"Every Time I Fail": After having escaped to the relative safety of Detective Melody McKenna's home, Batgirl was told the story of how her host witnessed her husband Nathaniel's death at the hands of Arkham Asylum inmates, and
- Okay. Three pissed-off metahumans. And they all want me dead. But they made a mistake. They put themselves between me... and KNIGHTFALL.
- — Batgirl
Appearing in "Every Time I Fail"
- Dennis Spivey
- Gotham City
- Three Towers
Synopsis for "Every Time I Fail"
After having escaped to the relative safety of Detective Melody McKenna's home, Batgirl was told the story of how her host witnessed her husband Nathaniel's death at the hands of Arkham Asylum inmates, and gained some background into the hold that Charise Carnes gained over the detective as a result of her failure to stop it. Still, Batgirl hopes for an explanation as to what the connection between McKenna and Carnes' vigilante identity known as Knightfall. Before Melody can fully explain, she detects an intruder on her surveillance cameras.
Within moments, Batwoman crashes through the window and lands a heavy kick to McKenna's head. The detective recovers enough to grab her weapon and warn Batgirl that the intruder is with their enemies. Barbara considers that though the Batwoman is thought to be tough, there is little recorded data about her fighting skills. With this in mind, she leaps to McKenna's defence, only to find that her assessment of Batwoman's combat abilities require significant re-evaluation. Batwoman is highly skilled - more skilled even than she. After taking a head-butt to the nose, Batgirl cries "Uncle." Batwoman offers her a handkerchief for her bloody nose, explaining that she is only there for McKenna, who has caught the attention of the DEO. Batgirl responds that she will not let McKenna be taken, as she still has need of the Detective.
Before any further discussion can be had, Melody receives a call from Knightfall herself. The voice on the phone announces that they have found the would-be car thief that Batgirl helped to escape recently, and that if Batgirl does not come to the Three Towers building tonight alone, they will skin, gut, and burn him alive. McKenna warns that the threat is not likely hyperbolic. Knightfall and her henchmen believe that torturing him will make them heroes.
Elsewhere, James Gordon is awakened by a late-night phone call. An Arkham guard named Spivey who owes him a debt explains that an oversight has caused the disappearance of one of the inmates to go unnoticed until now. During the recent mass breakout at Arkham, James Gordon, Jr., the Commissioner's own, deranged son, managed to escape.
That night, Batgirl arrives at the Three Towers to face Knightfall's underlings, the Disgraced. She asks after Ricky, their victim, and they admit that they killed him without waiting for her. Disgusted with their justifications, Batgirl takes on the vigilantes, remembering what McKenna told her about them. Kulap Vilaysack is Katharsis, a former Arkham inmate who was kicked off the Gotham City Police Department after castrating a suspected pedophile, who later turned out to be innocent. Bleak Michael was a prodigy of chemistry, who brought a toxic nerve gas to school, killing several students and teachers. Lastly, Sally Sarasota, aka Bonebreaker, was once a wrestler. Her twin daughters were killed by a drunk driver, and so she tracked him down, chained him to her bumper, and drove around the city at 20mph until she was caught.
Meanwhile, Charise Carnes watches from her penthouse, admitting that the plan given to her by James Gordon, Jr. was successful in getting Batgirl to them. James had helped keep Charise alive while she was in Arkham, and for his help, she will allow him immunity from her vigilantism, despite his crimes. He admits that he helped her then because he admires her vision; a city bathed in blood before it is made good. Charise dons her Knightfall costume, and prepares to make that vision a reality.
Batgirl struggles to hold her own against the likes of Bonebreaker, but fortunately, she assumed the Disgraced would renege on the deal, so she didn't come alone. Batwoman and McKenna appear, armed with smoke grenades. With their distraction, Batgirl rushes up the stairs to find Knightfall. Instead, she finds Ricky, still alive, but horribly disfigured, and trapped in a cage. She is moved by his pathetic case. Merely a sixteen year old who made a mistake, Knightfall has made him pay a terrible price, and he is afraid. He has been trapped in the cage with a man who won't speak to him, but he has heard Knightfall say that she is keeping him alive for something.
As Batgirl begins picking the lock, Ricky cries out with a warning. He is too late to prevent Knightfall from thrusting a knife into Batgirl's back. Knightfall announces that in killing a Batgirl, she has saved the city.
- Beginning in this issue, "Charise" is sometimes spelled "Cherise".
- No trivia.
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- Batgirl Recommended Reading