"Book One": When a final confrontation between Batman and the Joker sends the two careening off a bridge, Batman sustains heavy injuries while the Joker is reported to have met his demise. Awaking in an ambulance, Batman fights his way through persistent EMTs and makes his escape. In trying to m
- Black 'n' white... Love 'n' hate... Life 'n' death... Is said there's a THIN LINE between 'em. Reminds me of an old joke. Something to do with insanity an' a beam of light. Not much on the details. The punchline, tho...? It's about a FALL.
Appearing in "Book One"
- James Gordon (First appearance)
- Spectre (First appearance)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Superman (Mentioned only)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Book One"
When a final confrontation between Batman and the Joker sends the two careening off a bridge, Batman sustains heavy injuries while the Joker is reported to have met his demise. Awaking in an ambulance, Batman fights his way through persistent EMTs and makes his escape. In trying to make it to safety, he succumbs to his injuries and collapses in a street, where he is rescued by occult detective John Constantine.
Fading in and out of consciousness, Batman begins having flashbacks to his childhood and his time spent with his deceased parents Thomas and Martha Wayne. However, something seems different... His memories are plagued by the mystical witch Enchantress.
Back in present day, Batman wakes up in the hotel room of Constantine, who says to Batman that he will need an ally after his fight with the Joker. Batman then learns of the Joker's apparent death on Constantine's television. Having no memory of the finality of the encounter, he is haunted by the possibility that he may have murdered the Joker himself. He returns to the bridge and promptly begins investigating the situation, finding a homeless man claiming to have witnessed the Joker's murder at the hands of the devil. The homeless man vanishes before Batman can interrogate him.
Batman returns to the Batcave to reflect on the situation and assess his wounds, where he is plagued by strange voices and hallucinates one of his Batsuits coming to life and attacking him. Later, Batman disguises himself to observe Gotham City's street activity. He is visited by Deadman, who warns him that dark forces are conspiring against him. That night, Batman and Constantine meet at a church where a statue of Jesus Christ has been desecrated with the Joker's smile.
- The first comic book to be published under the DC Black Label imprint for mature readers.
- The original printing is the first comic book to show Bruce Wayne fully naked without censorship. However, this was edited out of digital copies of the issue, and DC has announced intentions to only include the censored version in all future printings of the comic.
- No trivia.
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