"The Tower": Batman has taken down Bane, having crashed a small jet into the man, who was clad in a heavy robotic suit of armour. Red Hood, who thought that he might not survive his encounter with Bane, admits that
- All these monsters. Everyone I've faced in my career... I know them. I know how they think... I know how they work... But whoever this is, they're just running me through the gauntlet. They want me tired. They want me weak. The city is on fire, and it's all just a damn distraction. And I don't know for what...
- — Batman
Synopsis for "The Tower"
Batman has taken down Bane, having crashed a small jet into the man, who was clad in a heavy robotic suit of armour. Red Hood, who thought that he might not survive his encounter with Bane, admits that he is glad to see Batman, but Bruce's wheezing from the crash worries him. Batman ignores his concerns and calls for a status update on the city. Alfred and Julia Pennyworth report that there are still several targets to take down, not to mention the riot going on at Blackgate Penitentiary, which has already claimed sixteen lives. The GCPD are en route, led by Jason Bard. Batman has Jason take care of Bane, and decides to end this himself.
At Blackgate, Jim Gordon is surprised when he finds Bullock, Sawyer, and Bard waiting outside his cell, ready to escort him through the riot to safety. Bard admits that someone seems to have put a hit on Jim's head as of the beginning of the Riot, and Rex Calabrese, Jim's cellmate, interjects that the person who put that hit out has to have been the Penguin, who caused the riot in the first place.
On the roof of Gotham Cathedral, The Scarecrow has the upper hand over Batwing, when he is surprised to find that his drones, armed with Fear Toxin, are returning sooner than expected. Batman appears, explaining that he reprogrammed them, and then releases the toxin on the Scarecrow.
Meanwhile, Alfred notices that the infrared scans of the city that he's been monitoring are turning up weird results. Julia investigates, and discovers that Firefly is burning several Gotham neighbourhoods - and it appears as though the city's infrastructure is turning on itself, with the traffic lights randomized, and rolling blackouts. Worriedly, Julia calls to Batman about it, and he urges her to check any municipal website. Every one of them has the same invitation to the fall of Gotham hijacking its content.
Batman joins Bluebird in taking down Mister Freeze. She notes that his approach was exceptionally brutal, but he promises he pulled his punches. He rejects her offer for support, and warns her to get to work helping the innocent while he borrows something from Freeze. With Mister Freeze's Cold Gun in hand, he then joins Red Robin in taking down Clayface at A-1 Studios. The ice freezes Clayface in place, and that leaves only one more of his allies who need help. It turns out, however, that Batgirl took down Joker's Daughter on her own, having spent a lot of downtime thinking about punching the Joker's face. Batman warns both Barbara and Tim to look outside and see their city burning. They have to save everyone they can. After sending them away, Bruce receives word from Alfred of the invitation, which asks him to come to the Beacon Tower and watch the end of everything he holds dear. Despite Alfred's worries, Bruce determines to go there.
After getting free of Blackgate, Jim Gordon and company reach the bridge to the mainland and see from that vantage point how their city is on fire. Though Jason Bard is not sure of what they can do, Jim responds that they should do what the GCPD always does when it faces hell on earth. They get to work.
At Beacon Tower, Bruce hears a mocking voice explaining that the Bat-Signal had once been an exciting sight - but the truth of it is that it represents Batman's mark. It is the symbol of Batman pretending that he owns Gotham. Batman demands that his enemy show himself, and the figure laughs, noting that it amuses him that Bruce can't recognize his voice. He offers Batman a jolt for his memory, in the form of thousands of volts of electricity. Batman collapses, and the Cluemaster crouches over him, warning that all he'd needed to do from the beginning was follow the clues.
Appearing in "The Tower"
- Batman Family
- Gotham City Police Department
- Gotham City
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 3.