"The Darker Knight": This story is reprinted from Batman: The Adventures Continue #7 (Digital) and Batman: The Adventures Continue #8 (Digital).
Batman: The Adventures Continue #4 is an issue of the series Batman: The Adventures Continue (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 2020. It was published on September 1, 2020.
Synopsis for "The Darker Knight"
While chasing Catwoman, Batman wonders if Tim is right about him deliberately taking time to nab her. As Selina tosses the bag with the her stolen goods, Batman saves them with his Batrope but this allows her a chance to escape. Before she can escape however, a mysterious figure in an armored suit entangles her in his bolas and swings away with her.
As Batman swings after him, the armored figure cuts the legs of the water tank his rope is latched onto, forcing him to grab onto a ledge with his rope. The armored assailant demands Catwoman tell her about the location of the shawl she stole and threatens to pierce her eye when she doesn't answer straight. Batman knocks the sword from his hand using a Batarang and gets attacked after expressing that he won't be harming anyone.
While fighting his adversary, Batman realizes he's fought him before and uses knockout gas. He however reacts quickly to avoid being affected much and grabs his sword before running away. Meanwhile, Batman's stalker expresses excitement at his latest fight from afar. Batman then asks Catwoman about the shawl he stole and learns that it's the Shawl of Magdalene, which is holy to the Order of St. Dumas and gets told that it can heal people. He warns her that she'll be in danger if she doesn't help him in finding it and promises to protect her.
While getting Catwoman arrested, Batman tells Gordon that she'll need constant protection against the person after her. He soon gets contacted by Alfred who tells him about a visitor at the manor, the same man who had fought him earlier. Back home, Bruce finds out that he's none other than Jean-Paul Valley, his old training partner during his time at the Order of St. Dumas, who states that he recognized who he was under his mask too due to his fighting style.
Valley states that he's been named Azrael by the order's clerics and had come to Gotham to take back the shawl Catwoman stole, deciding to dress himself akin to Batman so he can strike terror into the hearts of the criminals. He also tells him that he expected him to quit the Order of St. Dumas, knowing he was just there to learn techniques of fighting. Bruce convinces him to let Catwoman go, since he knows the client she stole it for. He also has Alfred design a new suit for him so he appears to be on his side.
At the Iceberg Lounge, the Penguin revealed that he had the shawl stolen for another client but refused to reveal who they were. Azrael attacks him but gets restrained by Bruce, before being told to confess who he stole the shawl for. The crime lord however introduces them to Mr. Wing, a giant bird-like person that does his bidding, as he proceeds to grab Batman.
As Mr. Wing gloats about earning a bonus for killing both Batman and Azrael, Bruce directs his partner to use the "Sword of Salvation" technique, with both kicking him in the gut. Batman fights him while Azrael chases after the Penguin and succeeds in knocking the giant man-bird out. Catching up with Azrael, he finds he has badly beaten up Penguin while forcing him to tell whom he had the Shawl of Magdalene stolen for.
Azrael tosses the Penguin off the balcony, stating he must suffer in place of Catwoman for the theft. As Batman is forced to save the Penguin, he finds that Azrael has fled the Iceberg Lounge. Bruce later tells Alfred about his worries of not being able to find him before he leaves a lot of bodies in wake, but gets told by him of a body being stolen from a graveyard which he'll find interesting. Meanwhile at the Iceland skating rink, Azrael discovers a corpse covered with the Shawl of Magdalene, realizing Penguin's client didn't know of its powers.
Mr. Freeze confronts Azrael when he tries taking the shawl back while refusing to listen to him when he states that he's sympathetic about what happened to his wife and that the Shawl of Magdalene cannot resurrect the dead, proceeding to encase him in ice. Batman arrives to investigate the rink after learning that the corpse that was recently stolen was of Nora Fries, since Mr. Freeze once used the rink to stash his weapons and guessed he was behind it. He soon finds Azrael frozen in ice and gets attacked by Freeze, who states he has a minute to save his partner.
Tossing Nora's corpse over, Batman creates a distraction which allows him to pierce Freeze's helmet and the ice encasing Azrael with his Batarangs, which generate sonic pulses to break the two things. After encasing Freeze's head in ice to help him survive, Bruce finds that Azrael is barely alive and uses the Shawl of Magdalene to save him. Later at a church of the Order of St. Dumas, Batman lights votive candles for Nora and Freeze's recovery. Jean-Paul puts the shawl back in its case in the church and promises Bruce that he'll be there if he ever needs help again.
Meanwhile at an amusement park, the man who's been stalking the Batman Family is spying on Joker in his hideout from a Ferris wheel. Joker soon realizes this upon spotting him from his window.
Appearing in "The Darker Knight"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Gotham City Police Department
- Jason Todd (Unnamed)
- The Joker
- Nora Fries (Appears only as a corpse)
- Deathstroke (Mentioned only)
- Order of St. Dumas (Mentioned only)
- Tim Drake (Mentioned only)
- Gotham City
- Rome (Mentioned only)
- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Adventures Continue series
- Images from Batman: The Adventures Continue Vol 1 4
- 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)
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- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
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- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
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- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
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- World's Finest (Volume 1)
- DC Animated Universe Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the DC Universe (Volume 1)
- The Batgirl Adventures #1
- Batman Adventures (Volume 1)
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- The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years (Volume 1)
- The Batman Adventures: Mad Love
- The Batman and Robin Adventures (Volume 1)
- Batman and Superman Adventures: World's Finest
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- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - The Animated Movie #1
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- Superman Adventures (Volume 1)
- Superman & Batman Magazine (Volume 1)