"Crimson Mist": In the wake of the vampiric Batman's death, Gotham City becomes overrun by a variety of "freaks", including the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and the recently-maddened Harvey Dent. In desperation, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred remove the wooden stake from Batman's body, returning the
- Cursed by Dracula's kiss and the Joker's foul blood, I am beyond redemption, and soon to pass beyond caring.
Batman: Crimson Mist is a one-shot with a cover date of February, 1999. It was published on December 9, 1998.
Synopsis for "Crimson Mist"
In the wake of the vampiric Batman's death, Gotham City becomes overrun by a variety of "freaks", including the Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and the recently-maddened Harvey Dent. In desperation, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred remove the wooden stake from Batman's body, returning the undead Dark Knight to "life". To their dismay, Batman has been driven insane after spending months impaled in his coffin, conscious but immobile; upon being freed, he proclaims that he has become nothing more than another monster hungry for blood.
As days pass, the vampiric Batman gruesomely kills and devours most of the "freaks" plaguing Gotham, going so far as to slay every inmate inside Arkham Asylum. In order to fight this new menace, Gordon and Alfred are forced to join forces with the only remaining criminals: Croc, Dent (now calling himself "Two-Face"), and a small band of their henchmen. The group then lures Batman into the deepest depths of the Batcave, armed with oak-bolt crossbows. Their ultimate goal is drive him into an area laden with explosives, which will expose the cave - and Batman - to sunlight.
Once Batman appears to have been slain, however, the other members of the party turn on Gordon and Alfred. A chase through the caves ensues, and while Gordon surreptitiously kills Two-Face's minions with his remaining bolts, Alfred finds his master at the edge of a cliff - wounded, but not dead. Refusing to abandon either of his friends, Alfred volunteers his blood and his life so that Batman can regain his strength and save Gordon. After accepting Alfred's sacrifice (and decapitating him so he will not return as a vampire), Batman kills Croc and Two-Face, before starting to succumb to his bloodlust again.
Hysteric, Batman presents Gordon with an ultimatum: join him in his bloodlust and doom the human race to an early extinction, or kill him so that he may never threaten mankind again. An anguished Gordon chooses the latter, setting off the explosives. Despite Batman's pleadings to run, however, the explosives trigger a rockslide that trap Gordon inside the cave, ultimately crushing him. As he silently grieves over his two closest friends, a melancholy Batman allows the sun to burn him to ashes, and usher him into eternal rest at last.
Appearing in "Crimson Mist"
- Batman (Dies)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Dies)
- Commissioner Gordon (Dies)
- Amygdala (Dies)
- Black Mask (Dies)
- False Face Society (Dies)
- Killer Croc (Dies)
- Mad Hatter (Dies)
- Penguin (Dies)
- Poison Ivy (Dies)
- Riddler (Dies)
- Scarecrow (Dies)
- Two-Face (Dies)
- Zsasz (Dies)
- Catwoman (Flashback only)
- Jeremiah Arkham
- Thomas Wayne (Mentioned only)
- This book was originally scheduled for November 18, 1998, but was delayed.
- Final volume of what became the Batman - Vampire trilogy.
- Previous volumes were Batman and Dracula: Red Rain and Batman: Bloodstorm.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Vampire and Elseworlds: Batman Vol. 2.
- The phrase "crimson mist" can refer to the phenomenon of people having difficulty remembering their actions when in a state of rage. In this way, the title of the story gains a double meaning: it refers to Batman's hunger-induced madness, as well as the red mist form he takes to infiltrate villainous strongholds.
- Penciler Kelley Jones dedicated this book to the late Christopher Lee, one of the most iconic actors to ever portray Dracula.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)