"Batman R.I.P. - Batman in the Underworld": Batman takes down a costumed criminal in the sewers of Gotham City, asking him who he's working for and who the Black Glove is. Speaking with Commissioner Gordon he questions if he's ever
- What we are about to do will be a work of art. Nothing less than the complete and utter ruination of a noble human spirit.
Synopsis for "Batman R.I.P. - Batman in the Underworld"
Batman takes down a costumed criminal in the sewers of Gotham City, asking him who he's working for and who the Black Glove is. Speaking with Commissioner Gordon he questions if he's ever seen such costuming in Gotham hoods, wondering allowed if he's an "out-of-tower" taking advantage of the cities "organized crime vacuum" or something more. On the Black Glove issue, Gordon explains that the only thing the police department's database has found is an old film, but once again finds himself talking to no one as Batman has disappeared.
In the Batcave, while studying The Black Glove film poster, Batman questions Alfred about a missing "black casebook". He replies that as he's recently been transferring the information to the Batcomputer, he probably left it at the desk before changing the subject to the Dark Knight's newest wounds and beginning to to clean them up. Batman asks for Tim, who left two days ago upset about recent revelations about Damian. Not wanting to talk about that, Batman tells Alfred that he intends to cook dinner for girlfriend Jezebel Jet tonight, inviting him to take the night off and see a movie.
Elsewhere, members of the Black Glove have gathered to discuss "crushing" Batman. Dr. Hurt says that it won't be easy, but that they will teach him a lesson and crush his spirit. Questioned on why he believes he can succeed where others have failed so often, Dr. Hurt informs his colleagues that he alone knows the "extreme lengths" Batman has gone to make himself strong, belying a powerful weakness inside. He says that is Le Bossu's henchman has done his work correctly the "librium on the blade" will make Batman more susceptible to the trigger phrase he implanted years ago. With that, he sends them off.
Jet gets her first glimpse of the Batcave, registering mild shock that it's an actual cave. As they enter she says that her research into the Black Glove turned up nothing--they're very wealthy and secretive--and she and Bruce may just have to show up at their "Danse Macabre" and see what it's all about. Batman tells her that it's a trap, explaining his recent run in with them during his John Mayhem case. Grabbing her around the wrists he stresses that they both Mayhew and the Black Glove tried to kill him and this is just them closing in on the both of them. Calling the message a "warning shot" he tells her to stay away. Jet pulls away, telling Bruce he's hurting her wrists, and he apologizes. He tells her she's "the best thing that's happened to [him] in a long time" and that he doesn't want to risk her becoming a part of this whole thing. He talks about how their meeting each other was fated, saying he felt like he'd always known her during their first meeting, which catches her off guard. She says the "Bruce Wayne" of their first meeting was witty and charming, but now she's fallen in love with "Batman", whom people say may possibly be mad, pointing out that she could ease her nation's national debt with what it takes to operate the Batcave.
Meanwhile, James Gordon bursts into the Mayor's office defending his friend Bruce Wayne from allegations of schizophrenia put forth by Gotham Gazette reporter Ed Sheldrake. Demanding evidence, the Mayor provides documents found in a locker during the Gotham Grand Central bomb scare which include allegations that Thomas Wayne was an alcoholic and user of hard drugs; Bruce Wayne may be the son of an affair between Martha Wayne and Alfred, the family butler; and finally a photo containing John Mayhew, Mangrove Pierce, Marsha Lamarr, Alfred Pennyworth, and Thomas and Martha Wayne--the latter of which with a "brain-dead expression and needle tracks". The Mayor also informs Gordon that during Pennyworth's acting days he used the stage name Beagle, the private investigator hired by the Martha's family who found this information went missing twenty-five years ago, and that there are rumors that Thomas killed his wife and is still alive in hiding somewhere. All of this shocks Gordon.
A man parachutes over Wayne Manor. Under it, Jet tells Bruce that Alfred and the boys fear him and won't tell him the truth about himself. He denies it and she presses about how he's spent years of his life and billions of dollars on becoming someone who scares people. Saying she loves him, and thus will tell him the truth, she tries to tell him that becoming the protector that wasn't there when he needed them was ingenious, but that now it's disturbing. She explains that he could use his wealth and influence in other ways, calling the Batcave a "gigantic, underground museum of death and technology" and crying at the thought of him not being well.
After a moments thought, Bruce realizes that the Black Glove knows everything about him and his vulnerabilities, saying they would even use her as a weapon and make him doubt himself. He pleads to show her one more thing. As he walks her to another Batcomputer he tells her about the Joker dealing him a dead man's hand--talking about the numerous other meanings it could have. He explains that anything he doesn't know, the computer is designed to pick up, allowing him "match wits" with any number of sadists to keep innocent people from dying. Considering this, Jet suggests that he, as the only man who could possibly hate Batman that much and match wits with him, is the Black Glove, waging war against himself. Bruce dismisses that theory, saying the Batcomputer would know, then says it's screens are displaying static. Jet tells him she sees graffiti reading Zur-En-Arrh. Bruce immediately says something is wrong, seeing a face on the screen now and believing the "hotline" phone is ringing from the Commissioner, and tells Jet to leave the cave as he collapses and thugs appear and close on them.
Some time later, Alfred arrives in the burning cave. The thugs make themselves known, with the leader addressing him as "La Bas" and saying he's "Deep down where no one can find [him]" before they attack him shouting "Farewell, faithful butler."
Appearing in "Batman R.I.P. - Batman in the Underworld"
- Black Glove
- Club of Villains
- Gotham City Police Department
- Mayor of Gotham City
- The Zur-En-Arrh phrase appears on the sides of buildings as graffiti.
- Alfred revealed to have used the stage name of "Beagle" during his thespian days. In Golden Age continuity, Alfred Beagle was the name of Bruce Wayne's butler, not Alfred Pennyworth.
- La Bas is French for "the bottom". It is also the Name of a Gothic Novel by french Writer Joris-Karl Huysmans first published in 1890 that contains a lot of insinuations to Gilles de Rais.
- 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)
Links and References
Batman R.I.P. Crossover