"Book Two: Capture": Batman confronts his old enemey Two-Face, who is trying to kill him. Inadvertently, Batman also pulls out a machine gun and kills Two-Face, feeling only contempt for the man and satisfaction with his actions. However, T
- Welcome to hell.
- — Batman
Appearing in "Book Two: Capture"
- Deacon Blackfire
- Jake Baker
- Councilman Holmes (Dies)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Sergeant Deleon
- Mayor (Dies)
- Otis Johnson (Dies)
- Two-Face (Hallucination)
Synopsis for "Book Two: Capture"
Batman confronts his old enemey Two-Face, who is trying to kill him. Inadvertently, Batman also pulls out a machine gun and kills Two-Face, feeling only contempt for the man and satisfaction with his actions. However, Two-Face's corpse soon starts changing into that of Commissioner Gordon and Batman begins to realize this is all an illusion. Breaking the hallucination, reality is not pleasant either, as Batman realizes that he has in fact killed a man. Batman finally remembers that he has been taken along the "underworlders" and they have slaughtered a large gang of Gotham Organized Crime, following Deacon Blackfire's design.
When the massacre is over, Batman is told to return to the sewers, but the grip of the drugs used on him is beginning to loose and Batman gets a glimpse of food, but he is prevented from eating as it would nourish him back to health. Blackfire's second in command, Jack Baker, takes Batman down to the sewers, where he is forbidden to enter Blackfire's inner sanctum. Baker also commands Batman to wait until further instructions. Lost in thoughts, Batman starts feeling miserable and begins to doubt the "truth" that the Deacon has told him. While struggling to find the answers, Batman is interrupted by Ratface, who wants Batman to go with him on a mission.
Ratface takes Batman to the surface and tells him that they are going to get rid of a pimp. Upon reaching their destination, Batman notices that the man they are supposed to kill doesn't look like a criminal, but Ratface tries to convince him otherwise. Confused, Batman doesn't move and Ratface attacks the man, stabbing him several times and leaving the corpse bleeding on the street. A police officer appears and attempts to arrest Ratface for murder and just hearing that word breaks the bonds of confusion in Batman's mind. Released from Blackfire's total control, Batman attacks Ratface and knocks him unconscious. The police officer then tries to help Batman, but the Dark Knight attacks the officer as well before leaving the place, following a more basic instinct.
The disappearance of Batman and Ratface is noticed down in the sewers and while Blackfire is not concerned about Batman, he is more worried about Ratface, since he was a willing follower, whose main goal was to get the means to kill a man he hated. Blackfire fears that if captured by the police, Ratface would give away his plan. True to Blackfire's prediction, Ratface is taken to the GCPD Headquarters, where he is interrogated and he tells the truth about Blackfire's conspiracy to take over Gotham. When the news reach the general public, most of Gotham's citizens believe Blackfire is doing good by removing the homeless from the streets and killing the criminals of the city. Despite their discovery, Gordon is still worried about Batman, but Robin has a plan to find his mentor.
Meanwhile, Batman is out there on the streets, breaking into stores and stealing food to recover his strength. The raw food he gets at first gives him enough strength to think clearly, but his body would need further energy. Batman makes it to Gotham's Cental Park, where he scares a couple away from their picnic basket and finally gets a good meal for the first time in weeks. A few minutes after eating all the food available, Batman finally recovers his strength and will, coming to the realization that he was manipulated by the means of drugs. Gathering all his strength, Batman decides he has to go to the sewers and stop Blackfire.
At that moment, Robin goes dow the sewers, disguised as a homeless man, looking for Batman. Deacon Blackfire has already learned of Ratface's betrayal and he has set his ultimate plan in motion. Blackfire has gathered all his followers and he reveals them the nature of his plan, turning all the "underworlders" against the authorities of the city. Batman arrives just in time to witness Blackfire's speech, but he ignores most of it, choosing to go to the sacred inner sanctum. Batman breaks into Blackfire's secret place and finds a room filled with luxurious objects. The final piece of the puzzle is found and Batman understands Blackfire is nothing but a con-artist. With this evidence, he hopes to get Gordon and the police down to the sewers and stop the madness, but he is attacked from behind by Blackfire's followers and taken to the Deacon himself. Blackfire learns of Batman's activies and he commands his men to kill the Dark Knight, keeping his blood so that he can nourish from it afterwars. As Batman is taken away, Robin follows them closely.
Elsewhere, Commissioner Gordon tries to warn the Mayor of Gotham of the upcoming threat, but the man disregards the warning, giving Gordon full responsibility to deal with the crisis. Just as the Mayor leaves on his car, some of Blackfire's men place a bomb underneath the vehicle and seconds later, the car explodes, killing the Mayor. The news soon reach the City Council and Councilman Holmes finds the perfect opportunity to become Gothamn's self-appointed Mayor. Unfortunately, Blackfire's conspiracy reaches him as well as he is crushed by a trash truck even as he is thinking of his self-appointment. Just a few hours later, Gotham learns that the Mayor and the entire City Council have been murdered in gruesome manners. The only authority figure left in the city is Commissioner Gordon, who now has to deal with Deacon Blackfire on his own and the media also notices Batman's absence during these events, meaning the possible desertion of the Dark Knight from Gordon's side to join Blackfire's ranks.
Unlike the media's assertions, Batman is still being carried to the place where he would be sacrificed and the long trip allows him to recover from the blow he received. Once fully recovered, Batman attacks his captors and he escapes through the water. The thugs believe Batman wouldn't survive and they return to Blackfire. Robin, who witnessed the whole scene, jumps into the water and follows Batman's trail until a massive drop of water leads him to a tunnel. Meanwhile, Gordon starts a deep investigation of Blackfire's past and he learns the man has records that go back to the turn of the century. Back at the sewers, Robin goes into the tunnel and unable to see anything, he calls out for Batman, who replies in a weak voice and speaks of his punishment for doubting Blackfire's truth. Robin doesn't understand, but he realizes his surroundings hold someting terrible and sinister. Robin takes out a lantern from his Utility Belt and shines some light on the tunnel, revealing the gruesome truth. Batman's mental breakdown is justified as Robin realizes that they are both standing atop of a mound of corpses.
- This issue is reprinted in the Batman: The Cult.
- The issue features a note, clearing the mistake about the previous issue's letterer, incorrectly credited to Todd Klein, when it was actually John Costanza.
- During Batman's investigation of Blackfire's inner sanctum, there is a reference to Philippines' First Lady Imelda Marcos.
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