"The Big Burn, Part One: First Strike": Two-Face wakes in his apartment when a fly lands on his perpetually opened bad eye. Grumpily, he reaches to his bedside table, as he does every morning, flips his coin,
- Welcome back to Gotham, McKillen.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "The Big Burn, Part One: First Strike"
Two-Face wakes in his apartment when a fly lands on his perpetually opened bad eye. Grumpily, he reaches to his bedside table, as he does every morning, flips his coin, and according to its decision, pulls the trigger on a gun loaded with just one bullet and pointed at his head. For another day, Harvey Dent will have to live with his other half.
Erin McKillen, meanwhile, steps down onto the tarmac in Gotham, and is greeted by her cousin Kieron, who briefs her on the locations of her two old foes: Batman and Harvey Dent. McKillen has big plans, and she has Kieron keep tabs on both threats, so as to prevent any surprises. If she has her way, she'll be out of Gotham within 30 minutes of ending her meeting.
Bruce finds Alfred Pennyworth filling in the empty graves of Talia al Ghul and his Bruce's son Damian. The older man explains that with all of the forensic evidence uploaded, he felt it would be better to fill the graves than to keep them open as a constant reminder of how their bodies were stolen by Ra's al Ghul, after their lives were stolen already. Though he understands, Bruce takes the shovel away from Alfred, and begins digging the graves out again, responding that he wants to be reminded of what Ra's did, because as soon as he deals with whatever Gotham's crime families are up to, Ra's is going to get his undivided attention.
Erin McKillen attends the meeting of Gotham's crime families, where the idea of solidarity between families is put forward as a means of regaining control of the city from the psychotics who continue to plague it. Erin is at the forefront of this push, though the others doubt that she is really in touch with just how bad the city has got. Her companions suggest that they begin targeting Gotham's crazies, and start with one who once targeted them as both a criminal and as district attorney: Harvey Dent. Unfortunately for Erin, the other families feel that she should be the one to kill him, because she is the one who made him.
Kieron admits, later, that running the McKillen family through safe-houses as far away as Ireland isn't particularly efficient - especially since the other families have been chipping away at their turf. If Erin wants to share any of the spoils of the "solidarity" between families, she will have to put skin in the game, and that means staying in Gotham. Meanwhile, when she allowed her personal feelings to obstruct business, and that hurt the family. Now's the best time to correct its course. This prospect doesn't please Erin, but she has little time to express her anger, as the GCPD soon raids the safehouse, forcing her to make a hasty escape and destroy all of their data. The escape is prominent enough that it receives news coverage, and at last, Batman and Two-Face are both notified of Erin's return to Gotham.
Some time ago, Harvey Dent had woke tied to his own desk, and found Erin McKillen standing over him in his wife's clothes. She had murdered Gilda in order to teach him a lesson: he should have let her be. His blind ambition, as she saw it, had sent Erin and her sister Shannon to the wolves. Defiantly, Harvey had responded that he would gladly do it all over again. Having anticipated that response, Erin retrieved a bottle of liquid, and poured it out over Harvey's face. It was acid, and as he flinched, it burned away the flesh on one side. Seething, she declared that now, Gotham would finally see what a two-faced son of a bitch he really was. As a piece of her had died that day, so too would a piece of him. After McKillen had left, Harvey tore free of his ropes, and planted a kiss on Gilda's lips for the last time.
Erin's attempts to reunite with her compatriots are thwarted when the Batman catches up to her on his Bat-Glider, and plucks her from the Gotham Bay. Violent and fighting for survival, she drags them both to a crashing impact with the ground, and fights tooth and nail against him. She warns that his attempts to capture her will have to stop sometime, spitting in his face. Coldly, Batman merely welcomes her back to Gotham.
Appearing in "The Big Burn, Part One: First Strike"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Gotham City Police Department
- Erin McKillen (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Kieron McKillen
- Gilda Dent (as a corpse in flashback)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman and Robin: The Big Burn.