"Shadow on Stone": While preparing for a vision quest, a party from the Deer People discover the impossible - a flake of the sky. Identifying it as a Sky Cart of the Shining Ones, the group moves to visit Old Man, only to discover he is dead, and a strange man in black leg
Synopsis for "Shadow on Stone"
While preparing for a vision quest, a party from the Deer People discover the impossible - a flake of the sky. Identifying it as a Sky Cart of the Shining Ones, the group moves to visit Old Man, only to discover he is dead, and a strange man in black leggings with a yellow belt emerges from the cave in a flock of bats.
Discovering a set of markings made by the strange man, the group names him Man of Bats. Man finds a necklace in Old Man's possession which belonged to a woman of their family and vows it will not leave their family's possession. Boy takes Man of Bats belt to prevent him from running off, and because he thinks Man of Bats is a Shining One. Suddenly, the group is attacked by the Blood Tribe, and Man of Bats saves Boy but is captured, while everyone else dies.
Man of Bats and the Sky Cart are dragged back to the Blood Tribe encampment, where Chief Savage vows to eat Man of Bats alive in the morning. The stranger is tied down in the center of the encampment, next to the corpse of a giant bat. As he grows delirious, he remembers fragments of a mantra - superstition and criminals, symbols used against the cowardly, surrender to an ideal; A dark and terrible bat, to fight injustice. At this point, Boy returns, with a mask of ash and a shield with a bat on it. He frees Man of Bats and gives him the belt. From the belt, Man of Bats takes medicine and weapons, and prepares...
The next morning, Chief Savage emerges from his tent, to discover Man of Bats is gone. Suddenly, the stranger emerges upon them, fighting back with uncanny weaponry. Savage thinks the stranger is a magician, especially when he is weakened enough for Man of Bats and Boy of the Bat People to escape. As they escape over a waterfall, Man of Bats vanishes, leaving Boy to go on alone.
Later that day, there is a solar eclipse, and the men of the Blood Tribe take this as an omen against Chief Savage, casting him out and he runs away. Suddenly, light coalesces in the air, and four beings appear before the tribe. The one in blue says they were tracking Batman, but he has been transported forward in time by the Omega Effect. And while he is confident of the Batman's survival ability, they must find him - if Batman makes it to the present day via the Omega Effect, everyone dies.
Man of Bats emerges from the pool near a woman who speaks English. She thinks he is a devil... especially when she sees the monster that emerges from the pool after him.
Appearing in "Shadow on Stone"
- Deer People (First appearance as Bat People)
- Old Man (Appears only as a corpse)
- Boy indicates that this tribe is likely the Bat tribe of early Gotham.
- The line "They say that when the Shining Ones come again it's the All-Over" is a reference to the just-finished Final Crisis, which did indeed involve the return of the New Gods and the near-end of the world.
- The sky cart is the time capsule the Daily Planet released at the end of the Final Crisis.
- This issue depicts the moment when Barbatos first found out about who his vessel was, being Batman, catapulted back in time in a moment of crisis
- The necklace that Man finds bears an uncanny similarity to the pearl necklace Martha Wayne was wearing when she died.
- Cover gallery for the Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne series
- Images from Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne Vol 1 1
- 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)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)