- There are creatures that slip through the cracks of sense and reason... and draw strength from denial. You do not want to give them that strength.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "The Denied"
While investigating Carmine Falcone's weapons stockpiling operation, Batwing was attacked by the Gentleman Ghost. Fortunately, Batman appears and sends the ghost fleeing by using a batarang made with Nth Metal. Batwing is confounded, but Batman warns that they have to be ready for the kinds of things logic denies. Some things even draw strength from denial - and it would be best not to give them that strength.
By the time Batman returns to the Batcave, Alfred Pennyworth is waiting to announce that Bruce has a guest - Jim Corrigan. The mystic explains that he is in Gotham City to help. The Spectre had been compelling him to chase the mystic source of some shenanigans which he has since traced to Arkham Asylum. Bruce admits that he doesn't have the time to look into it, given the gang war that's just beginning in the city. Corrigan responds that he's only come to keep Bruce informed; a warning. He suggests, though, that whatever the mystic turmoil is, its timing is rather inconvenient - and perhaps not a coincidence. Bruce acknowledges the importance, and suggests that he can offer one of his agents to accompany Jim in his investigation. Jim welcomes it, but warns that whomever Bruce sends - they'd best have a strong stomach.
At Arkham, an inmate named Martin is dragged down into the maintenance tunnels below the asylum by his doctor. Nervously, he explains that he's been having some vivid nightmares recently about a maze painted with black hand-prints. As they venture deeper into the tunnels, though, he sees other inmates painting the walls of the tunnels black with their hands. Eventually, the man leading him explains that he is not his doctor, and the drugs he administered are meant to prevent Martin from disobeying him. Against his will, Martin enters a hall at the end of the tunnel and there, he is greeted by the Joker's Daughter, who orders that his arm be sliced off as part of her plan to summon back the Joker.
Meanwhile, at Luke Fox's apartment, his friend Rory doubts Luke's ability to tinker with his phone's GPS signal. As they rib each other, they are startled by an explosion across town in Cathedral Square, and soon Luke gets a call from Batman insisting that he needs his help. Luke assumes it is the explosion, but Batman explains that Luke must instead rendezvous with a friend of his. Soon, Batwing is meeting with Jim Corrigan a short distance away from Arkham. Jim explains that they will be working together on an investigation, revealing that some kind of summoning is going on there. Bending some rules, Jim gives Luke some mystical protections as they prepare to enter the asylum.
En Route to Cathedral Square, Batman assumes that the explosion was merely a test of the Roman's enemies' defences. Alfred worries what a real fight would look like, given how many casualties this explosion caused. He adds that he picked up a police report of a medical supply warehouse where napalm protocol has been ordered - and one of the trucks that Batman tagged is currently fleeing the scene. Batman prioritizes the case, despite the fact that it will mean another night without sleep.
As Batman speeds toward the scene, Doctor Phosphorus waits in the sewers below the street, and sets off an explosion that destroys a transport truck, barring Batman's path with the flaming wreck.
Appearing in "The Denied"
- The Spectre (Mentioned only)
- Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV are credited with the story. Ray Fawkes is credited with the script. John Layman and Tim Seeley are credited as contributing writers.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman Eternal Vol. 1.
- The quote that Jim Corrigan reads is from medieval German theologian and mystic Eckhart von Hochheim.