Synopsis for "Rite of Passage - Part Four: Trial by Fire"
Bruce explains that he had trailed the man who collected the ransom for Tim's Parents to Haiti from Gotham City. The man, Malcien, had gone to the home of Louis Dange - a devout follower of Haitian Voodoo. They planed to bring the ransom money to their leader, the Obeah Man. While Louis Dange made one last prayer to his idol, Batman sneaked into the back of Malcien's jeep.
Meanwhile, the kidnapped Jack and Janet Drake were tied to a post surrounded by hot coals. The heat was unbearable, and the Obeah Man denied them water. Soon, Louis Dange and Malcien arrived with the money. Thinking that their ransom was paid, the Drakes asked to be freed, but their captor revealed that he had always intended to kill them, regardless of whether their company had paid up. As they began the sacrificial ritual, the Obeah Man prompted his followers to walk across the coals with him.
Batman used the Leidenfrost effect to protect himself from the coals, taking out the armed thugs. In his fight with the Obeah Man, however, he was slashed across the chest with a knife. Using that same knife, Batman freed the Drakes. Meanwhile, Louis Dange attempted to kill Batman by throwing his knife, but was hit in the shoulder by a flying hatchet, which knocked him into the coals where he burned to death.
Janet Drake drank from the water left for them on a nearby table, and as Jack Drake reached for the same water, Batman knocked it from his hands. Janet Drake had been poisoned by the water, which was actually poison. The Obeah Man laughed, claiming they were fated to die. Batman became enraged, and brutally beat the remaining thugs before taking the Drakes to the nearest hospital.
Bruce asks a nearby doctor whether Jack Drake will be alright, but the doctor says there is significant nerve damage. Jack Drake will be paralyzed, if he survives. Tim's mother has already died. Bruce turns to Tim saying "I know how you feel." In his frustration, Tim doubts Bruce. He soon realizes, however, that Bruce knows better than most people would what it is like to lose a family. They embrace, and Tim catches a glimpse of the darkness that hides within his mentor.
In Haiti, Louis Dange's son Pierre reveals to his friend how he had finally looked in the cupboard that his father had forbidden him to open. Expecting to find a monster, he was surprised to find a ball of mud, feather and bones. Failing to understand the nature of his father's beliefs, Pierre had thrown the idol into the furnace. Pierre does not realize that his actions had indirectly caused his father's death in flames - by voodoo.
Appearing in "Rite of Passage - Part Four: Trial by Fire"
- Obeah Man (Final appearance)
- Joe Chill (Flashback only)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Pierre Dange (Final appearance)
- Louis Dange (Dies)
- Malicien (thug)
- Henri (thug)
- Obeah Man's jeep
- This story continues in Batman #455, as Alan Grant, Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell move to that title.
- This issue is reprinted in Robin: Tragedy & Triumph, Robin: Reborn and in Batman: The Dark Knight Detective Vol. 5.
- 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)