"Batman: In Darkest Knight": Bruce Wayne slumps in a chair, bleeding from wounds sustained in a fight with a woman in the East End, and asks his father for guidance. Outside a bat flies past the window, witness to a green projectile plummet from the sky. A voice rouses
- My mourning has always been my work. Alfred would understand that... As you understand it, Father.
Batman: In Darkest Knight is a one-shot with a cover date of February, 1994.
Synopsis for "Batman: In Darkest Knight"
Bruce Wayne slumps in a chair, bleeding from wounds sustained in a fight with a woman in the East End, and asks his father for guidance. Outside a bat flies past the window, witness to a green projectile plummet from the sky. A voice rouses Bruce from his thought and sees spirit of an alien materialise above his father's bust. He dismisses the vision as a hallucination from loss of blood, until the alien uses his power to heal Bruce's wounds.
Accompanied by Alfred, Bruce discovers the crash site of a spaceship on the grounds of Wayne Manor. He enters alone to face the dying Abin Sur who passes on his power ring to whom he deems worthy. Finally receiving the means to strike fear in criminals, Bruce first puts his abilities to use by hiding the ship in a cave below the mansion and burying the man who entrusted it to him. The ring imparts him with the knowledge of the sacred oath as he recharges its power.
After a five hour stand-off between police and armed robbers outside Acme Chemical Processing Inc., Commissioner Gordon stands next to D.A. Harvey Dent, pressured by the mayor to put an end to the situation. They all turn quickly to a burst of verdant light behind them to behold a masked man in a cape. The mysterious stranger swoops into the factory and deflects all the incoming fire with ease while restraining the gunmen. Unfortunately, some of the bullets ricochet which perforating nearby vats, releasing a yellow gas that makes Bruce's constructs ineffectual. By vacuuming up the dust across the room, he indirectly creates a barrier to hold back the gas, but a foolish criminal tries to shoot, igniting the flammable fumes. The explosion rips the building apart, but the hero clad in green emerges from the disaster unharmed with the culprits encased in a force field. He delivers the crooks to the police, and unmasks the Red Hood who tries to flee. An irritated Commissioner demands to know who the powerful new stranger is, and the vigilante introduces himself as Green Lantern before flying away to Gordon's chagrin.
Back at the cave, Alfred is surprised by a large head manifesting itself over the power battery. Bruce stops training to face one of the Guardians of the Universe he has been expecting. The Guardian wastes no time in ordering the newest Lantern of Sector 2814 to leave for Sector 1417 and apprehend the Green Lantern known as Sinestro. Bruce insists his presence is needed more on Earth, but the Guardian cunningly persuades the defiant recruit by mentioning how Sinestro is abusing his power to subjugate the weak.
Bruce's morals take him to Korugar where he finds Sinestro lounging in a throne. Sinestro welcomes his colleague but Bruce is less than cordial. Sinestro responds to the intruders insult with a barrage of yellow lasers that Bruce narrowly evades while landing a blow of his own. Furious, Sinestro chases after his assailant and their dogfight risks the innocent people below. Doubling back, Bruce draws Sinestro once more to the throne room where he blasts his pursuer with his very own lasers. With Sinestro subdued, Bruce confiscates his ring, only to be met with angry and frightened citizens who grew dependent on their master. One woman steps forward, and rebukes them for their attachment to a tyrant when they are now free. Bruce sees the strength in the woman and offers her the ring of Sector 1417, and as he leaves with his prisoner in tow she introduces herself as Katma Tui.
Green Lantern delivers the traitor Sinestro to Oa, and meets with the Guardians in person, along with Tomar-Re, who reproach Bruce for callously selecting Sinestro's replacement. The trial is swift, and Sinestro is sentenced to permanent banishment on the planet of Qward. As soon as the naked exile materialises on the harsh planet, he finds a weaponer awaiting his arrival who offers Sinestro a Qwardian power ring.
Back on Earth, Commissioner Gordon has a surprise visit from the Green Lantern in his office. The uninvited guest asks Gordon to help him track down any leads on criminals who would have worked Park Row twenty-five years ago, unwilling to give more specific details that would reveal his identity. Indignantly, Gordon refuses to help the vigilante he feels is undermining police authority. The Green Lantern takes his leave with a mild threat and Gordon immediately begins digging up old files. He narrows the suspects down to three men known to work that area at the time, when he is interrupted but another unwanted visitor. Gordon draws his weapon on the suspicious stranger but Sinestro contains the primitive weapon in a yellow field. For the insult, Sinestro stops Gordon's heart before leaving.
In a seedy room across town, Joe Chill's rendezvous with a prostitute is interrupted by a knock on the door. The middle aged man irritably answers to find a young, well-dress boy on the other side. At first, Chill doesn't recognise the only survivor of the Wayne murders, but upon recollection, Sinestro drops the illusion. Terrified, Chill runs to the gun stashed under his pillow, but Sinestro neutralises Chill and his escort with ease. Hoping to hurt the Green Lantern as much as possible, Sinestro transfers the killer's consciousness to his own. The duel minds adding madness to his malice.
Harvey Dent stands alone over the crime scene where the Commissioner was found dead until the Green Lantern appears, just as the D.A. had figured he would. Dent is conflicted, the lawyer in him despises actions taken outside of the law, yet another part of him admires the vigilante and concedes he may be a necessary evil. As Green Lantern examines the profiles Gordon extracted, Dent explains there must be a connection and there is only one of the three men they have yet to account for. The Green Lantern takes it upon himself to hunt down the final suspect, leaving Dent bitterly imagining what that kind of power could accomplish in the right hands.
Green Lantern discovers Chill's corpse and detects a strange yellow aura around it. He has no pity for the man who robbed him of his parents, but turns in surprise when he is called by name. He finds himself facing Sinestro dressed in a gaudy purple tuxedo, now referring to himself in the plural rather singular. Green Lantern quickly deduces his two foes are now one, and dives out of the path of Sinestro's blasts. Grabbing a mirror from the wall, Green Lantern deflects Sinestro's beam back on himself and takes the opportunity to fly from the building. Sinestro pursues relentlessly, causing serious collateral damage in his wake. An exploding car gives Green Lantern the cover he needs to land several blows on his aggressor. Shocked by the assault, Sinestro flees the scene as Green Lantern quells the fire.
Realising he needs help to turn the tables on his enemy, Sinestro and Chill both select candidates to empower. Sinestro sneaks up behind Harvey Dent and irradiates him with his ring. To further his plan, Sinestro flies to the next inhabited planet and creates a geological cataclysm.
Days pass without any leads on his nemesis, until Green Lantern investigates a breached security field he set up around a government facility. It takes extra caution, making himself invisible to investigate further, but he is still spotted by the keen eyes of Star Sapphire. Green Lantern recognises her scarred ally, Binary Star, to be none other than Dent, and the woman the very same he fought the night he obtained the ring. Despite their new abilities, Green Lantern despatches Sinestro's pawns efficiently, but the duo use their remaining power to teleport back to their leader.
Desperate to find the villains, Green Lantern positions satellites around the globe, but Sinestro gloats behind his yellow cloaking field as he watches the lifeforms on another planet succumb to the noxious gas and magma from the maniac's intentional eruptions.
The plight of the beings on Regor IV does not go unnoticed, and the Guardians soon contact Lantern 2814 to attend to his duties. Bruce stubbornly defies his orders, insisting Sinestro's presence on Earth is of greater importance. He is warned such insubordination warrants removal of his ring, but Bruce ignores their threat and boldly tells them they'll have to take it from him.
Watching with sadistic glee, Sinestro takes pleasure in his deception unfolding even better than he planned. Once the Guardians have stripped Wayne of his ring, he will be left defenceless.
The Guardians ruminate over the arrogant recruit of Earth's fate, yet one sees an opportunity for an alternative path to address all issues. The Guardians reach out to other Earthlings with the potential to be heroes; a Kansas farmer, Clark Kent, the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta, and a forensic scientist, Barry Allen.
As Green Lantern continues his search for Sinestro, he is intercepted by four of his fellow Corps members. Tomar-Re, supported by Katma Tui, Arisia and Kilowog, informs Bruce to surrender his ring immediately. With no intention of submitting, Bruce breaks free from their bonds and out manoeuvres them in the air.
While the Green Lantern has his hands full, Sinestro and his lackeys invade his secret cave to implement a back-up. Blasting Alfred to one side, Sinestro commanders the power battery to sabotage it. His malicious scheme is discovered as three costumed vigilantes announce themselves, all bearing the emblem of the Green Lantern Corps.
Elsewhere, the numbers prove too much for Bruce as the other Lanterns restrain him and commandeer his ring, while in the cave, another battle begins. The mysterious 'Wonder Woman' pleads with Star Sapphire not to resort to violence, but is obliged to capture her 'sister' using her lasso of emerald glow. Binary Star struggles in vain to find a frequency that can harm this supposed 'Superman' but never has the chance as the man of steel crushes Dent's power gauntlets. Sinestro's ring is redundant when facing a man who can move faster than the speed of light, and the human 'Flash' disarms the menace in the blink of an eye. His punch sends the battery across the room from Sinestro's hands, and a wounded Alfred manages to crawl towards it. In a final act of service to his master, Alfred takes the battery in his hands, sacrificing himself in an explosion meant for its owner.
The selfless act is felt by Bruce, fuelling his resolve to such an extent that his confiscated ring responds to his will, leaping from Tomar-Re's palm to Bruce whilst binding the others. Green Lantern speeds back to the cave to find Wonder Woman cradling Alfred's body in her arms, but not before the culprits manage to teleport off-world thanks to the proximity of Sinestro's loyal ring. Bruce buries the man who helped raise him next to the grave of Abin Sur. With three new heroes to protect Earth, Bruce offers them his home and sanctum as a headquarters, while he pursues the fugitives in space.
With the Guardians getting their way, they call off Tomar-Re and the others, now that Lantern 2814 is prepared to leave his world behind.
Appearing in "Batman: In Darkest Knight"
- Alfred Pennyworth (Dies)
- Commissioner Gordon (Dies)
- Guardians of the Universe
- Green Lantern Corps
- Joe Chill (Body dies; mind transferred to Sinestro)
- Harvey Dent/Binary Star
- Star Sapphire
- Weaponers of Qward
- Red Hood
- Martha Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Amanda Pollock (Mentioned only)
- Councilman Genovese (Mentioned only)
- Harvey Harris (Mentioned only)
- Sector 2814
- Sector 1417
- Antimatter Universe
- This Elseworlds storyline is the basis for the post-Infinite Crisis parallel universe of Earth-32.
- The first page opens similarly to to the sequence in Batman: Year One in which a wounded Bruce Wayne ponders how to make criminals fear him. Another callback to Year One is Bruce recognizing that Star Sapphire is the same woman he encountered on the East End the night he got the ring, and almost died that night. This implies Bruce Wayne's history was approximately the same as his New Earth counterpart up until Abin Sur's arrival.
- Batman captured the Red Hood, who complained that he had a really bad day, a reference to the Joker's backstory shown in Batman: The Killing Joke. This implies the Red Hood's transformation into the Joker (as seen in Killing Joke) was prevented due to Bruce Wayne having a Green Lantern ring.
- This issue is reprinted in Elseworlds: Batman Vol. 1.
- Sinestro has no mustache.
- After absorbing Joe Chill's mind Sinestro dresses like the Joker and has a split personality like Two Face.