Synopsis for "Endgame, Part One"
Bruce Wayne has only just recovered from an attack of Fear Toxin from The Scarecrow, and wakened to his friends Alfred and Julia Pennyworth standing over him. Having built up a new Bat-base in Old Wayne Tower in one of the former hide-outs of the Court of Owls, Bruce is eager to get set up in the centre of Gotham, with some of his heavier machinery right there beneath the building. With the light of day streaming in through an uncharacteristic window, Julia draws Bruce's attention to something incoming.
Wonder Woman crashes suddenly through the picture window, grabbing Bruce up in one hand and dragging him into the air above the city. Sensing that she wishes him harm, he places devices on her temples that cause her to lose her grip on him, and he tumbles down into a tree in Robinson Park. Confused, he demands an explanation for her actions. Calmly, Diana responds that she and the rest of the League have come to kill him. Worriedly, Bruce calls back to Alfred and Julia to enact plan "Fenrir".
Soon, clouds of gas are pumped up through the sewer grates, covering a ten block area. Worriedly, the citizens begin evacuating the area. Fortunately, the gas is harmless - Bruce's own plan to clear a space for him to face more dangerous threats without seeing any civilians harmed. Armed with one of his more powerful robotic Batsuits, Bruce worries that Wonder Woman appears to be completely unconflicted about the plan to kill him. She won't pull her punches. He demands again, to know who or what caused her to behave this way, and Diana responds that she simply hates him, and this is the end for him. Brandishing her sword, Diana warns that no armour can withstand her delivery of the truth through her weapon. With the blade, she cuts off his hand, and then thrusts the tip through his chest.
Batman, of course, knew that the only way to defeat a warrior of truth would be with a lie. Though it took him nearly two years to track it down, Bruce finally located a magical artifact called the Bind of Veils, created by Hephaestus in a moment of doubt after creating the Lasso of Truth. He had it built into his suit, and with it, successfully deceived Diana into thinking she'd killed him, allowing him to face the next threat.
Bruce put a significant amount of money into the suit of amour he now wears - and a large portion of that funding went toward ensuring that the computers would be fast enough to out-think even the fastest man alive. Fortunately, this expenditure proves well-placed when it allows the suit to spray a frictionless coating over the street in front of him, causing the Flash to whiz past him, and crash into a nearby building. Unfortunately, even Aquaman has been drawn into the fight, and it makes Bruce wonder just who is controlling them all. He subdues Arthur with a quick-hardening polymer. The prospect that more of the League will be on their way soon, though, is of great concern.
When Julia warns that something big is coming, Bruce hopes, despite his instincts, that his next foe will not be Superman. His instincts, of course, prove true, and Superman crashes down onto him, damaging the suit of armour. Again, Bruce begs to know just who did this to his friends. Grinning, Superman responds that it's actually a funny story. Filled with dread, Batman realizes exactly who is attacking him. The Joker has returned.
Appearing in "Endgame, Part One"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Justice League (Controlled by Joker)
- Scarecrow (Flashback only) (Cameo)
- Joker (Behind the scenes)
- Lark (Duke Thomas) (First Appearance as Lark) (Hallucination)
- Bluebird (Hallucination)
- Green Lantern (Mentioned only)
- Cyborg (Mentioned only)
- Wade (Mentioned only)
- Orestes (Mentioned only)
- Apollo (Mentioned only)
- Hephaestus (Mentioned only)
- Odysseus (Mentioned only)
- Cyclops (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Pale Man"
Five Arkham Manor inmates have escaped, with more than a hundred murders under their belts, cumulatively, Doctors Mahreen Zaheer and Eric Border are wondering if maybe they should be taking part in the manhunt. What's troubling, though, is that all five of them began acting strangely prior to their disappearance. Though they had nothing in common, Mahreen had learned that each of them had heard a story recently, but she hadn't been told the details of it. She suspects, in fact, that they were all freed by the Joker.
At Eric's request, Mahreen agrees to go home instead of helping to search, but she soon realizes that the missing inmates are waiting for her there. They warn that they have come to tell her things. The Joker had visited each of them. Ephram Snow claims that the Joker is no man, but rather, the devil. That creature had come to him twenty years ago, and told him of the girls Ephram would need to sacrifice to him. Mahreen interrupts to point out that Ephram is changing the details of a story she's heard before. He explains that he is merely seeing the memories more clearly after the demon returned and reminded him. The Joker had then told him another story, and given him instructions - to get an audience. Mahreen is that audience.
They insist on taking her back into the city, lest they miss the signs they were told to watch for. And once they get there, they each have to tell their five stories, and whoever tells the right story is the winner. Whoever tells the wrong story dies.
Appearing in "The Pale Man"
- Joker (Flashback and main story)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: Endgame and Batman vs. Superman: The Greatest Battles.
- The events of this story take place after those of Batman Eternal.