"...The Player on the Other Side!": On the same night when Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered by Joe Chill, another child was left an orphan, when both his parents were murdered by a police officer as the
Batman Special #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of June, 1984.
Synopsis for "...The Player on the Other Side!"
On the same night when Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered by Joe Chill, another child was left an orphan, when both his parents were murdered by a police officer as they commited a crime. Ever since that night, Bruce Wayne and the other kid dedicated their entire lives to become the ultimate avengers. Bruce Wayne became Batman and fought on the side of justice and the law, while the other kid became Wrath, a force of evil against the law and order.
Several years later, close to the anniversary day of the murders, Wrath has returned to Gotham after having murdered several law enforcers across the world and his main objective is the man who killed his parents: Commissioner Gordon. After two failed murder attempts, Gordon is taken to a safe place by Batman, who starts investigating the mysterious murderer.
Meanwhile, Wrath also investigates the Batman's background and after learning that Batman goes to Crime Alley every single year on the same day that his parents were killed, Wrath learns that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Taking matters into his own hands, Wrath destroys the tombstones of the Waynes' gravesite and lures Bruce Wayne out of Wayne Manor, giving Wrath time enough to brutally beat Alfred. After taking Alfred to a hospital, Batman starts investigating the backgound of Wrath and after learning the required information from the underworld, Batman goes to the only person who knows Wrath.
Grayle Hudson is the daughter of a late crime kingpin and she has allied herself with Wrath to eliminate Gordon. Batman goes to her apartment and finds enough information that he would require to locate Wrath. Unfortunately, on the anniversary of the Waynes' murders, Wrath goes to Crime Alley and kidnaps Leslie Thompkins, leaving only a note for Batman, telling him to give him Commissioner Gordon in exchange of Leslie.
Shortly afterwards, Batman and Gordon meet Wrath at the top of a rooftop in Crime Alley, where Leslie is allowed to leave and Wrath shoots at Gordon three times in the chest. Having killed his parents' murderer, Wrath focuses on Batman, but Gordon attacks Wrath by surprise, giving Batman time to disarm the criminal. Gordon descends from the building to the street, where the Gotham City Police Department has gathered along with Grayle Hudson. Everyone watches as Batman and Wrath fight each other with all their might. Eventually, Wrath starts a fire and in the struggle, he is englufed by the flames of his own creation, leading to his fall from the rooftop and his ultimate demise.
When Batman descends, he is glad that Gordon's bulletproof vest with blood packages worked, but he refuses to give the police any information about the Wrath or his motives. When Leslie makes sure that Batman is in fine condition, she leaves the Dark Knight and goes to comfort the person who needs it the most in that moment. Grayle Hudson, who had already lost her father, mourns the loss of her love, but Leslie is there to make sure that she is not left alone in the world.
Appearing in "...The Player on the Other Side!"
- The Wrath (Only appearance; dies) (Origin)
- Grayle Hudson (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Simms (Single appearance)
- Daniels (Single appearance)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Martha Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
- Arthur Childress (Single appearance)
- Councilman Tewes (Flashback only)
- Jimbo (Single appearance)
- Gotham City
- This story is reprinted in The Best of DC #62, Batman: The Wrath, Batman in the Eighties and Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- According to the letter page "Detective Comments" from Detective Comics #531, this issue was scheduled to be published in 1983 as "Batman Annual #9". This is also pointed out on the final text page of this issue, where writer Mike W. Barr explains that the story had a "false start", after which the creative team could properly develop and produce the story. This information is further confirmed in the letter page of Detective Comics #543.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)