"Gotham Runs Red!": Red Robin wakes in a drugged haze, aware that he has fallen victim to one of the Joker's plots. Fortunately, perhaps, he has been captured with Red Hood, who once died at the Joker's hands, a
Appearing in "Gotham Runs Red!"
Synopsis for "Gotham Runs Red!"
Red Robin wakes in a drugged haze, aware that he has fallen victim to one of the Joker's plots. Fortunately, perhaps, he has been captured with Red Hood, who once died at the Joker's hands, and - of all Batman's allies - Red Hood is the one with whom Red Robin feels safest in facing the Joker.
Annoyed that his captives haven't regained consciousness yet, Joker dumps a vat of water on them. Waking grumpily, Jason expresses regret that Tim had to become involved, thinking that the Joker's plan is a personal attack on him. Tim warns, though, that the attack is part of something much bigger, and they need to keep track of the big picture. With his victims awake, Joker urges the boys to turn around, where they see two men bound to a pipe with bags on their heads. Following the Joker's hints, they worry that these two men might actually be their real fathers.
Meanwhile, the Teen Titans, Starfire, and Arsenal do what they can to cure those affected by the Joker Toxin. All the while, Solstice worries about the surge in her power that she experienced, apparently thanks to a mysterious stranger called Lance.
Nearby, Kurt Lance muses that Amanda Waller's instincts were right, that the Teen Titans would be more effective with the power boosts he can provide. Unfortunately, he is surprise-attacked by the Gray Lora of Basilisk. Though he manages to deactivate her powers, thanks to his own, he is soon knocked unconscious by her unnoticed backup.
Joker explains that he has captured his victims' parents, and that one of them will die, depending on which of the two captives dies first. Red Robin and Red Hood must fight in a battle to the death. To Tim's surprise, Jason takes the plot seriously, and attempts to kill him in earnest. While Tim is a harder hitter, Jason's All-Caste training means he hits more often, and can fight blind with reasonable proficiency when affected by Tim's flashbangs. In order to prevent himself from being killed by Jason, Tim uses his suit's wings as blades, and warns Jason that he will use them, if he must, adding that it is much harder for him to kill than it is for his prey. From his control room, Joker warns that Tim had better get over that hurdle, or both fathers will die.
Thinking on the dilemma, Tim recalls that the only way to beat the Joker's games is to refuse to play by his rules. Quickly, he smashes through the control room window with his wings, and Jason, following his lead, fills the Joker with bullets. Something inside Tim is glad that Jason was willing to do what none of the other Bat-folk can do. He explains that he knew the two men weren't their fathers because he had memorized his father's skin imperfections, and noticed a discrepancy.
Unfortunately, the Joker's body is not his. He knew Jason would take the shot, and the dummy body explodes with Joker Gas, and neither of them has the means to protect themselves against it. Both collapse on the floor in the shadow of the Joker, who is once again victorious.
As the two regain consciousness, they see the Joker dressed in his formal wear, holding two bloodstained dinner platters, and warning that the main course of their coming dinner party is going to be quite a piquant dish.
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