"Blank Slate": Kaiyo has stripped both Batman and Superman of any memories of their former lives. Having since learned that he is the richest man in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is intent on taking advantage of it. Na
- You don't get him. All bright and smiley in the red and blue. Neither do I. Something holds him back. For all his power... he's weak. Not like you.
- — Catwoman
Appearing in "Blank Slate"
Synopsis for "Blank Slate"
Kaiyo has stripped both Batman and Superman of any memories of their former lives. Having since learned that he is the richest man in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne is intent on taking advantage of it. Naturally, Alfred is concerned.
Catwoman meanwhile, has been taking advantage of Superman's amnesia, but her games are threatened by Lois Lane's insistence on trying to help him remember. Fortunately, Lois can tell Superman's heart is still in the right place - he's just placed his trust in the wrong person. Upon realizing that Catwoman has been trying to deceive him, and that he is the one Lois calls Superman, he grabs Catwoman, and flies off, leaving Lois to contend with Mr. Mangubat's drone robots. Despite his robots' violence, Mangubat speaks through the drones to claim that he is innocent, and can prove it. He is interrupted, though, by Batman, who destroys the drones. Annoyed, Lois knocks him over and demands to know who he is - because he's too stupid to be Batman.
When Superman accuses her of lying, Catwoman responds that he had never asked if she knew who he was. From what she could see, he had only cared about the fact that he had power. He was enjoying being who he is without the trappings of the label. He realizes that he hadn't even bothered to look into who he was, but now that he knows who he was, he can.
Flying past ta billboard for an action figure version of him, Superman is drawn to the Toymaster, who happens to be working on a video project that takes Superman's big fights with monsters and re-contextualizes them to show how Superman tries to keep people safe even in the midst of danger. Catwoman catches up to Superman and points out that despite seeing these videos, Superman doesn't understand the person he used to be. For all his power, something holds the real Superman back. This man - whoever he is now - can't be held back.
Lois learns quickly that Batman is also suffering from amnesia - and lying about it. She insists that despite not being able to remember how smart he is, he is one of the smartest people in the world, and he needs to help her help him - and Superman. Suddenly, an explosion knocks them over, and Batman is drawn away by some innocents wounded in the blast. Lois, meanwhile, is taken hostage by the Scarecrow, who apparently caused the explosion. While Batman struggles to lift a beam trapping the wounded, Scarecrow shoots the victims dead before running off, proving to Lois, at least, that he isn't ready to be playing at superhero - not so long as he can't remember how to be one. Solemnly, he tells her to call an ambulance.
As Alfred patches him up, Bruce admits that he can't remember anything, and wonders how his former self used to do what he clearly can't do anymore. Alfred suggests that maybe it is better that Bruce not know - that he remain a civilian. Bruce responds that people died because of him, and he needs to know. Sadly, Alfred explains how the Waynes had been murdered in front of Bruce's eyes at a boy, barely holding back his own tears as he remembers it. Bruce, though, remains emotionally detached, explaining that because he didn't live it, he can't feel it. Alfred admits that that is all he ever wanted for Bruce; to be spared that pain.
Having been influenced by Catwoman, Superman uses Hiro's resources to track Mangubat's drones, and crashes through the roof of Gotham City Hall insisting that he is the law now.
- This book was first published on October 1, 2014.
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