"Duel": Batman walks through a snow covered mountain range carrying a green bag. He approaches the same monastery he trained in as a youth, walking past a grave. Inside the monastery, the Master states that Batman has two choices: abandon his current path or embrace i
- I believe in the absolute sacredness of human life. I may not really believe in anything else.
- — Batman
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #1 is an issue of the series Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1991.
Synopsis for "Duel"
Batman walks through a snow covered mountain range carrying a green bag. He approaches the same monastery he trained in as a youth, walking past a grave. Inside the monastery, the Master states that Batman has two choices: abandon his current path or embrace it fully. Batman chooses the second option and is instructed to go though a door and not to forget his bag; which Batman calls "his burden".
Once through the door Batman falls to a hellish cavern where a demon tries its best to get Batman's burden but is defeated. Exiting that hell, Batman finds himself in a castle with a princess whose clothes change to that of a simple housewife. He recognizes her as Taila as she offers him food and drink. The food tastes like dried jerky and the wine is blood. Talia then changes into a white skinned demon who tries to prevent Batman from leaving but fails.
She confronts Batman again and he knocks away her cup of blood revealing another doorway which takes him to Washington, DC which is under invasion by a flying saucer. After the saucer crashes into the Capitol Building, the image of a bug-like alien demands the sacrifice of a million people or it will destroy the planet. Batman enters the Capitol Building, where he finds and defeats the alien. The alien reveals that it was all a ruse as its ship's crash was due to it being out of fuel and was bound to a code where it must slay a foe or die in combat. Batman informs the alien his own code forbids the taking of life and the alien asks if it might find asylum here. Batman replies it might and goes up into the spaceship.
Walking out of a dense smog, Batman is now in Prohibition Era America and after fighting the gangsters who stole his burden, he falls into a river. The current then drags Batman to a snowstorm. He again hears the voice of the demon from hell who tells him that Batman knows how to shut him up.
Lighting a fire Batman falls asleep only to be waken by undead Nazi soldiers. Batman escapes to a ledges above a bridge with German casualties buried at the site. On the bridge are two tanks. On the nearest one is an Obeah Man (a practitioner of voodoo) and from the other emerges Adolf Hitler. As Hitler rages in German about soldiers who will not fall to bullets, the Obeah Man raises the German soldiers from their graves. The ledge Batman is on collapses, putting him in the middle of the German soldiers. As Batman dashes toward the tank with Hitler he is hit in the side of the head which echoes blows he has had at every other stage of this journey. Getting to Hitler the tank falls backward and only Hitler survives. Hitler then changes into the Joker.
The Joker reveals that Batman has been hallucinating, caused by the cold and the Joker hitting him in the head with a rock. Batman keeps walking across the snowy mountains of Korea, carrying the inabilidated Joker inside a green bag. Batman realizes that the hallucinations started once they passed the grave of the Master. The Joker tells Batman how he acted in reality and his actions coincide with the hallucinations he had.
The Joker then asks why Batman doesn't kill him. Batman responds that would make him no better than his enemies and make him into the insane avenger people already think he is. When the Joker comments about how disgusting noble that is Batman reveals that his final reason is that he refuses to give the Joker the satisfaction of him failing.
Appearing in "Duel"
- Master (Hallucination)
- Talia al Ghul (Hallucination)
- Ra's al Ghul (Flashback only)
- Penguin (Flashback only)
- Adolf Hitler (Hallucination)
- Zombie Nazi soldiers
- Batcave (Hallucination)
- Paektu-San Mountains
- Paektu-San Mountains
- Washington, D.C. (Hallucination)
- Capitol Building(Hallucination)
- Hell (Hallucination)
- Prohibition Era America (Hallucination)