Synopsis for "No Darker Shadow"
In the sewers of Gotham City, Batgirl stands over one of Grotesque's men and realizes that he is Danny "The Weasel" Weaver - the man who stood to the left of the Joker when she was shot, years ago. As Danny comes to, Batgirl warns that he has made himself an accessory to murder, and wonders why he has allowed that to happen. As Danny expresses confusion that she knows his name, the other thug comes to and tries to knock Batgirl out. Without missing a beat, she knocks him down, stopping his head just short of cracking against the concrete.
Danny rises, and as the police sirens wail, he assumes that he will be given up to the cops. Turning, Batgirl glares at him and allows him to go free. Thinking of how she had just watched Grotesque kill Theodore Aiklin over a bottle of wine, and now having just let Danny go free, Batgirl wonders what she's doing.
Exhausted, and needing someone to talk to, Barbara returns to her apartment, and finds that her roommate Alysia is still at work. She is wracked with guilt over the fact that despite the fact that she was a superhero - that she was the Commissioner's daughter - she opened the door to the most dangerous criminal in the city. He had shot her. She was supposed to die. Something went wrong.
Barbara spots the unopened Christmas present that her mother had left her; the present she had not opened yet, out of spite. She remembers how her friend Dinah had told her that her mother's return is a chance that many other people don't have, herself included. Barbara opens the gift, and discovers that it is her grandmother's necklace, still with her baby-teeth marks on it. Sighing, she calls her mother, and asks to come over and talk.
Elsewhere, Danny returns to Grotesque's penthouse, and tells the story of how he was allowed to escape. Grotesque finds it fascinating that Batgirl took an interest in Danny specifically. As a man who desires beautiful things, Grotesque can't help but covet Batgirl herself, and he considers that he might like to exploit Batgirl's interest in Danny to get her.
Barbara is greeted at the door by her mother, but before she can say anything, Barbara demands to know why she abandoned her family, those years ago. Her mother explains that she left because she loved them; because she loved Barbara. She explains how she had come to understand that there was something wrong with her son James, Jr. She had tried to ignore it, but eventually, she couldn't lie to herself any longer. young James had taken her out into the back yard, and shown his mother the mutilated corpse of Barbara's cat Alaska. He had killed her without emotion. He warned his mother then, that if she didn't leave, he would do awful things to Barbara.
She had left because she believed him. She had seen that he could and would do what he said, and been overcome by the image of her own daughter mutilated as the cat was. She had cracked, and she ran away from her family to protect them. Barbara wonders why her mother returned now, of all times. She explains that she managed to get some therapy, and get better. When James, Jr. was put away in Arkham Asylum, after becoming a serial killer, she found the strength to come back to say she was sorry. Barbara finds all this too much to handle, and has to leave. Before going, her mother reminds her that she loves her forever.
In tears, Barbara rushes back to her van, wondering what might have happened if her mother hadn't abandoned them. What might have happened to James, if she hadn't left? Might he still have grown into a murderer?
Batgirl seeks out Danny's apartment, and calls on him to come out. After breaking down the door, she is surprised to find Danny there with Grotesque. She is greeted with a blast from his electrical powers. He explains that he desires her, and that she should become his woman. When she offers too much resistance, he warns that his abilities can do much harm just by absorbing the energy from a lamp, but as the storm clouds over head converge, she should imagine what kind of damage he can do with the power of lightning.
Before he can release the energy, a shot fires over his head. It is Danny, and he warns Grotesque to back away. Dismissively, Grotesque blasts Danny with his energy. This is the last straw for Batgirl. She begins beating him mercilessly, completely outraged by his disregard for human life. Her blows smash his mask, and eventually, he slumps to the ground in unconsciousness. Batgirl wonders if perhaps Batman remains so detached in order to prevent himself from doing what she has just done.
She turns to Danny, who is miraculously still alive. The police will be there soon, and Batgirl warns that she can't let him go again, this time. Still, she kneels down and asks him why he has gone back to this life after swearing he was out of it. He explains that it's hard for an ex-con to find real work in Gotham, but he had never signed up to be party to killing. His wounds appear to be fatal, and he exclaims that he would rather die like this than go to jail again.
Before he dies, Danny offers up a confession. He had once worked for the Joker. They had gone to the Commissioner's house, and found his daughter there. They all hated the commissioner, so they had hated her too, by association. The Joker had shot her, and he had felt nothing. She was just some girl on the floor. He doesn't feel sorry for it now.
Batgirl urges him on, asking what he did next, even though she knows all too well. Danny Weaver had called the police. He had called them to tell them exactly where to go. He had saved her life, but she had never known why. Danny collapses, coughing up blood as he explains that he doesn't know. She had simply taken the bullet without begging or crying, and he couldn't get it out of his head. He couldn't stick to the plan. Something had gone wrong.
Elsewhere, Alysia Yeoh leaves work late, by herself. Outside, she is accosted by a man who is aggressively flirtatious with her. Though she is initially turned off, she eventually decides to go for coffee with him. She introduces herself, and he reciprocates. James Gordon, Jr. smiles to himself, as he and Alysia walk along a sidewalk.
Appearing in "No Darker Shadow"
- Batgirl (Flashback and main story)
- Danny "The Weasel" Weaver (Dies) (Flashback and main story)
- Joker (Flashback only)
- Dinah Lance (Flashback only)
- James Gordon, Jr. (Flashback and main story)
- James Gordon (In a photograph only)
- Batgirl Recommended Reading