"Trash": A young kid called Mike Dell is working on an ecology project for school and being someone concerned about the world's environment, he has chosen to showcase the reality of the ever growing amount of trash generated in big cities like Gotham. His work is relatively easy considering
Appearing in "Trash"
- Krudco Sanitations
- Tony Kruden (Only appearance; dies)
- Jane Dell (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Trash"
A young kid called Mike Dell is working on an ecology project for school and being someone concerned about the world's environment, he has chosen to showcase the reality of the ever growing amount of trash generated in big cities like Gotham. His work is relatively easy considering that his father, Harvey, works as a waste collector. As Mike approaches the final stages of his project, Harvey has promised to take him to the Freshfields Landfill and at the break of dawn, the two of them start the work day.
At noon, Bruce Wayne awaits outside of the Armana's Restaurant for his lunch date to arrive. As he is waiting, he notices Harvey's waste collector vehicle driving towards the restaurant as his employees take the garbage off the streets. Bruce decides that his date is already too late and is most likely not coming and he starts walking away when he meets Vicki Vale, who apologizes for the delay.
Vicki and Bruce go into the restaurant to get lunch together, but Bruce finds himself distracted by the Dell's waste collector vehicle, which has come to a halt in front of the restaurant, just as another collector truck has caught up to them. The rival collectors from Krudco's company, threaten Harvey with taking action against him if he doesn't leave the city all to them. Fortunately, a police officer was passing by and the situation is defused before it could turn into something ugly. However, the situation has made Harvey realize the dangers he is exposing his son to and decides to send Mike back home, before they could get to the landfill.
Due to all the distractions, Bruce could not have a proper lunch date with Vicki and by the time she has to leave, Bruce realizes he has lost another chance to connect with her. Despite this failure, when nighttime comes, Bruce descends to the Batcave and gets ready to go out as Batman. Once the outfit is on and the Caped Crusader prowls the streets at night, all thoughts of human connection are gone and the man forgets all about Vicki.
Late at night, Harvey bids his wife farewell as he takes his waste collector vehicle to the landfill. She tells Harvey to reconsider his decision of not taking Mike, but he has made up his mind. Harvey leaves his home and drives his vehicle towards the landfill, unaware that Mike is riding with him on top of the vehicle.
In the meantime, Batman cleans a special kind of trash from the city's streets, until he comes across Tony Kruded and his enforcers talking to his "Krudco" waste collector employees. As Kruden takes off in his car, Batman jumps on the waste collectors and takes their vehicle from them in order to follow their leader.
Moments later, the Dell's vehicle enters the polluted area that is Freshfields Landfill, but much to Harvey's surpise, he finds that Kruden is waiting for him along with his goons. Harvey steps out of the waste collector vehicle and stands against the crooks. One of the thugs threatens to kill Harvey and the young Mike startles everyone when he attempts to save his father. One of Kruden's thugs fires his gun to the kid and shoots him in the chest. All of this happens just as Batman arrives at the place in time to witness the scene. Batman lunges himself to the criminals while Harvey goes to look after his son.
Batman starts beating Kruden's enforcers, but in the struggle, Kruden himself is pushed inside the back of Harvey's collector truck as the grinder is activated. The crooked man is killed by the heavy machinery and Batman coulnd't stop the grinder until too late. However, tragedies are far from over as Batman watches Harvey, the waste collector, breaking down as he holds the lifeless body of his young son in his arms, tears pouring from his eyes. Batman recedes to the shadows where he belongs, as he has no words that can relief the pain of such a loss; and in the midst of such a grim night, the cruelty of fate is more obvious than ever, for not only an innocent life was taken, but his efforts to make a better world have been for naught.
- This issue is reprinted in DC Retroactive: Batman – The '90s #1.
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