"The Greatest Evil": The rags and tatters of the Suit of Souls are torturing Rory Regan to death. Batman arrives after receiving a message from Regan himself, just in time to try to save the man from a certain death. Regan explained Batm

Quote1.png Vesper? I think...no, Vesper, I'm certain...I...I love you. Quote2.png
Bruce Wayne

Batman #552 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 1998.

Synopsis for "The Greatest Evil"

The rags and tatters of the Suit of Souls are torturing Rory Regan to death. Batman arrives after receiving a message from Regan himself, just in time to try to save the man from a certain death. Regan explained Batman that the evil souls in every rag has taken control of their action and now they can't be controlled by him. The rags were too strong for Batman and Regan urged Batman to save him by using the only known weakness of the suit: fire. Batman used some curtains to create a torch and the rags released Regan but instead of staying inanimate and harmless, the rags flew out of the building. Regan knew that the rags had sensed some evil and were going straight to the source. Batman and Regan followed the rags to rabbi Luria's synagogue where the rabbi was being attacked by one of the Aryan Reich members. The rags surrounded the man and started to asphyxiate him while Batman and Regan tried to loose the tatters from the thug. Rabbi Luria was told to find some fire but when he couldn't find it, he told them that the evil spirits fear the sound of crashing glass and so the three of them broke some of the synagogue windows to make the rags fly away from the place. Regan told rabbi Luria that his fears have come true and that he could no longer control the rags, but the rabbi told him that he would help Regan regain that lost control. In the meantime, Batman silently took the punk outside of the synagogue much to the rabbi's surprise.

Rabbi Luria told Regan that the rags were out of control because his feelings of hate towards the criminals are stronger than his ability to love them and love god above all. Together, Rabbi and Regan started to pray and rabbi taught Regan very important lessons on faith and love.

Batman took the punk to an empty alley where he questioned him about the rest of the gang of the Aryan Reich. The thug was still in shock for the recent events and the fear of the rags returning for him made him talk and he told Batman everything he knew and even agreed to be taken to the police.

After their session, Regan and Luria were outside of the synagogue when the rags appeared suddenly and started to join Regan's body to be transformed into Ragman. Once the transformation was complete, Regan's mind was lost to the evil of the Suit and he started looking for a great source of evil coming from an abandoned house while Rabbi Luria followed him trying to prevent him from committing murder again.

Batman was already inside the house and the sight of him caused one of the thugs to drop a bottle of alcohol and his cigarette producing a great fire. Batman took down a couple of them who started to shoot at him at the moment when Ragman entered the place and also took one punk down. Rabbi Luria tried to talk to Ragman and stop him from killing the thug who in turn seized the chance to shoot at Luria injuring him. Batman knocked the thug because of his lack of gratitude to the rabbi who was trying to save his soul. Ragman was divided between his hate towards the thugs and the love to his rabbi and the principles he taught him. Ragman tried to save Luria but the rabbi told him to save the evil doers and to use the law as a way of achieving vengeance. Batman saved a couple of thugs but the fire was spreading fast and two of them were trapped. Ragman obeyed his rabbi's will and saved the two trapped thugs from the flames, even when the Suit refused to go through them. Ragman took the thugs out but doing so the building collapsed killing rabbi Luria.

Batman told Ragman that in the end the sacrifice made by Luria was enough to save Regan's soul and the love showed by him in the final moments made him stronger than the Suit of Souls as he had recovered full control of it. The fire department and police arrived at the place and Batman decided it was time to leave as Ragman changed into Regan and he decided to stay there to explain to the police what have happened.

Once in the Batcave, Bruce reflected over the power of love and how strong it can be while some strange lights appeared on the walls of the cave. Bruce thought of them as a sign and after a few minutes he decided to call Vesper to tell her that he loved her.

Appearing in "The Greatest Evil"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Ragman
  • Rabbi Isaac Ben Luria (Dies)


  • Aryan Reich
    • Rufus

Other Characters:





  • This is the second and last part of the storyline featuring Ragman.
  • The story continues the events started in Batman #551.
  • Group Editor Dennis O'Neil wrote one of his mini-essays From the Den, about the policy on crossovers in the Batman titles. He did this as to reveal the new crossover entitled Cataclysm.
  • This is the last Batman issue in which Doug Moench, Kelley Jones and John Beatty worked together since they began in Batman #515. They worked as a team in a total of 34 Batman issues.


  • The lights seen in the batcave are said to be a geomangnetic anomalies known as earthlights. The same are said to happen when the tectonic plates of the earth are about to break causing an earthquake. This is the first sign of the eartquake that destroyed Gotham.
  • There are references to the Menorah; Hasadism and many other Jew related subjects.

See Also

Links and References

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