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"Nobody": With Batman strapped to the Bat-Signal atop the Beacon Tower, Cluemaster taunts him, explaining that for all Batman's posturing, the symbol on his chest is only another mask to hide the fact that beneath it, he is just a m


Quote1 We think of you as this crime-fighting machine, someone who never makes mistakes, who can outthink all of us from any direction at any moment. But you're not any better than us, Bruce. That's just the truth. You're human, and when you make mistakes, you make them bigger than any of us. Quote2
-- Cluemaster



Appearing in "Nobody"

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Synopsis for "Nobody"

With Batman strapped to the Bat-Signal atop the Beacon Tower, Cluemaster taunts him, explaining that for all Batman's posturing, the symbol on his chest is only another mask to hide the fact that beneath it, he is just a man - not an idea. In that respect, he is no different from the second-stringers he's ignored for years. He wonders if Batman even remembers who he is, and Batman responds that he knows well that the Cluemaster is Arthur Brown - a second-rate Riddler knockoff, who could never have pulled off a scheme like this. Angrily, Cluemaster reminds that the Riddler never got the better of Batman like this, ripping away his cowl to reveal the face of Bruce Wayne - which only serves to bolster his case that Batman thinks he owns the city. But now he has nothing. His allies are beaten, his city is burning, and his identity is known.

Down on the street, Batman's allies are not dead yet, fighting to keep safe the citizens threatened by the spreading fires, but run ragged by all the need. Worriedly, Julia Pennyworth realizes that this situation is too much for just them to handle.

At The Egyptian, Selina Kyle frustrates the other crime bosses by declining to accept the invitation they all received to carve the city into pieces and sell it for profit in the pandemonium. She warns that they all work for her, and none of them will do anything until she's made her decision on the matter.

Cluemaster recounts how he once had a thought at one of the routine C-lister poker nights, that if they struck while any of Batman's A-list villains were distracting him, they could get away with almost any crime. It was a mistake for any of them to think that Batman was more than just a man, but the fact that he bought into his own legend means that when Batman makes a mistake - he makes them bigger than anyone else. For instance, it was a mistake to give his enemies an excuse. The slightest change in status quo has allowed all of the people who hate Batman to come tumbling out of the woodwork. All he'd needed to frame Jim Gordon and put him behind bars was get his hands on a basic piece of the Mad Hatter's tech. He'd sent out the invitations to the A-list people who would know exactly what to do with the opportunity he'd created. It wouldn't matter what they did, because it would be big enough to distract Batman from his plans. And now, those plans have reached their climax, as he will show the city that they should not have put their faith in the Batman - they shouldn't have believed the lie. They will find him dead in the middle of the city he failed to save, and they'll know they were wrong. Having listened for longer than he cared to, Bruce breaks one of his wrists free, and punches Arthur in the face.

Back at the GCPD Headquarters, Jim Gordon learns that Jason Bard pressured the Governor's office to give them everything he'd ever requested as Commissioner, because they were so terrified of the rioting that they had no choice. Thus armed, he calls on Harvey Bullock to get to work with him. Jason, though, begs Jim to stay, reminding that the precinct no longer trusts him, and he'd got Jim free in order to get his officers on his side. Grimly, Jim reminds what he'd told Jason on the day he'd interviewed him for the Lieutenant's job. Gotham City tests its citizens, and if they persevere in the face of its worst, they can become their best selves. The city wants to draw out the best in everyone. As such, it is up to Jason, now, to find the best in himself and do his job. He resolves to take back Gotham City precinct by precinct.

After rescuing a little girl from the fires, Bluebird is exhausted. She is surprised by Spoiler, who admits that she hasn't come to help. She plans to leave the city. Stephanie believes that the battle for Gotham isn't their fight. She gave all of her evidence to the press, and now it's time to save themselves. Sighing, Harper comments that Stephanie still doesn't understand why she and the others work with the Batman. She radios back to Julia for her next target and gives Stephanie a lead on the safest way out of the city before abandoning her to her selfish escape.

Bruce beats Cluemaster to the ground, though his opponent rightly notes that his exhaustion has made him weak. Though Bruce fights with the last of his strength, Cluemaster reveals that he doesn't intend to win by fighting. He pulls out a revolver, admitting that it's not elegant, but there is a kind of poetic justice to it, given how Bruce lost his parents to a gun, just two miles away on Park Row. As he prepares to pull the trigger, someone appears behind him, and cuts his throat. Grasping to staunch the bloodflow, he sputters that this wasn't according to plan. His killer responds that it's not according to his plan. But it has all been exactly to the plan of Lincoln March, who reaches down to Bruce, calling him brother, and prepared to put an end to it all.



Notes

  • This book was first published on March 25, 2015.
  • No special notes.

Trivia

Lincoln March last appeared in Batman Vol. 2 #11



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