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"Superheavy, Part Five": Batman is trapped in an industrial furnace, and it seems likely that at the temperature of 800 degrees, it won't belong before he is cooked. Hoping to find a way out quickly, Jim calms himself, hearkening back to his days as a marine, and t


Quote1 The old Batman. He was something small. A tiny, known element. This, it's something much bigger. A bigger dream. For it to work, it needs power. It needs support. It needs a big machine... Quote2
-- Geri Powers



Appearing in "Superheavy, Part Five"

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Synopsis for "Superheavy, Part Five"

Batman is trapped in an industrial furnace, and it seems likely that at the temperature of 800 degrees, it won't belong before he is cooked. Hoping to find a way out quickly, Jim calms himself, hearkening back to his days as a marine, and takes stock of what advantages might be available to him. He forces himself to think only of options and not of whether his family will be alright if he dies - and not of failure. Removing the Batarang from his damaged gun, he flings it hard at one of the exposed coolant pipes, and puts out the flames.

Stumbling out of the furnace, he finds some of the remaining Devil Pigs thugs trying to escape to tell Mr. Bloom what happened. He socks one in the jaw, demanding to know where Bloom is. Worriedly, he realizes too late that he is surrounded. He had got so used to having backup - a partner - that he'd let himself be ambushed. And if his backup failed, there was always Batman to help him. Unfortunately, when you are Batman, he can't come to save you. Jim's consciousness begins to fade as a shadow forms above.

Suddenly, the robotic Batsuit crashes through a skylight, and Jim hears the voice of Daryl Gutierrez announces that he's come to save Batman - and he's got Julia Perry with him, safe and sound. The suit itself is empty, but it's been programmed to find the easiest route to reach its target - and that target is Jim. From the floor, Jim watches as the robot uses contextual information to grab the carcasses of two sharks off the floor, and swing them like clubs to knock the Devil Pig thugs off their feet. Daryl explains that it will also obey Jim's basic commands, and with a weak grin, Jim realizes that he does have a partner, after all. The suit carries him away safely, while the Devil Pigs empty their magazines in vain.

Bruce Wayne, meanwhile, had attempted to have a dump site for the wreckage of the Joker's attack cleared using some connections, but the city has mandated that it remain until the makeshift dump until they can figure out what to do with it. The wreckage, for the most part, cannot be moved from its location anyway. The dump is also low on the list of priorities. The Narrows are in terrible condition, hit hardest by the attack, and they are where the most resources are being devoted. Earlier, Bruce had caught the kids from the youth center throwing dirt over the fence into the lot. One of them had explained that they were trying to hide it all, so that nobody would be able to use it the way the Joker did. The center is supposed to be a refuge for the children, but instead, they don't feel safe. They're just waiting for the next horror.

Bruce's girlfriend Julie Madison suggests that the visit from Jim Gordon is still heavy on his mind. Sensing his worry, she explains that when she was younger, she had been terrified that her father would break out of prison and find her. He was a bad man, and she had spent a lot of her life trying to prepare herself for that eventuality - to become stronger. Bruce, on the other hand, had been through something traumatic as well, but channelled his fear into making other people feel brave instead. She had loved him for that. She promises that if he feels the need to do that again on a much greater scale, for the city's sake, she would understand. Bruce responds that he has no desire to be the man he was. He had gone back to Wayne Manor recently, and realized that the man who had lived there had seemed to have no life to speak of. The trauma of losing his parents had done something to him, and it was as though that Bruce Wayne had ceased to exist. Julie reminds that if he is discouraged by sights like the dump, he must remember that the kids at the center are looking up to him, and his efforts do matter.

Since Daryl had to come for him, Jim's attempt at an off-the-grid is now known to Geri Powers, and she asks to see him. She leads him to see a particle collider, explaining the device strips atoms of electrons, hurls them at each other, and the hopes is to make something new in doing so. New elements could be forged there. On the periodic table of elements, they seem to become more unstable the higher their atomic number is. There is a theory, though, that somewhere in the 200s is an "island of stability" where new metals, gases, and liquids could be used for entirely new things. Jim interrupts, attempting to apologize for his behaviour, but she ignores him, going on to explain that Powers, Inc. actually did reach that island. They created four new elements. One of those elements, which they called Batmanium, was used to create a Batarang that weighs two tons. Jim tries to press her again about Mister Bloom, but Geri cuts in to state flatly that she is firing him. Rather, she wants him to resign. Her plans for these new elements and research need power and support. If his antics are going to compromise this vision, he can't be a part of her company. She asks that he at least stay to help her find a replacement.

"Robin doesn't need a Batman either. Batman is on the gargoyle. Robin... Robin is on the street. It's us, solving our problems together. I know you work for him, but you're us, too. You and me, we came up together. We're family."

While Daryl works on repairing Jim's Batsuit, he is surprised by the fire alarm. As it turns out, his friend Duke Thomas has climbed up the fire escape to see him. The two had both been up for the Crown Genius Grant, and Duke had let Daryl take it instead of him. Daryl asks how the search for Duke's parents is going, knowing that it has consumed his friend for some time. Duke is at least optimistic that they're okay, somewhere. He explains that he has a task for Daryl - unrelated to his search. He passes Daryl the seed that Mr. Bloom sells - the one he stole from Bruce Wayne's desk. Daryl explains that he's already told the Batman all he knows about the case, as he was directly involved in the Peter Duggio case five years ago. Duke insists that all he is asking for is to be able to help. He offers Daryl a Robin badge, commenting that whether or not Batman needs a Robin right now, Robin doesn't need a Batman either. Robin is on the street. They are both from the street. They are both Robin. Daryl agrees to see what he can do.

The next day, Julie discovers that Bruce has changed the dump. He and a crew are turning the wreckage into a theme park for the kids instead of doing away with it. He explains that these things should not be ugly reminders, but trophies that serve as testament to what the kids lived through. They should feel proud to look at them.

Meanwhile, Geri begins her press conference where Jim is meant to resign. Behind the scenes, Julia wonders what Jim plans to say. She offers the advice that he fight for the role. Instead of giving it up, he should tell Powers why he is the Batman. Jim considers this, looking up at Geri on the stage, but he is struck suddenly by the realization that a zeppelin is headed for the podium. Hurriedly, he rushes out into the assembled crowd and orders them to get down. At the last moment, he tackles Geri onto the floor as the airship crashes through the wall over their heads. As the panicked crowd stampedes away, sharp vines pierce through them, dropping them to the floor. Sinisterly, Mister Bloom emerges from the ship, commenting that they shouldn't be leaving. The party's only just started.



Notes

  • This book was first published on October 14, 2015.
  • No special notes.

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