"Scratching The Surface": Nicholas Scratch contemplates the lifeless body of senator Halivan when his devil-faced henchmen entered his dressing room and told him about a costumed freak who knocked them out and prevented them from killing Halivan, as the original
- Given sufficient genius, planning is unnecessary.
Synopsis for "Scratching The Surface"
Nicholas Scratch contemplates the lifeless body of senator Halivan when his devil-faced henchmen entered his dressing room and told him about a costumed freak who knocked them out and prevented them from killing Halivan, as the original plan was conceived. Scratch told them that it didn't matter anymore, as the senator was dead and now Scratch was planning to blame somebody from Gotham City for the murder. Azrael listened to Scratch's plans and he decided to stop him from doing more harm to anyone. Scratch talked to Azrael and told him that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, for he was Nicholas Scratch, a renowned superstar and he Azrael, a freak in a costume and that the police would for sure blame Azrael for the murder. Scratch cried for help and a couple of security guards arrived at his dressing room to find Scratch and Azrael standing near the senator's dead body. Scratch told the guards that Azrael murdered Halivan and Azrael had to fight his way out through the security guards before they could attack him. Nicholas Scratch told his three henchem that he will follow Azrael to the main stage and that he wanted them to attack him, Nicholas Scratch, in fron of all the audience. When Scratch and Azrael engaged in fight at the main stage, the henchmen attacked Scratch as told but Scratch knocked them out with ease and Azrael seized the chance to escape the place.
Later, the events escalated quickly and was all over the news. Some of the attendees to the show recorded the whole fight between Azrael and Nicholas Scratch, and after Scratch's own testimony, it all indicated that Azrael was the killer of senator Halivan. Sratch was glad to see how things were going and he was plotting something big against Gotham City. Not far from there, Batman went to see Jean-Paul and told him to go home and to burn the costume, for Azrael shouldn't exist anymore. Batman was mad at Jean-Paul, not only because he failed at his mission of protecting the senator, but also because now he was framed for the murder and that fact placed Batman, and everything he stands for, in danger. Batman told Jean-Paul that Halivan was Gotham's only hope left in the congress and without him, it would mean the end of the city. Jean-Paul knew that Batman was right but he also feel the need to finish one final task before Azrael was done.
Appearing in "Scratching The Surface"
- Esterbrook Halivan (Appears only as a corpse)
- Louise (Single appearance)
- Moonjob (Single appearance)
- Detective Ben Longlom (Single appearance)
- There is a reference to the song The Gingerbread Man, with slightly changed lyrics.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Road to No Man's Land Vol. 2 (Collected).
Links and References
|No Man's Land Crossover|
This issue is a part of the Batman: No Man's Land crossover that swept through all Batman Family Titles during 1999. Gotham City was declared by the President to be no longer a part of the United States after the combined disasters of Contagion, Legacy and Cataclysm.