"Who Burns Who, Part One": Twenty-Five thousand feet above Gotham City soars a giant jet plane filled with an ominous cargo. Lined up, one next to another are several corpses of various deceased members of Batman's rogues gallery. But in all reality, they might as well
- I've tried everything. I've been everywhere. I thought the top of the world was the last answer... the last refuge... it's not. Not by a long shot. Whispering. Every second. Of every day. It won't stop. Words surround me. Words that aren't words. From the dead. To a dead man. I'm pulled to him. Pulled to me. The dead man who's here below my feet. The final resting place... of a ghost who can never rest. My bones cry for help. Help from being desecrated. From being abused. And then I hear it. One word. As loud and clear as the gunshot that stole my life under the big top. Flesh. But I'm powerless to stop it. Rise. And then I do what I always do. Leap before I look. If anyone can save me, it's me.
- — Deadman
Synopsis for "Who Burns Who, Part One"
Twenty-Five thousand feet above Gotham City soars a giant jet plane filled with an ominous cargo. Lined up, one next to another are several corpses of various deceased members of Batman's rogues gallery. But in all reality, they might as well be a cargo of mistakes. Painful reminders of the tragic cost paid when Bruce Wayne has left others to tend to Gotham in his absence. Arnold Wesker (the first Ventriloquist), Margaret Pye (Magpie), Arnold Etchinson (the Abattoir) and the Anatoli Knyazev (KGBeast). All brutally murdered. Also in cargo hold are the bodies of Roland Desmond (Blockbuster), Edmund Dorrance (King Snake), Deacon Blackfire and the Trigger Twins. They too were all lost in the oversight of supposed heroes. All are now on their way to safe keeping beneath the Hall of Justice.
With Blackest Night descending upon the entire universe, the Justice League has decided to take extra precaution with the bodies of those no longer with them. Exhuming their corpses and shipping them to a safe location, far out of the reach of the black threat that slowly closes in. But it looks as though it's all too late. A swarm of Black rings tear through steel, glass and human flesh like tissue paper on their way to their final destination. Re-birthed in the unholy glow of the black rings, the corpses rise, evacuating the plane as it bursts into flames.
But down below things are no less chaotic. Dick and Damian finally arrives at the pilfered grave of Bruce Wayne. Black Hand has stolen his skull, carrying it around with him, licking it, covering it in a makeshift cowl of black energy. Following the battle between Green Lantern, Flash and Martian Manhunter, the cemetery looks as though a bomb went off underground, vomiting up the contents of the Earth below. Splayed open as though on display are the coffins of Martha and Thomas Wayne. On instinct he covers their exposed remains with his cape, ordering Damian to do likewise. And for perhaps the first time ever, Dick discovers something that the youth actually fears - death. Sensing Damian's discomfort, Dick wraps the Bruce's partial remains in the boy's golden shroud and prepares to take the corpses back to the bunker where they will be safe.
Ironic no doubt that the offspring of eternal lineage would be so entirely disquieted by the avatar of death. But as Dick explains as they drive away, he himself does not fear the Reaper. Something that perhaps stems from his upbringing in the Flying Grayson trapeze act in the Haley's Circus. In fact, he continues, death is the one thing that comes for everyone. And ironically enough, it's at that moment that death comes straight to Dick Grayson.
Well, not death itself - but the Deadman, Boston Brand, the eternally restless spirit detective. Just moments ago, his own eternal slumber (or lack thereof) was disturbed when a Black Lantern ring tunneled it's way through the ground below his tombstone and placed itself on his skeleton. He found himself invisible to the walking corpse, unable to control it in the least. When he attempted to 'dive in' to take control he found it almost unbearable - filled with pain, forcing him to flee. It was then that he decided to seek help from his old pal Bruce Wayne, leaping unknowingly instead into his successor.
The convenient thing about having Deadman leap into his body is that the communion puts both man's mind in sync. Boston is now just as up to date on the goings on in Gotham as Dick is about the oncoming Blackest Night. The inconvenient part being that neither Dick nor Damian seem to be suitable hosts for the Deadman, forcing him to retreat from both hosts and follow in spirit form.
With his now greater understanding of the threat at hand, Dick decides to rally Tim from abroad. He knows he's going to need all the help he can get. He realizes that the Black Lantern rings aren't just being sent out to the corpses of the super-powered, but the de-powered as well. And as such he makes a b-line for a second cemetery. But it's too late! The parents of both Dick Grayson and Tim Drake now walk the Earth once more as Black Lanterns! As a shattered bat signal lights the skies above Gotham, it's clear to see that this is going to be one long night.
Appearing in "Who Burns Who, Part One"
- Deadman (Flashback and main story)
- Black Lantern Corps
- Batman Villains
- Black Hand
- Deadman (Flashback and main story)
- Flying Graysons (Flashback and main story)
- Hawkgirl (Flashback only)
- Hawkman (Flashback only)
- Jack Drake
- Janet Drake
- Martian Manhunter (Flashback only)
- Maxwell Lord (Flashback only)
- Superman of Earth-Two (Flashback only)
- Barbara Gordon (Flashback only)
- Batman (Bruce Wayne) (Flashback only)
- Batman Clone (Appears only as a corpse) (Flashback and main story)
- Beast Boy (Flashback only)
- Cyborg (Flashback only)
- Hook (Flashback only)
- Martha Wayne (Appears only as a corpse)
- Ra's al Ghul (Flashback and main story)
- Raven (Flashback only)
- Red Robin
- Starfire (Flashback only)
- Superman (Flashback only)
- Talia (Flashback and main story)
- Thomas Wayne (Appears only as a corpse)
- Two-Face (Flashback only)
- This issue is reprinted in Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1.
- 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)
- Blackest Night Recommended Reading
Links and References
| Crossover |
Blackest Night is a 2009 DC Comics crossover event featuring the dead rising, and attacks by the Black Lantern Corps. This is the culmination of the War of Light. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Blackest Night crossover category.