"Infernal Relations": At Blackgate Penitentiary, Jim Gordon has been forced to visit with his disturbed son, whom he thought dead until now. James, Jr. comments that his father had always called the prison a "necessary hell,"
- It's okay , Dad. You can tell me the truth. That deep-down, dark truth you don't want to admit to yourself. You hate this city. You always have...
Synopsis for "Infernal Relations"
At Blackgate Penitentiary, Jim Gordon has been forced to visit with his disturbed son, whom he thought dead until now. James, Jr. comments that his father had always called the prison a "necessary hell," knowing full well that it was a den of corruption and abuse. And now, Jim is incarcerated there. His son presses him to admit that, deep down, he hates Gotham City for what it does to people - what it did to him. James, Jr. believes that, at last, seeing all of the horror of the city got the better of Jim, and he cracked. He preys upon Jim's own doubts about what really happened in the subway station, explaining that he's finally ready to be free.
Meanwhile, in the office of Interim Commissioner Forbes, Lt. Jason Bard and Sgt. Bullock present evidence that they have located a stash of the Batman's munitions. Forbes is naturally excited and gives Bard first pick of the officers to take second in command on his task force. Bard chooses Bullock and Maj. Maggie Sawyer. Unbeknownst to Forbes, both officers are Bard's co-conspirators in putting an end to the gang war that Forbes is allowing to continue - and the evidence is falsified.
At the offices of the Gotham Gazette, Vicki Vale makes her case to her Editor-In-Chief for dropping the Gordon trial as a story, and offering instead to take on the story of the police pursuit of the Batman. Ito can see through her, knowing she's up to something. Even so, he knows that the Batman story will be bigger. So he asks her to bring him back a story that will rival anything the Daily Planet is putting out - and warns her to lay off the gang war story, or she'll be fired. Warren Spacey warns that lying to Mario like that might not have been the best idea, but Vicki is set. As she leaves the office, she bumps into Joey Day, who warns that he has heard through the online gossip forums that a major Cluemaster plot is about to go down in Gotham. Vicki brushes it off, commenting that she's got a real story to chase tonight.
Stephanie Brown is at a loss as to how she can get people to take her posts about her father's plans more seriously. In the meantime, she receives an instant message on the library computer from her friend Beth, who claims she needs to talk. Using the library's phone, she calls Beth, who explains that she received a weird box in the middle of the night addressed to Steph - wrapped with orange and blue; the colours of Cluemaster's uniform. Steph warns Beth not to open the box, but she doesn't take the warning seriously. Soon after opening the box, it explodes, and Steph can only assume that her friend is dead.
Though Jim is not receptive to the plan, James, Jr. warns that his father's cell door will open at precisely 2:46 in the morning on the next day, and he will be able to walk right out of the prison without any obstruction. Jim responds that escaping from prison spits on everything he's stood for. James, Jr. comments that he wants Jim to admit that henever stood for anything. Much as he'd like to think he's a hero, Jim is no different from his son. He may not be as broken, but they are the same.
That night, Bard leads his teams the locations he pinpointed as munitions stashed for the Batman. However, what they find instead are The Roman's munitions warehouses. All the same, they manage to convince their men to treat the bust like they are taking down the Batman. One of Falcone's thugs manages to call back to his boss that the police are busting them, despite promises that the police were in his pocket. Vicki Vale, who joined the bust overhears the call, and Jason takes the man's phone and warns the Roman personally that he does not own Gotham City. Afterwards, Batman warns that it is dangerous to treat the Roman so flippantly - but he is impressed by the plan Bard laid out.
At the station house, Forbes yells at Bard, recognizing the men he's arrested as the Roman's. Bard feigns surprise, explaining that these men are suspected accomplices of the Batman, and the intel led straight to them. They were all caught red-handed with illegal firearms and narcotics. Forbes warns that he doesn't care - they have to be released. Vicki Vale then asks for comment from Forbes on the decision, prompting him to backtrack - but he knows now that Bard is not on his side.
At Red Robin's Nest, Harper Row makes her way inside, and realizes quickly that the place's design and technology are all of Red Robin's own engineering. She has little time to explore, though, as Red Robin arrives soon after she does. He fails to spot her, moving instead to the computers where he records that there is no connection between the nanobots and Professor Pyg. The only one who could be behind the nanobot besides is Sergei Alexandrov, one of Batman's menots and an ex-KGB scientist. The computer informs him that Alexandrov was last seen in Tokyo, so he charters a plane. He then asks the computer to put out a trace on Harper Row, whom it cannot locate at present. He remarks to the computer that he and she need to have a chat about boundaries.
The Roman warns Forbes that he must release his men or he will have Jack removed from his position of power and ruined. He cannot afford to lose ground to the Penguin at this stage. On the roof of the station house, Jason and Vicki listen in on the conversation, having tapped Forbes' phone, and plan to see a story printed on the relationship between Forbes and Falcone within the hour.
Stephanie, meanwhile, confirms that her father had her best friend murdered. Beth's house is up in flames. Watching from afar, Arthur Brown is satisfied that in doing this, he has ensured that Steph will spare him the effort, and come for him.
Appearing in "Infernal Relations"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Stephanie Brown
- Harper Row
- Red Robin
- Gotham City
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.
- Maggie Sawyer is referred to as a Major in this issue, after inconsistently being referred to as a Detective and a Captain at other points in the story.