"Superheavy, Part Ten": Jim Gordon is wounded, but he lives. He wakes and promises himself to be the Batman that Gotham City deserves. Forcing himself upright, he urges Julia Perry to stop trying to get him to a hospital,
- People say that bats are messengers from the land of the dead. Whoever he is, he died a long time ago. He's a cautionary tale. A ghost. He fights our nightmares to teach us to fight the real terrors by light of day.
Appearing in "Superheavy, Part Ten"
- Daryl Gutierrez (Flashback and main story)
- Mister Bloom (Origin) (Flashback and main story) (Apparent Death)
- Luscious Precious
- Gotham City (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Superheavy, Part Ten"
Jim Gordon is wounded, but he lives. He wakes and promises himself to be the Batman that Gotham City deserves. Forcing himself upright, he urges Julia Perry to stop trying to get him to a hospital, even as she warns him that he's bleeding internally from Mister Bloom's attack on him. Ignoring her, he stumbles on his feet and peers over the edge of the roof they're standing on to see the chaos Bloom is causing below.
The GCPD, meanwhile, has outfitted themselves with the army of robotic Batsuits created by Geri Powers in the event that they'd need them. From inside one of them, Maggie Sawyer warns her men to becometargets, for the sake of the innocent civilians who are suffering at Bloom's hands right now. To her horror, though, Bloom reveals that he has control over all of the Batsuits, and begins turning their weapons on the homes of those innocents seeking what shelter they can in the Narrows.
Jim is disturbed, and insists that they need to get help, but he and Julia are attacked by those criminals that Bloom empowered with his seeds. Among them is Lucious Precious, brother of Precious Precious, and Jim warns him that Bloom is using him. Luscious admits that his brother was a pawn, but he has been promised rulership of a section of the new Gotham City. Using his power to drain energy, Luscious siphons power from the Bat-Signal, thinking it a fitting irony that Jim be killed by that energy, given that he is no Batman. In that moment, though, the real Batman returns at last, and smashes Lucsious's head into the Bat-Signal, reigniting it.
As Bruce takes on the super-powered crooks, he must admit to Alfred that he is having some fun. With the Dionesium's revitalizing properties, he is now the fastest and strongest Batman he's ever been - until he destroys himself again, Alfred reminds. In the meantime, more concerned for Julia - who is also wounded - than for himself, Jim wraps her up and places her on his stretcher. As Batman finishes with his quarry, Jim turns to him and offers him an apology, but a rumbling at their feet distracts them, as their eyes both look up to see what Bruce identifies as some kind of strange matter star. Worried, Jim calls in to Geri Powers, who explains that Bloom's seeds are somehow feeding the collider at the Powers labs, creating a strange energy surge that could destory the city if it keeps growing.
Bruce surmises that Bloom must have some kind of seed-like device that draws power from all of the seeds he's given to others, and is being fed through the collider, somehow. The more people take his seeds, the more power courses through Bloom and to the collider. As he walks Jim to the helicopter, Bruce surreptitiously handcuffs him to the interior, warning that after Jim has got himself to a hospital, they will release him.
Meanwhile, Duke Thomas surprises Daryl Gutierrez by knocking at the window of the Bat-Blimp, while it is airborne. He reveals that after finding his parents, he learned that the doctors got to them too late. They will suffer from the Joker's poison for the rest of their lives. And when he looked at them, he felt like Gotham was trying to throw all of his efforts back in his face, to spite him. Daryl urges Duke to let his parents go. While under the influence of the toxin, they can never be the parents he was searching for. Duke admits that he was tempted to give up. He nearly threw out his costume and disposed of the evidence he'd collected on Mister Bloom - but he had spotted a name on the list he'd stolen from The Penguin: his own. Then, he managed to work out Daryl's name, too. The list he'd stolen was of Crowne Genius Grant nominees from four years ago. Cobblepot had been tracking Bloom's technology to its source. Turning on Daryl, Duke demands to know just what is going on. Angrily, Daryl thrusts him into a wall.
Batman manages to pin Bloom to the ground using cables, but as he is planning to deliver a knockout blow, his hand is caught by one of the robotic Batsuits, still under Bloom's control. Each of the suits turns on him as Bloom rises to his feet, spotting a lone helicopter flying overhead. Despite Bruce's efforts, Jim is flying toward the strange matter event. From the ground, Julia warns that in order to stop the event, he'll have to shut down Bloom's seed, all of the other seeds, and hit the event with some kind of power dampener. Hopeless as it seems, she wishes him good luck. Unfortunately, the helicopter catches Bloom's attention, and he abandons Batman to the Batsuits. Trying to ditch them, Bruce is surprised to be stopped in his tracks by a massive Jokerbot.
Daryl explains that the seed in him allows him to control bio-organic matter - including Duke's body. He is trying to stop Bloom, he claims. He was Bloom, before this imposter took everything from him. In the wake of the Riddler's attack on Gotham five years ago, he had decided that Gotham's people needed a way to protect themselves, and developed prototypes for the seeds in secret, using his grant money. He would be a hero called Mister Bloom, named for Blossom Row. He gave the first seed to his cousin Peter. He misused it, though, and so Daryl burned all of his work. When the Joker attacked, though, he decided to try again, using unidentified victims who were headed for Potter's Field. He'd set up the seeds to only work if the host wasn't acting in anger - if they were calm. Testing wasn't going well, though, and he was about to give up when one of the test subjects woke up, and took all of his research and his identity. He doesn't even know which of the subjects took it.
Daryl is intent on getting his research back - to undo all that was bastardized by this imposter. Duke responds that Daryl's plan was wrongheaded. Powers aren't the answer. The answer is people like the two of them. Good people. Daryl is unmoved, though, considering We Are Robin to be a meaningless failure.
At the Powers building, Geri fights her security team to get back inside and try to do something to stop the strange matter event. Jim contacts her and explains that she can. The dampener that they used at Blossom Row to prevent Bloom's power from working might still be in the command code for the rookie suits. He hopes to amplify it using the building's antenna, and fire the disruptor beam into the strange matter event. Unfortunately, Mister Bloom has been listening in, and he thrusts the antenna through the wall at Jim, thwarting the plan. Jim responds that whatever Bloom's plan is, there won't be a city left after the strange matter event grows larger. Bloom reminds that that's the point - to leave a city that's nothing but flowers.
Unexpectedly, Bloom is punched in the face by a giant robotic bat-suit, piloted by Batman himself. Calling out to Jim, Bruce insists that since Jim stayed instead of going to a hospital as instructed, he now has to help. Bruce will take on Bloom and try to recover his seed, but Jim must find a way to stop the strange star, whether the antenna is out or not.
Batman turns to Bloom and explains that turning the city into a warzone isn't the same thing as saving it. It's giving up. Grimly, Bloom responds that he now sees Batman for what he is - just another gardener - someone privileged. He pierces through the Batsuit with his sharpened fingers, nearly skewering Bruce. Fortunately, he is saved as Duke Thomas fires a blast at Bloom from the Bat-Blimp, giving Batman the chance he needs. Jim, meanwhile, dons the Rookie suit one last time - while Geri warns that the strange star is getting too big, and might consume him.
Bloom is unconcerned about the possibility that the strange star will destroy all of the state, let alone the city. Standing on Batman's chest, he reaches up to pierce a hole in the Bat-Blimp and take Duke out of action. He is unprepared for the fact that Duke has activated magnets within the blimp, trapping Bloom's fingers inside. The more power is filtered through Bloom, the more stuck he is to the blimp. As the blimp soars higher above the city, dragging Bloom with it toward the strange star, Duke abandons it via parachute, only to lose his grip and free-fall. At the very last moment, he is grabbed by Batman - a sight which is seen by the people below, who are surprised to see that the real Batman has finally come back.
Seeing him there, the people begin ripping out their seed implants, realizing that they don't need to have powers to protect themselves when Batman is there to protect them. As a result, the power levels affecting the strange star begin to drop. Jim's vitals are failing, and as he gasps for air, he drops to the ground, offering to Geri the speech that he would have given if he'd had the chance to speak after she fired him from his position. He would have said that being Batman was a mistake - but he was too scared to go without a Batman. He had been afraid of the possibility that justice couldn't be served in a Gotham without Batman. So, he took up the role in order to fix what Jim Gordon couldn't. He had been wrong, though. Superheroes never fix the little things that are going wrong, because super-heroes aren't real. Batman fights nightmares in order to teach the real people how to face the real horrors of their real lives. The truth is that Batman doesn't save Gotham - he believes in Gotham. He believes that the people of Gotham can save themselves, by seeing the heroes that they could be. Gotham is a leap of faith. It is a city of people who believe that they are stronger for their differences than not.
As Bloom collides with the strange star, it causes a reaction, and Jim stares down the chaos as he commands the Rookie to run the blocker beam, which rips through Bloom and dispels the star, just as Jim's injuries get the better of him.
He wakes in a hospital bed, surprised to learn that it wasn't Batman who saved him, but Geri Powers. Joking, she comments that if he'd died on the clock, it would have looked bad. Smirking sadly, Jim expresses thanks - and then quits the job. She admits that the Batman Program is actually being shuttered. Inspired by his speech, she explains that Gotham needs heroes, not super-heroes. The money she invested in the program will go instead to city organizations that need it. Jim can have his old position back as Police Commissioner. It had been Maggie's idea to give up the role to him. Harvey Bullock points out that Maggie missed the Major Crimes Unit enough to want to go back to it. He passes Jim his badge, but Jim is overwhelmed, and asks a minute to himself.
Once alone, Jim climbs out onto the fire escape next to his hospital room's window. From the shadows, Batman comments that they have work to do. Jim knows, but takes the time to apologize for everything that's happened. He feels it's his fault, for trying to take the Batman's place - that Bloom had only risen up because he had become Batman. Batman responds that Bloom was Jim's own monster. A different kind of enemy than the Joker. The Joker is just darkness - only one man could be the Joker. Anyone could be Bloom, though - and it was Jim who stopped him. So Batman feels he owes Jim thanks, for keeping the city safe in his absence. Jim interrupts, explaining that what he's most sorry for is not giving Batman the chance to rest. To him, it was as though the city had sensed that Batman had done his part, and it was their turn. That chance still exists. Batman could stop being Batman, and go back to being the man he was - Jim stops just short of using Bruce's real name. After a pause, Batman responds that the man he was died a long time ago. When he was a boy, the city had posed him a challenge, and this was how he had come to meet it - to become the Batman.
Later, Bruce visits Duke Thomas at home, where his parents are still suffering with their affliction, offering him an opportunity.
Elsewhere, in the rubble of the Lucius Fox Center for Gotham Youth, Julie Madison spots a shadow that she thinks might belong to Batman and pursues it. She finds no sign of him, but is drawn instead to one of the bricks where all of the children had written their names. One of the bricks is signed "Bruce Wayne" - one of the last remnants of the life that Bruce had been forced to give up.
- This book was first published on March 23, 2016.
- No special notes.
- There's a version of the Batman Beyond batsuit in the Batcave along with other versions, such as that was used in the Zero Year.
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