"Alone at Night": It's been a few weeks since the gang war ended and things have been relatively quiet in Gotham. However, Batman finds the corpse of a young man on the streets and discovers that he died from a drug overdose. Once again, the drug
- Justice and law are, sadly, two different things. Gotham will always need me.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Alone at Night"
It's been a few weeks since the gang war ended and things have been relatively quiet in Gotham. However, Batman finds the corpse of a young man on the streets and discovers that he died from a drug overdose. Once again, the drug trade has returned to Gotham and Batman sets out to find the responsibles for dealing the drugs. Batman finds a dealer selling more drugs on the back of a darkened alley. Batman attacks the criminal and tries to take the truth out of him. However, one of the men who was trying to buy the drugs attacks Batman, before being knocked out for his mistake.
After Batman learns where the dealer gets his supplies, he rides the Batmobile towards the place, but he is soon spotted by the GCPD, who have orders to arrest Batman on sight. Batman is being chased by several police cars, just like during the first days of being Batman. He takes a turn inside a tunnel that leads him to a subway train station. Batman drives the car to the railroad tracks just before the subway train arrives, stopping the police from chasing him.
Moments later, Batman has arrived at the building where the drugs are being supplied and he also notices that the police are arriving at the place. Batman spots three men talking in one of the upper floors of the building and a group of girls sitting sill in front of them. Batman comes in crashing through the window and knocks down two of the criminals before going for the one who looked like the leader. Batman was expecting to find the Lucky Hand Triad or the Escabedo Cartel, but instead he finds that the gang behind it all is the Yakuza. Batman grabbed the leader of the group and tries to question him about the drugs, but the man breaks a cyanide pill on his mouth, killing himself at once. Batman is aware that the police might come inside any minute and he takes one look at the girs, who were all wearing hats. Batman removes one of the hats from one of the girls and she recovers consciuosness immediately after. The police breaks inside the room, but Batman is already gone to a nearby rooftop, where he deduces that the girls are being mind-controlled using the technology of The Mad Hatter, but this is not his usual M.O.
Batman knows that he must investigate the evidence further and soon he realizes that he was too used to rely on other's help. Batman recalls that Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Oracle, would have him information on the case, but after she desroyed her home, the Gotham Clock Tower in order to save it from Black Mask and to save Batman as well, she decided that she can't stay in Gotham aynmore. Oracle told Bruce how she felt about working with him and the Birds of Prey at the same time and she acknowledged that she couldn't do it anymore and there was also the fact that her relation with Dick was over. Barbara left Gotham shortly after the gang war ended. As a consequence, former police Commissioner James Gordon left the city as well, telling Batman that the only reason for him to stay was his daughter. Before leaving, Gordon wished Batman good luck, but he warned him that the GCPD wouldn't forgive him after the past events.
While patrolling the city, Batman also remembers the death of Orpheus during the war and how Onyx has taken the leadership of the Hill Gang in honor of the fallen hero. Batman then recalls how he tried his best to prevent Stephanie Brown from pursuing vigilantism and how he failed after she was tortured by Black Mask and died from the injuries inflicted upon her. As a result, Robin also left Gotham, leaving Batman with no Robin. Batgirl was the next to leave the city, leaving Batman, once again with only Alfred and Nightwing. Both of them were busy since Nightwing had to recover from his bullet wound and Alfred would just take care of him.
Batman is now on his own again and he takes down all sort of criminals around the city. After taking down a street pimp, Batman realizes that somehow the gangs of Gotham are being organized and seem to be working for a single purpose. Batman knows that Black Mask is somehow behind it all, but he can't prove it yet. The trace on The Mad Hatter's technology is already analyzed on Batman's pocket computer and it is leading him to the Iceberg Lounge, headquarters of the Penguin. However, upon arriving, Batman finds the place utterly empty and cannot help but think that it is all a trap. Batman breaks down a wall from where the signal was coming and he finds Mad Hatter along with Killer Croc, Alexandra Kosov and a kidpapped kid. Batman appears to be calmed and after chatting a bit with The Mad Hatter, the criminal tells Killer Croc to attack Batman. Tetch informs Batman that he has implanted a mind-controlling device on Croc's brain, but the fight ends quickly as Batman causes a couple of stone pillars to fall on Croc. Batman tries to reach the kidnapped kid but Hatter guides him to a room with a holographic image of Black Mask's head. Black Mask tells Batman that he is grateful for his help on taking control of the city and Batman soon realizes that the criminals have placed the kid on the balcony of the building, tied upside down. Batman tries to tell them to let the kid go, but instead Black Mask tells Alexandra to let him fall and she shoots at the rope from which the kid was hanging. As the kid falls down, Batman jumps off the building and catches the kid in mid-air, taking him to safety on the street. The kid is amazed by Batman and soon the police start arriving at the place. Batman has to leave and the kid starts telling them how he was kidnapped and saved by Batman.
Batman watches how the kid is rescued from afar on a rooftop and soon he is joined by Catwoman. Batman informs Catwoman that Black Mask is alive after all and they also discuss their respective loss at the hands of the crime lord. Batman is still sensible at the mention of Stephanie's death and Catwoman tries to comfort him. She approaches towards him, and very slowly she removes the cowl from him. Their faces are inches away from each other, but Batman takes a step back and puts his cowl back on. Catwoman is angry at him for not showing any signs of humanity and tries to force him to feel something by fighting him. Batman counters her attacks and embraces her with a firm grip, telling her that he feels everything.
As the night comes to an end, Batman knows that his mission is never over and that he must always have to work things by himself, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
Appearing in "Alone at Night"
- Gotham City Police Department
- Orpheus (In a photograph only)
- Onyx (Cameo)
- Hill Gang (Cameo)
- Stephanie Brown (Flashback only)
- Tim Drake (Cameo)
- Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) (Cameo)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Cameo)
- Dick Grayson (Cameo)
- Susan (Single appearance)
- Jonathan (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "In the Dark"
Batman investigates the abduction of a child and roams the city during the darkest hours of night. While Batman hunts the criminal down, several other crimes are commited, none of the could be stopped.
When Batman finally finds the kidnapper, he takes the man to the darkest forest and forces him to tell the location of the kid he kidnapped. However, by the time the police find the kid, he is already dead and Batman feels that there is something much more disturbing lurking in the dark of Gotham.
Appearing in "In the Dark"
- Johnnie Barns (Single appearance)
- The second story acts as a prelude to the storyline Batman: City of Crime, ongoing in the next issues of Detective Comics.
- This issue is reprinted on the Batman: City of Crime trade paperback.
- There are several references to the events of Batman: War Games herein.
- The first panel of page 16 is an homage to the cover of Detective Comics #27, which is Batman's first appearance.