"Ten Forty-Eight": Vicki Vale receives a visitor at the door of her Cathedral Square apartment from Jason Bard who kisses her and announces that the Mayor has approved his promotion to police commissioner in the place of [[Jack Forbes
- Hahahahaha! You really don't get it, do you, Bats? You have no idea what's happening, no idea who's been pulling the strings behind the curtain.
Synopsis for "Ten Forty-Eight"
Vicki Vale receives a visitor at the door of her Cathedral Square apartment from Jason Bard who kisses her and announces that the Mayor has approved his promotion to police commissioner in the place of Jack Forbes. He has got the Gotham Gazette and Vicki the exclusive rights to the story, though the change is relatively low profile, considering that the former commissioner, Jim Gordon has just been found guilty on 123 counts of manslaughter, to serve a life sentence in Blackgate Penitentiary.
At the prison, Carmine Falcone admits that he never suspected that Rex "The Lion" Calabrese could have been alive all this time. He explains that the riot he caused was merely meant to remind Gotham of why it should fear him - and to while away the time it took to get him extradited to Hong Kong. As he prepares to leave for Hong Kong, he warns that knowing Rex is back is only one more reason for him to return and take Gotham for himself again. Afterwards, Warden Zorbatos leads Falcone away to be escorted to the airport by the new Commissioner. She comments that she could have stuck him in the same cell as his rival, The Penguin, but she had a better offer from the Batman, who plucks him right off the ground.
Dragging him away, Batman complains that Falcone had lied to him about having nothing to do with the framing of Jim Gordon. His associates just learned that Doctor Falsario was murdered with a ceremonial knife passed down by Hong Kong crime lords - which Falcone is. Falcone laughs at this, explaining that he doesn't know who is behind it all, but somebody is. He was invited to Gotham by someone who knew the Commissioner was about to go down. Someone stole the knife from him, but he only came to Gotham to reap the benefits that were promised to him by his anonymous benefactor. Despite his defeat, Falcone warns that this is only the beginning.
At the GCPD Headquarters, Harvey Bullock interrupts Jason Bard as moves into his new office, admitting that it's nice to have someone he trusts behind the desk. Bullock warns that other cops may not approve of someone so young in the role, but he does see what kind of man he is. Harvey explains that he loves Gotham City, and now they have a chance to put it right. Having said his piece, Harvey excuses himself, but Batman appears in the office after him, and warns that Jason will never fill Jim Gordon's shoes. He admits that he doesn't trust Jason, and he has come with evidence that clears Jim's name. The only thing he doesn't know is who orchestrated the plan. Whether Jim is in his office or not, though, Batman insists that Jim should be an ally to them both. Jason agrees that he will leave to handle it immediately.
At Wayne Manor, Julia Pennyworth confronts her father for slinking off all the time, despite insisting that she remain confined to the property. She had thought he wanted to try to get to know one another after their long estrangement. While Alfred certainly does want to do just that, he has been called away by his responsibilities to the Batman, but he can't tell his daughter that, much as he wants her to understand what he gave up when he left, and why he hasn't been able to turn back. When he begins to muster the courage to admit the truth, an alarm is triggered. After attempting to put the building on lockdown and failing, Alfred leads his daughter into a safe room, and knocks her unconscious, stealing her firearm and locking the door behind her.
Brandishing the gun, Alfred calls out to the intruder that whatever their intention, he is a crack shot, and he can and will fire a bullet that will cause paralysis. He fires a shot through the door, but he is surprised to hear a voice from behind him, warning that he has not come for the Waynes. He's come for Alfred specifically. He grabs Alfred by his neck and attempts to inject him with a syringe of Fear Toxin, thrusting the needle right into Alfred's brain. Alfred has only moments to realize that the man who has subjected him to this torture is Hush. Julia, meanwhile, wakes, locked in the safe room, to the sound of her father's screams.
At Blackgate, Jason arrives to pick up Falcone but first delivers release papers to the Warden, who is surprised and worried by whom Jason has asked to see. Jason asks to be left alone with the prisoner, and once alone, he reports to the prisoner that the next phase of the plan is in motion, and everything is in place for him to act.
Julia finally breaks out of the safe room to find her father screaming with terror on the floor. She attempts to call an ambulance, but Alfred regains his composure enough to beg her to go instead to the grandfather clock, and to turn its hands to ten forty-eight.
Jason releases Zachary Gate from his cell, and explains that the greater plan needs something more than just the months of planning could devise - it needs an Architect. Afterwards, Jason reports back to a his co-conspirator - codenamed Mother - and confirms that Batman suspects nothing. Whatever Batman thinks, it doesn't matter anymore, because Gotham now belongs to them. Grimly, he destroys the USB stick holding the evidence of Jim Gordon's innocence.
Appearing in "Ten Forty-Eight"
- Dustin Nguyen is mis-credited as the cover artist for this issue.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.