"Batman Dies at Dawn": Batman continues to endure various forms of torture at the hands of the Bat-Devil, while passing in and out of consciousness. It is during one of these black outs where he realizes the connection between his isolatio
Batman #674 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 2008.
Synopsis for "Batman Dies at Dawn"
Batman continues to endure various forms of torture at the hands of the Bat-Devil, while passing in and out of consciousness. It is during one of these black outs where he realizes the connection between his isolation chamber experiments with Dr. Simon Hurt and the appearance of the three Batmen. What he believed to be a hallucination, was actually a forgotten memory.
The GCPD (under the command of Commissioner Vane) partnered with the government to form an elite squad of back-up Batmen to step up should anything happen to the original. During the test, Batman had himself isolated so that a Doctor Simon Hurt could study his moves and what drives him. Through the psychological data derived from the experiments, Dr. Hurt determines that the driving force behind Batman is a major loss or tragedy in his life. In order to replicate those conditions, Dr. Hurt sets into action a series of heinous events in order to cause the amount of psychological scarring the police recruits would need to truly become the Bat.
Josef Muller was an ace marksman, who used guns in alternative to projectiles, and became "Bat-Cop".
Michael Lane was a young cop whose family was killed by "Satanists", which led him to become "Bat-Devil".
Once they are all trained, the three face off against Batman, but he defeats them easily. During the fight, Batman breaks Muller's hands forcing him to retire, and the project is disbanded and the officers are all sworn to secrecy. With the help of a Bat-Mite hallucination, Bruce realizes that Doctor Hurt put hypnotic suggestions into his head to help him forget the whole experience and dismiss it as a bad dream. This and the hallucination of Robin's death almost led Batman to retire, but Robin helped him get on his feet.
Recently the Batman imposters have been brought into action by trigger phrases hidden within their subconscious - trigger phrases planted by Doctor Hurt. Bat-devil finds these trigger phrases in one of Doctor Hurt's old notebooks, to which he incinerate before his eyes. Lane believes that Hurt is the "Devil", and that he comes to destroy and make slaves of the good.
All of this exposition gives Batman ample time to dislocate his shoulder and escape from his arm shackle. He takes out Lane but is then attacked by Branca who has been waiting the entire time as a back-up. Just before Branca can smash Batman's head in, the police burst in and Officer Farelli shoots Branca in the head. Lane escapes leaving Batman wondering if perhaps his years and years of training and planning could yet leave him unprepared for some ultimate evil, should it exist.
Appearing in "Batman Dies at Dawn"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Doctor Hurt (Flashback only)
- Three Ghosts of Batman (Flashback only)
- Gwendolyn Lane (Dies in flashback)
- Gotham City Police Department (Flashback and main story)
- Marion Lane (Dies in flashback)