"The Monkey Trap": Close to a hundred years ago, a man's honor was stained and he made a promise to one day retrieve what was taken away from him by keeping the promise of a dying man to the end.
Detective Comics Annual #1 is an issue of the series Detective Comics Annual (Volume 1) with a cover date of September, 1988.
Synopsis for "The Monkey Trap"
Close to a hundred years ago, a man's honor was stained and he made a promise to one day retrieve what was taken away from him by keeping the promise of a dying man to the end.
Presently, O-Sensei travels to the United States of America alongside Lady Shiva in order to contact the Batman. Unable to reach the mysterious vigilante, Lady Shiva asks The Question to send a message to the Dark Knight Detective, giving him a meeting place. Meanwhile, Ra's al Ghul has learned of a conspiracy from The Penguin, but since he is unable to travel to Gotham City, he commands his daughter, Talia to go on his behalf.
Shortly afterwards, a message arrives through the Batcomputer and Batman learns of The Question's meeting place. Batman goes to the location, where he is shocked to find an old sensei and a lady, both of whom he has never met before. O-Sensei proceeds to tell Batman a story about a monkey who became stuck after he reached out for a banana through a hole, but since his hand and the food wouldn't fit through the hole and the animal wouldn't let go, he was condemned to remain trapped. Batman retorts that the story couldn't apply to him since he is a master escape artist and there is no trap that could hold him. However, the Sensei and the Lady stand on their belief and they tell the Dark Knight that they will soon claim their favor back as Batman ignores them and leaves them behind. On his subsequent patrols, Batman can't help but remember the night in which his fateful destiny started.
Elsewhere, one of Ra's men called Ibn meets with the Penguin and delivers him Ra's new developed drug, the same that he stole from Ra's and which only affects women and children with lethal results. Once the drug is in his possession, Penguin kills Ibn with his trained birds of prey, officially terminating his partnership with Ra's al Ghul. Not long afterwards, Batman learns of the gruesome murder and while he is doing a close examination of the body and evidence found, he is met by Talia and learns about Ra's involvement in the affair. Without many choices left, Batman agrees to work with Talia in order to stop the Penguin and prevent him from spreading the lethal drug.
Thanks to Batman's deductions, he and Talia locate the Penguin's hideout and after taking out his henchmen, they confront Cobblepot himself. The Penguin commands his birds to attack Batman and while the Dark Knight is distracted with the animals, Penguin fights against Talia on his escape attempt. As a result of the ensuing confrontation, Talia is injected with the drug. Batman finally gets rid of the birds and knocks out The Penguin, after which he takes Talia to the hospital.
Talia recovers promptly thanks to Batman's quick intervention and his suggestion to use testosterone on Talia to counteract the drug's effects. Once Talia has fully recovered, Batman visits her at her hospital room and Talia has something important to tell him. She informs Bruce that her love for him is strong and that she is willing to forsake her father in order to live with him under any circumstances. Without much of a thought, Batman refuses and when a sorrowful Talia asks for a reason, he replies that they can't be together because he can never forget who her father is and also because he would have to stop being who he is. So strong is Batman's obsession that he refuses to kiss Talia goodbye, even after she asked for it.
Back at the Batcave, Bruce writes a message to the Sensei and the Lady, telling them that he in fact he owes them a big debt and he signs the message as "The Monkey" as an anguished tear falls through his face.
Appearing in "The Monkey Trap"
- Shoe (Single appearance)
- Perfesser (Single appearance)
- Ibn (Only appearance; dies)
- Ra's al Ghul
- Thomas Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Martha Wayne (Dies in flashback)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
- This is the first chapter of the "Fables" storyline. The story continues in Green Arrow Annual (Volume 2) #1.
- In 2018, DC released another Detective Comics Annual #1 for Detective Comics (Volume 1). On the DC Database, that comic is known as Detective Comics Annual #2018.
- This story is reprinted in Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 2.
- While preparing Ibn's drug, the Penguin hums a few lines of Bobby Day's 1958 hit Rockin' Robin.
- The Penguin's attack eagles, Shoe and the Perfesser, are named after the main characters of Shoe, a newspaper strip starring anthropomorphic birds.
Links and References
|Part I: Detective Comics Annual #1||Part II: Green Arrow Annual #1||Part III: Question Annual #1|