleaned the purpose of The Colony and wanted to make sure that Batwoman stayed on his side. Batman doesn't answer her accusation but his silence speaks volumes.
It is unclear what readers can expect in the upcoming issues of Detective Comics. It seems clear that at least one other member of the team may be joining Batwoman in The Colony and that Batman may not be able to count on the enthusiastic support of the few allies he has left. It also seems likely that The Colony's first goal will be neutralizing The Batman Family while they are licking their wounds. The only certainty is that it will be interesting to see what happens next!