"Tenses, Part 2": William Black is on the news, reporting on Ted Krosby's robbery attempt and connecting it to Bruce Wayne's restructuring of Wayne Enterprises, which resulted in Ted's layoff. Bruce watches the WGGC broadcast with his arms crossed, a portrait of h

Batman: Tenses #2 is an issue of the series Batman: Tenses (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 2003. It was published on September 24, 2003.

Synopsis for "Tenses, Part 2"

William Black is on the news, reporting on Ted Krosby's robbery attempt and connecting it to Bruce Wayne's restructuring of Wayne Enterprises, which resulted in Ted's layoff. Bruce watches the WGGC broadcast with his arms crossed, a portrait of his parents looking down at him.

Bruce visits the doctor for a physical, and he tells him not to be alarmed by his scars because he plays a lot of extreme sports. After the physical, the doctor comments that aside from his "sports injuries," Bruce is in perfect physical health--in fact, his stress-tests show that he has no stress. That's unprecedented.

The doctor says that a friend of his, who is a homicide detective, once told him about a suspect who could fool a lie detector test because he was so in control of his own physiology. He called him "the greatest liar of all time."

Bruce goes to visit Ted at the Gotham Psyche Ward where the doctor there tells him that Ted has undergone a remarkable transformation. Ted is apparently calm and collected when Bruce sits down to introduce himself. Ted knows who and what he is--a "have" obliterating the "have-nots."

Ted has problems besides being fired, though. He can't see the future anymore. He rambles about how Bruce can't see the true him for a while before Bruce decides this is a waste of time and stands to leave. Before he goes, Ted asks him if he knew how much time he had--or didn't have--to waste, would he live differently? Does he ever stop to consider his own inferno?

Bruce flashes back to his parents' murders. Ted tells Bruce about his own father, who beat him and then left his family. "You have to love your father as much as you have to hate him," Ted says.

The visit ends when an orderly comes to drag Ted away. "You know, I forgot to tell you... You look familiar. Have we met before?" he asks as he's pulled out of the room. "If I could still see the future, I could tell you if we'd meet again. Or I could tell you how you die. Alone. Cold and alone."

William Black ambushes Bruce in the parking garage. Bruce demands to know why he's there, and Black jokes that he made a bet with his friend on whether Bruce would visit Ted or not. Bruce goes to storm off, and Black says he left a lot out of his reports--like what happened to Bruce's parents. And he doesn't actually think Bruce has anything to do with Ted's actions or mental health, but his boss want him to goose Bruce, so he does. He knows that Bruce is nothing like the corporate image he projects, and he understands what he's gone through--his own parents died when he was fourteen in a car wreck. Even before then, his parents were about to disown him for things about him that they hate and he's never told anyone about. He places a hand on Bruce's shoulder and tells him if he ever wants to talk to someone... Bruce grabs his wrist and twists. "Don't," he says, and he heads towards his car.

Batman goes on patrol, taking out a room full of armed men, before returning to Wayne Manor. He stares out the window and sees his reflection as a skull.

Ted is being transferred from the Gotham Psyche Ward to Arkham Asylum when the armored van he's in is hit by another car and knocked over. Lance cuts off his straight jacket, and Ted asks to use Lance's gun and kill the injured van driver himself. "I have an itch. I definitely have an itch," he says.

Lance's crew are watching television when he interrupts them and says they have a goldmine in the next room. It's time to beat some prophecy out of Ted... but when they go into the next room, they find Ted covered in the blood of one of the robbers, who has a knife in his stomach. Ted asks Lance what the difference between living and dying is, and he suggests they find out, diving at him. He rips out Lance's throat with his teeth. Some deaths taste better than others, and Ted is still hungry.

Bruce is injured from an intensive workout the night before when his secretary Marion brings him his mail, his messages, and the Morning Globe. She warns him that the coffee machine is on the blink, but he isn't paying attention--he's reading an article about a tenement massacre that resulted in the deaths of all 348 residents of the Park Row building.

In the Batcave, Bruce listens to the TV report on the massacre while looking through photos of the victims. He notices the photos of Lance and the other criminals. He pulls up Ted Krosby's employment file.

The Batcomputer alarm goes off, and Bruce sees William Black on the security camera. Black tells him that Ted is on the loose, but that's not what he came here to talk to Bruce about... He brings up the scene in the garage and asks Bruce to admit he touched a nerve. Bruce brushes him off.

Black says he's done trying to interpret Bruce's business strategies and his ex-employees' neuroses. He saw something deeper and familiar in Bruce, and he wants to know if he's wrong. Bruce tells him he's barking up the wrong tree. Bruce knows who and what he is, and he's not hiding from anything. Black gives Bruce his shrink's card with his number on the back, then sees himself out.

Ted has driven out to his father's house, and he's now having dinner with his father Robert and his stepmother Carla. Ted says they must be wondering why he's come to see them after twenty-six years, and he tells them his mother Althea is dead. Robert admits he knew. He asks Ted to join him in the study to talk.

Bruce has found Robert Krosby's last known mailing address. He's suiting up as the weather man says this is the worst blizzard of the past twenty years. Bruce climbs into the Batplane and flies away.

In Robert's study, Ted says that he isn't here for reconciliation but confrontation. Robert says this isn't a Greek tragedy and Ted is a grown man. What's past is past. Robert carries his regret around with him, but Ted says he can't see it. He throws Robert's book From Ritual to Romance into the fire and declares that his entire life has been a war with his father. He's seen the future, but he doesn't need to be a passive observer anymore. It's time to affect the future. Imagine entropy. Now feel it...

Carla puts the dishes in the dishwasher before going to look for her husband and stepson. She finds them in the study--Ted crouches over his dead father, his mouth covered in blood.

Carla runs to the telephone as Ted chases after her. waving around the fire poker he used to kill Robert. Carla abandons her attempt to call the police and runs outside, colliding with a man's chest.

Batman pushes Carla behind him as Ted advances. Batman throws a Batarang that strikes Ted in the eye, causing him to drop the fire poker.

Ted rips his injured eye out of the socket and says it's a good look for him. He runs inside to find a mirror, and Batman tells Carla that if he's not back in ten minutes... Never mind. He'll be right back.

Batman follows the sound of Ted's voice as he rambles about how he misses the truth, he misses the visions, and he thinks he can get them back... if he sends Batman to hell.

Ted is now wearing nothing but his briefs and his father's face as a mask and cape. He asks Batman if he wears his mask and cape because it empowers him. Can he fly? Because Ted thinks he can. Batman says he can't, and Ted says, "Sucks to be you."

Ted brandishes his knife, but Batman kicks him in the head, then punches him in the stomach and sends him flying out a window.

Ted tells Batman he knows his future, and Batman's not in it. Batman can stop him if he wants to bring him to his notion of justice. He's already dead at this point. He might find a reason to go on, though, if he could end up reflecting him.

Or Batman could abort. It's his choice.

Ted walks away into the snow, and Batman doesn't stop him.

Batman goes to find Carla and tells her it's over. She should go inside, and he'll inform the local authorities that she's here and they'll come get her.

He adds, "Be kind to yourself. The suffering to come... Well, you'll survive it. You'll find strength you never knew you had. We all have it."

Batman boards the Batplane and flies away.

William Black is interviewing Bruce Wayne, who says he downsized Wayne Enterprises because they're heading into a recession. Black asks how the challenges of his past factor into his current responsibilities, and Bruce says the past has its place but he sees no reason to revisit it. He's looking to the future--and Wayne Enterprises plans to make a large contribution to the future of Gotham.

Bruce and Black shake hands, and Bruce slips Black back the psychologist's business card he gave him earlier.

Bruce walks the Wayne Manor grounds and stares out at the Gotham skyline. In the Batcave later, he works out until he breaks a sweat.

Appearing in "Tenses, Part 2"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • William Black


  • Theodore M. "Ted" Krosby
  • Lance (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Thomas Wayne (In picture only) (Dies in flashback)
  • Martha Wayne (In picture only) (Dies in flashback)
  • Althea M. Krosby (In picture only)
  • Robert L. Krosby (Dies)
  • Carla Krosby
  • Marion





  • Robert Krosby calls his ex-wife "Marion" whereas she is called "Althea M. Krosby" in Ted's employment record and in her obituary. It is possible "Marion" was her middle name that her ex-husband referred to her by. It is likewise possible that there was a mistake at some point in the production process, and Althea's was substituted with that of Bruce Wayne's secretary Marion.
  • From Ritual to Romance is a real book by Jessie L. Weston (published in 1920) examining Arthurian myth in the context of paganism and Christianity.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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