"The Right Question": Having lost all of his assets as Bruce Wayne, Batman has Julia Pennyworth taking stock of what assets are available to him. In the meantime, he's had Red Robin working on decrypt
- I didn't set a trap for you! I don't want to fight you! They're wearing you down! You're exhausted! Half-mad! You're barely thinking anymore! I can wait! I'll destroy you when you're at you're best! I won't be satisfied with anything less!
Synopsis for "The Right Question"
Having lost all of his assets as Bruce Wayne, Batman has Julia Pennyworth taking stock of what assets are available to him. In the meantime, he's had Red Robin working on decrypting a series of riddles he's received. Unfortunately, the significance of the riddles themselves remains a mystery. Julia, meanwhile, discovers several properties that aren't technically owned by Bruce Wayne - but aren't owned by anyone else either, officially. Hearing this, Batman realizes that he knows where the Riddler is hiding.
Elsewhere, the escaped Arkham Asylum prisoners have been rounded up, thanks to manipulations by Selina Kyle. As the transport approaches Blackgate Penitentiary, though, it is surrounded by SWAT vehicles, and Mister Freeze is taken.
At the offices of the Gotham Gazette, Warren Spacey chastises Vicki Vale for being hung up on Jason Bard, whom she had dated until she discovered he was a revenge-obsessed liar. He reminds her to turn her depression into anger. Despite his ongoing criminal negligence as the city's police commissioner, they can't call him out, because now Vicki has a conflict of interest. He challenges her to answer whether she is a sucker or a reporter. If it's the latter, he challenges her to prove the police are bent, and face conflict of interest accusations with nothing but the truth.
Batman follows his intuition to the Bullseye Casino and Resort, where all of the televisions turn on at once, filled with news broadcasts of Gotham citizens complaining of just how wrong things have gone. Annoyed, Batman calls out to the Riddler, and spots a note from him on a nearby roulette table. Over the intercom system, he hears the Riddler respond that the code that brought him to this place was simple. Batman recalls the riddle's mention of fathers and daughters, and how the casino's bullseye logo has an arrow just off center, indicating a little miss - or daughter. He comments aloud that there must be more layers to the riddle. Could the daughter refer to Talia al Ghul or the Joker's Daughter? In any case, he knows, at least, that the Riddler is not directly involved in the attack on Gotham, noting that his initial riddle in Arkham had referred to "our" foe, indicating that he doesn't like whomever is behind it. Grinning, Nygma responds that that was the wrong question and suggests that Batman rise to his level for the chance to ask the right one. Gotham has a future, and he's sitting on a preview. Batman grimaces.
Mister Freeze is gathered together with the other escapees, and they suppose that this must be some kind of execution scenario. Under Bane's leadership, they begin fighting the policemen, until another truck opens to reveal Firefly, Cluemaster, Signalman, and Ratcatcher have been brought there as well. Soon, Selina Kyle steps out of her limousine to join them, explaining that she at least, received a legitimate invitation to this gathering.
Batman uses the clue "small preview" to determine that the Riddler is atop a "small peek" - or a small peak. He follows that clue to a small chalet atop the smaller of two snowy mountains outside Gotham. Upon finding Nygma inside, he demands again to know who sent out the invitations; who is behind the attacks on Gotham. Annoyed, Nygma responds that he already told him. If he is smart enough to figure out the code on the Arkham wall, he already knows their foe. The answer is right in front of him.
At the Gazette, Vicki is frustrated that Warren seems to think they can find a way to tie all of the problems in Gotham together. Warren challenges her to join him in this or leave, but to at least take him seriously. Relenting, she reports that the uncharted tunnel system beneath Arkham cut across the sewer system and the water supply.
Meanwhile, the assembled criminals receive a gift in the form of all of the weapons and gadgets that were taken from Wayne Enterprises by the government, or stolen from Batman's caches. All of his weapons that were once used against them, will now be theirs to use against him. Their benefactor has only one request: that they use them.
Nygma promises that this isn't a trap - he doesn't want to fight Batman while his enemies are wearing him down. He only wants to defeat Batman when he's at his best. Grimly, Batman responds that if that is the case, Nygma will be coming with him to help. Nygma refuses, and in that moment, a series of explosive charges around the other peak cause an avalanche that buries them both.
Vicki supposes that she should follow up on her findings with Jason Bard and try to trick him into giving up something useful. Warren, meanwhile, pulls up a report of a rat infestation downtown, and he thinks he can link that to the tunnel system under Arkham. Suddenly, an intern named Patrick appears in the office and shoots Warren before Vicki's eyes, and because she witnessed it, there's a bullet for her too.
Appearing in "The Right Question"
- The Riddler
- Mister Freeze
- Joker's Daughter
- Jonathan Crane
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 3.