Published jointly by DC Comics and Wizard Press, the one-shot zero issue leads into the regular Dark Victory limited series. The story is early in Batman's career, immediately following the events of The Long Halloween. The serial killer known as Holiday has finally been captured, and Jim Gordon is Gotham's new Police Commissioner.
But District Attorney Harvey Dent, one of Gordon and Bruce Wayne's closest friends, was horribly disfigured and driven insane in the process. Dent's transformation into the demented Two-Face pushes even Batman's cold, emotionally detached demeanor beyond its limits. The efforts of the new DA to free Holiday from Arkham Asylum only increases the pressure on Gordon and the Dark Knight. The introduction of an orphaned ten-year-old boy may be the key to surviving the latest trial.
With the optimistic, innocent Robin at his side, it may be possible for Batman to achieve victory without sacrificing the last of his humanity. Batman briefly recounts the events of The Long Halloween, where he, along with Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, fought a.Crusade to dismantle the criminal empire of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. During that time, a serial killer named Holiday violently struck out at Gotham's underworld. Batman suspected that Dent was Holiday, but it turned out to be Falcone's son, Alberto. Now, the Roman is dead, and Dent is in Arkham Asylum. Alberto had been sentenced to die in the gas chamber, but during an appeal, he was ruled insane and transferred to Arkham Asylum, where he has a cell across from Calendar Man, who resents him for stealing his modus operandi. The new District Attorney, Janice Porter, is attempting to secure Alberto's release. She notes that Alberto endured quite a beating at the hands of Batman, causing permanent nerve damage in his right arm.
Alberto thanks her for devoting so much time to his case, and tells her that he is sorry for what he is done. Calendar Man tells her that he is sorry, too. Porter pays a visit to Gordon, who has recently been promoted to Commissioner. She asks for Gordon to hand over all case files on Alberto.
She insists that Alberto's civil rights were violated when Batman beat him, and Gordon stood by and let it happen. Gordon warns Porter that she is making a mistake, but she stands her ground.
When Porter leaves, Batman emerges from the shadows. Gordon tells him that Porter is not going to be able to work with them, and that he might not be able to protect Batman. He then breaks down, saying that he misses Dent. Batman discourages such talk, and Gordon reminds him that no matter what Harvey has become, he was a friend to them both.
As Batman leaves, he muses that the storm currently raging in Gotham is only beginning. In a childhood flashback, Bruce Wayne recalls the murder of his parents as a boy. During the funeral, Carmine Falcone told the young Bruce that since Thomas Wayne once saved his life, he was good for one favor.
Even then, Bruce could sense an aura of evil around the man. In the present day, Batman is at Gotham Cemetery, perched atop its highest mausoleum.Sofia and Mario Falcone are at their father's gravesite, posthumously celebrating his birthday. Mafiosi are in attendance, including Sofia and Mario's cousin, Lucia Viti, who bitterly notes the absence of her mother and brother. Batman is surprised to see Selina Kyle arm-in-arm with Mario. Selina turns toward the mausoleum and mews curiously, suggesting that she senses Batman's presence. As Batman wonders if he's been spotted, a shotgun wielding bodyguard sneaks up from behind him.
Batman dispatches the thug, but this alerts the other gangsters to his presence. Mario tells Sofia they need to leave, and notes that Selina has seemingly disappeared.
Batman dispatches several of the gunmen with an aerial takedown, and. Helps Batman neutralize the remaining thugs.
Why she is there, but she refuses to answer. By the time the police arrive, the "big fish" have fled, much to Commissioner Gordon's annoyance. At Wayne Manor, Bruce is going for a swim when Selina and Mario make a surprise visit. Mario assures Bruce that Falcone Imports is now completely legitimate, and they want to do business with Wayne Enterprises. Bruce is leery, as Mario was bad enough to get kicked out of the country, but Mario attributes his deportation to reckless mistakes he made as a teenager, coupled with a hanging judge who dealt with him too harshly.Mario notes a perceived debt between the Wayne and Falcone families; this seems to touch a nerve with Bruce, who insists that such a debt no longer exists. Gordon calls home to tell his family that he will likely be coming home from work late.
His son answers, as his wife seems unwilling to speak with him. This is not lost on Porter, but Gordon does not wish to discuss it with her. They arrive at Arkham Asylum to meet the Falcone brothers, where Porter tells Alberto they are getting close to securing his release. Gordon reminds them that Alberto is a murderer, and accuses Mario of manipulating the legal system like his father did. Porter tells Gordon that Judge Harkness will make the final decision, and that he (Gordon) doesn't have to like it: Harvey Dent did some damage to the DA's office, and it is her job to clean up the mess.She further warns that Batman's actions are illegal, and that Gordon will pay a heavy price for supporting him. Sofia hires Pino and Umberto Maroni to assassinate Harvey Dent on Halloween Night, the anniversary of her father's death. The brothers tell her that since their father "did half the job already, " this one's on the house. They have the building layout of Arkham Asylum, plus a spy inside the facility.
Sofia stresses that Alberto is not to be harmed. The meeting is interrupted by a power surge, Sofia tells them that she electrified the balconies in case Batman or. Decided to spy on them. Shows them a grappling hook the intruder was forced to leave behind.
Gordon meets Chief Clancy O'Hara at the Gotham City Bridge. O'Hara tells Gordon he doesn't think the office is safe. He hands Gordon a list of names, and they talk about their plans to make being a cop in Gotham mean something again. O'Hara suggests they talk to Batman, as they will need to tell him about their plans sooner or later. Gordon summons Batman, surprised that he has come, since he has become more and more of a loner.Gordon tells Batman there is nothing they can do to stop Porter from securing Alberto's release. Batman tells Gordon to let Porter do what she wants; he has his own plans. Gordon tells Batman they are both hurting because of what happened to Dent, and it is unnerving to see him in Arkham Asylum. Warns Batman that the Falcones are planning to kill Dent. Batman coldly tells her that Dent is no longer his friend. Slaps him, telling him that she hopes he shows more interest when they come after her. Batman goes to Arkham Asylum, confronting Two-Face for the first time since his capture. He tells Dent that he could undergo reconstructive surgery and get his old life back, but Dent insists the scars run too deep. Suddenly, masked gunmen attack the facility, killing some of the guards. Batman hears the shots, and tells Harvey to stay in his cell while he races off to investigate. A series of explosions rock the asylum, inadvertently freeing several of the inmates.
Batman takes down the Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, and Solomon Grundy, but the Joker and Scarecrow have escaped. An examination of their cells suggests they had prior knowledge of the attack. Batman suspects that Alberto Falcone is the mastermind behind the assault, but he is still in his cell, insisting that an innocent man has nothing to run from. Calendar Man has escaped, however, and so has Two-Face.
Batman confronts Sofia about Dent's disappearance, warning her that if she pursues any vendettas, he will take away all she has left. Sofia angrily asserts that she is virtually an invalid, all because of Dent. Meanwhile, Judge Harkness agrees to release Alberto to the care of his brother and sister, but under heavy restrictions; he is under house arrest, an electronic monitor strapped to his ankle at all times. Batman assures Gordon that he will be watching Alberto very closely. An unknown party steals Carmine Falcone's body from his grave, then sends Sofia a package, containing his severed finger.
Tells her that it's an. Message: they plan on taking everything from her, piece by piece.Meanwhile, Porter's office has been ransacked, and all of Harvey Dent's case files have been stolen. The following morning, Chief O'Hara's body is found hanging from the Gotham Bridge, with a newspaper clipping of Alberto's release pinned to his jacket.
Gordon summons Batman to the crime scene, clearly unnerved at such a brazen attack against a cop. Batman takes a closer look at the newspaper clipping; a Hangman puzzle has been scrawled into it, which appears to spell out None of you are safe.
In an attempt to gain more insight into the Hangman, Batman interrogates the Riddler, as the killer seems to share his penchant for leaving behind clues to his identity. He gives the Riddler a copy of the newspaper clipping pinned to Chief O'Hara's body, and tells him to study it and to contact him when he has something. Gordon receives a visit from his predecessor, Gil Loeb, who harbors some bitterness over being removed from office. Gordon got lucky with Holiday, as his victims were cheap hoods, but now that there is a cop killer on their hands, the City Council has doubts about Gordon's effectiveness.Gordon tells Loeb that he earned his position, whereas Loeb lost it in a cesspool of corruption and graft. Loeb chides Gordon for his naivety, telling him to not to get too comfortable in the Commissioner's chair, he'll be getting it back soon. At the Batcave, Batman is poring over the forensic data from O'Hara's murder.
O'Hara's neck wasn't broken like in a traditional hanging, and he was hoisted from the ground in a manner that precluded him from putting up any sort of fight. This suggests that the killer has tremendous physical strength, or is utilizing strategically placed automated traps. Batman tells Alfred he cannot be certain, as Porter's refusal to work with him has limited his access to police evidence. He is now suspecting that Two-Face has a hand in the recent events, but he was wrong about Holiday, he cannot afford to be wrong again.Alfred reminds him that even Batman is capable of making mistakes, and Bruce confides that he was close to sharing his secret to Harvey. He wonders if things would have been different if he had been more trusting. Mario summons Gordon and Porter to his father's gravesite, noting that the disappearance of his body has his sister on edge. He is willing to work with the police to prove that he is sincere about cleaning up his family's reputation. Their meeting is interrupted by Sofia, Mr. Sofia tells Mario that since Gordon cannot protect his own men, he cannot be entrusted with the safety of her family. The gunmen with her are private investigators who are licensed to carry firearms, and they have a judge to back that up. After the Falcones leave, Porter apologizes to Gordon for dragging him into this. She knows about his marital problems, and it's not her intention to make things worse for him at work.
Gordon acknowledges they may have gotten off on the wrong foot, and asks Porter if she has any plans for Thanksgiving dinner. Porter reveals that she does, despite being too new in town to form any real friendships. At the Falcone estate, Alberto is smoking a cigarette in his private study when he hears a disembodied voice, who tells him that he cannot stop now, or they will forget about him.
Alberto frantically searches the room for the source of the voice, but finds nothing. Porter is sleeping at the Hotel Essex, when a mysterious stranger makes his way to her room.
She has been expecting him, and the two make love. Meanwhile, Selina Kyle has Thanksgiving dinner with Bruce and Alfred. The Riddler summons Batman with a demented parody of the. Revealing what he's found out about the newspaper clipping.
He offers a brief explanation to the rules of the Hangman puzzle, noting that it cannot be played alone. More than likely, there are two killers at work. Loeb is hanged in his home. Stationery from Harvey Dent's office is pinned to his shirt, featuring a second Hangman puzzle, which spells out Two can play this game.
It is Christmas in Gotham, and Arnold. Has become the Hangman's third victim. His body is found in an alley outside the Cheetah Room, where he had been working as a bouncer, with "Knows if you've been bad or good" pinned to his tie. Batman recalls that the Cheetah Room is run by the Maroni family, so he pays a visit to their racket boss, Tony Zucco.
Zucco reveals that Scarecrow wanted to rent one of his docks, and they were supposed to meet at the Cheetah Room's back alley to finalize the deal. Was killed, the area was swarming with cops, prompting Zucco to flee without collecting the kickbacks or finalizing the transportation arrangement. Batman jumps onto the truck's cab, and a struggle ensues.Scarecrow loses control of the vehicle, causing it to plummet into the water. Batman suspects that the villain has escaped again, but he takes solace in the fact that he foiled his plot with the tainted dolls. Sofia summons Zucco and the Maroni brothers to account for their failures.
Death has attracted unwanted police attention toward the Cheetah Room. Moreover, Zucco has disobeyed her orders to not do business with any of the Arkham inmates, and an example needs to be made. Her solution to both problems is to destroy the Cheetah Room. When Pino and Umberto protest the severity of this action, Sofia shoots Pino in the shoulder, implying that if it wasn't.
She would have killed him. She tells the brothers to find Two-Face and her father's body, or there will be no peace between their families.
At Wayne Manor, Selina is waiting for Bruce, but it becomes evident that he is not coming. She tells Alfred that she does not appreciate being stood up, and asks if she is wasting her time. He assures her that she is not, but is at a loss to explain Bruce's recent behavior. Batman, temporarily crazed from Scarecrow's fear gas, sneaks into the Falcone estate and proceeds to assault Alberto, accusing him of being the Hangman. A frightened Alberto insists he has not left the mansion since his release.
Gordon and Porter are doing some. Christmas shopping when they are alerted of the disturbance at the Falcone mansion.Mario warns them that if Sofia finds out about the incident, she will be out for blood. Alberto hears the ghostly, disembodied voice of his father tell him that he used to be powerful, but now he is pathetic. The voice asks what Alberto is going to do now. Alberto cowers in his bed, begging the voices to stop.
It's New Year's Eve, and Batman is spending it in the sewers, as he suspects that the Arkham Asylum escapees are using them as a safehouse. For the past several days, he has been leaving food in the tunnels to lure Solomon Grundy out of hiding, and Grundy has finally taken the bait. Batman tells Grundy he does not want to.
He just wants to find Two-Face. A fourth Hangman victim, Lieutenant Branden, is found in the meat locker of Maroni's Restaurant, with a note reading And Justice. All pinned to his body. The Maroni brothers insist they have no idea how the body got there, but Gordon reminds them that this is the second time a Hangman victim has been killed on their property.
He arrests them for conspiracy to commit murder, illegal weapons possession, and violation of the city's health code. When Porter asks for evidence, Gordon tells her to let him handle it.
Grundy leads Batman to an old maintenance chamber that Two-Face had been using as an office, but is now flooded and abandoned. He opens the file cabinet, only to discover it has been wired to a series of explosives.
The blast destroys a section of the wall, flooding the room with water. Selina, angered that she has been stood up twice in succession, dons her.
Costume and pays a Sofia a visit. Why she would offer to do this, but Selina insists that her motives are unimportant. Batman swims to safety with an unconscious Grundy in tow. He sees Two-Face watching from a nearby maintenance tunnel.Batman pleads for him to not run, to remember their friendship and his devotion to the law. Two-Face flees regardless, and Batman loses him amid the maze of tunnels.
Porter walks out of the Gotham City Courthouse when she is surprised by her gentleman caller. She notes that he is all wet, and now she is too.
Selina tells him she had decided last night that they were through but on second thought, invites him in for breakfast. Alfred waits outside, congratulating Master Bruce on a job well done. Gordon calls Barbara from his office, saying that he misses his family and asks her to consider moving back in with him. She is still too angry with him to make any promises.Porter arrives just in time to overhear the tail end of the conversation and offers to come back later. Gordon tells her that won't be necessary, and shows her the contents of Chief O'Hara's list. It contains the names of five officers that O'Hara personally vouched for; he's putting together a team of elite detectives that will answer only to him.
Porter tells him that this team can bend the law, but she will not let them break it. Gordon welcomes her to the Hangman investigation. Nearly a week after their arrest, Pino and Umberto Maroni are still in jail, which has Pino grumbling.Umberto reminds them that their father had done harder time. Lucia Viti arrives to post their bail. She tells the brothers she is looking to make new friends, and asks Pino what happened to his arm. A month later, Batman is tracking down Sergeant Frank Pratt, as he believes he might become the Hangman's next target. Armed with a sniper rifle, Pratt ambushes Batman, shooting him in the chest. Batman's body armor protects him, but the force still knocks him out.
Before Pratt can finish him off, the Hangman strikes, killing him. Batman awakens to see Gordon accompanied by two recruits from his Special Task Force, Henry Gustavson and Mark O'Connor. They point out Pratt's body hanging from the water tower, with a Hangman puzzle that reads Guilty as Sin. And O'Connor are openly hostile toward Batman, while Gordon rebukes him for confronting Pratt alone.Corners the Riddler at Marlin Cafe and demands to know where Carmine Falcone's body is hidden. The Riddler warns she might not like the answer, but she insists that she will take her chances.
He tells her the body is hidden in plain sight, which prompts her to visit the morgue. But as she takes a closer inspection of the unidentified corpses, an unknown figure knocks her out. At the Falcone estate, Alberto tells Mario and Sofia that their father is still alive. Sofia angrily insists that she saw Two-Face put two bullets in his head.
Alberto reminds her of how his own death was faked, and suggests that she saw what their father wanted her to see. Wakes up to find herself trapped in a coffin, about to be cremated. Batman rescues her just in time, telling her that the Riddler tipped him off to her whereabouts. He tells her that Falcone's body is not in the morgue, and he doubts it ever was. Asks Batman about the nature of their relationship, while Batman wants to know how she is connected to the Falcones.
Neither is willing to answer the other's question. It appears that he has finally gotten his wish about them being a family again.
Bruce visits Selina's apartment, to find movers loading her personal effects. Their foreman hands Bruce a letter that Selina left for him.In it, she explains that after being stood up two holidays in a row, she concluded that a relationship between them is impossible. She knows that he has the resources to find her, but she doesn't want to be found. At the Hotel Essex, Porter dresses for work while giving her mystery boyfriend intel on Gustavson and O'Connor.
The boyfriend's identity is revealed to be Two-Face. Falcone Imports is under siege by the Penguin. This is the third time that the Penguin has launched such an attack, and Batman sees this is a sign that the Falcones have lost their underworld primacy. And their gang attempt to fight off Penguin's thugs, Batman leaps into the fray. Takes a bullet to the arm, Batman deploys a flashbang, disorienting the Penguin's goons.Injury, Penguin attempts to escape. Batman corners him and demands to know where Two-Face is. Penguin refuses to answer, seemingly more afraid of Two-Face than he is of Batman. At the roof of the Gotham Police station, Gordon, Gustavson, and O'Conner assemble the rest of their Special Task Force: Julia Lopez, David King, and Laureen Wilcox. Gordon tells the team that their ultimate goal is to dismantle Gotham's still powerful crime families, independent of Batman and even their fellow officers. For now, they will investigate the Hangman. Gordon assigns each of them to investigate one of the Hangman's victims, Gustavson gets O'Hara, Lopez gets Loeb, King gets. O'Connor gets Branden, and Wilcox gets Pratt. Their meeting is interrupted when Batman drops off an unconscious Penguin, restrained in a fishing net. Are discussing the Penguin's attack and the. Recent alliance with Lucia Viti when they discover that they have been locked out of the Penthouse. Mario tells Sofia that he knows about Zucco's smuggling operation at the shipyard, and that the Falcone name can no longer be associated with illegal activities. He is freezing her assets and kicking her out of the Penthouse. Gotham City is changing, and if she will not change with it as he has, she will be left behind. After Sofia has left, an unknown figure tells Mario that Sofia will now go to the only place that will take her in.
Mario tells the contact that he does not want his name associated with any of this. The shadowy figure assures him that no one is interested in him. The Gordons are celebrating St.Patrick's Day by having a few drinks at Sully's Bar. Porter arrives and introduces herself to Barbara. The conversation soon moves to Gilda Dent, and Porter wonders if she is even still alive. Before Barbara can offer her opinion, Jim arrives, and they are soon joined by another old acquaintance, Stan Merkel, who is now a Watch Commander at the Eleventh Precinct. When Gordon introduces him to Barbara, Merkel recalls that his own wife was expecting him home hours ago and rushes out of the bar.
Barbara comments that Merkel has had too much to drink, prompting Gordon to offer to drive him home. However, by the time Gordon is outside the bar, Merkel seems to have inexplicably vanished.In the Gotham Sewers, Joker tells Two-Face that Penguin has been captured. Two-Face seems indifferent to the news, leading Joker to suspect that he and the other Arkham escapees are nothing more than expendable pawns.
He pulls a gun on Two-Face, demanding to let him in on his plans. Two-Face reminds him why he is in charge.
Batman goes to the former Dent residence hoping to find more clues to Two-Face's whereabouts, and his connection to the Hangman killings. Instead, he finds Commander Merkel's body hanging from a tree.
The deed to the Dent house has been pinned to his jacket, a Hangman puzzle reading "Jury of your peers" scrawled into it. Without warning, the Special Task Force arrives. Believing Batman to be the killer, they draw their weapons and demand his surrender.
The Special Task Force keeps their guns trained on Batman, demanding his surrender. Batman deploys a gas grenade, which disorients most of them, but Lopez keeps shooting even as her eyes water.
As Batman leaves, Gordon orders his men to stand down. Batman is not the enemy, anyone with even the slightest grasp of the good that Batman has done for Gotham would know better than suspect him of being the Hangman. He directs them to help calm down some of the neighbors who were likely rattled by the gunfire, he has the unenviable task of telling Merkel's wife that she is now a widow. Two weeks later, Two-Face convenes a tribunal in his underground hideout.The Joker, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Riddler, Poison Ivy, and Mister Freeze are serving as jurors, with. Calendar Man is delivering his testimony, still wearing his prison uniform, but now featuring tattoos on his head. Two-Face tells them that the tribunal's purpose is to determine the identity of the Hangman. Since Calendar Man offered valuable insight into Holiday, Two-Face suspects he might offer similar insight into the Hangman.
Calendar Man notes that all the evidence suggests that Dent himself is responsible for the murders. Two-Face insists that it is too obvious, someone is clearly trying to frame him.
He asks Calendar Man who the Hangman will target next. Calendar Man tells Harvey that he should already know that information. He should hurry though, today is a holiday: April Fool's Day. At the Falcone Estate, Alberto is again contacted by the disembodied voice of his father, who directs him to the gun he used as Holiday. He quickly hides it as Sofia and Mr.Gazzo is going to have some words with Mario. Sofia demands to know where Alberto stands in her feud with Mario. Alberto simply tells her that she can do whatever she wants with Mario, he has his own plans.
After a training session, Batman and Alfred go over more forensic data from the Hangman murders. Batman expresses his frustration at Porter keeping him out of the investigation, and suggests they investigate her. Alfred tells him to list the order of the Hangman's victims, and he gets it wrong. Alfred notes that Bruce has been behaving erratically since Christmas and the breakup with Selina.
Batman finally remembers that he was poisoned by Scarecrow on Christmas. Alfred fetches his medical bag. Gordon is phoning Barbara from his office, when he notices someone has activated the Bat signal.
When he goes out to investigate, he finds a rope around his neck. Batman arrives just in time to see Two-Face cutting him down. Two-Face insists that he is not the Hangman, someone is going to great lengths to set him up.
Saving Gordon proves his innocence, but he will not help them any further. He adds that he has two snipers aimed at Gordon, and they will shoot unless they let him go. After Two-Face slips into the shadows, Batman wonders if Two-Face faked the hanging to throw suspicion off him.
Gordon suggests that if it was the real Hangman, he would have left a note. Upon closer inspection, they find a police report involving Mario Falcone's deportation. Chief O'Hara was the arresting officer, and Harvey Dent was the prosecutor. At the Ace Trucking Company, Zucco notes that. Has recovered nicely from the injuries he sustained last month, but.Is more concerned about the war between the Falcones and the Arkham Asylum escapees, as it is starting to hurt their bottom line. Zucco assures him that he has found a new way to move merchandise, and if it works, it will make them both very rich. On Mother's Day in Gotham City, Joker attacks the Maroni Crime Family at their restaurant. Umberto and Pino Maroni manage to hold the line until Joker's car explodes, killing the four henchmen inside, but the Joker manages to escape through the sewer. Moments later, the Gotham City Police Department arrive at the crime scene, where Batman is already investigating.
Batman deduces that Joker used the sewers to escape and that the rest of the Arkham escapees are using them as well. Janice Porter arrives at the scene and is disturbed by Batman's presence in a crime scene investigation, but before she could tell Batman anything, he was gone. Later, in the Falcone Penthouse, Mario Falcone is hosting a meeting to discuss business with Gotham's bankers.
Bruce Wayne is among them and just as they start discussing, Joker appears in the window and starts shooting at them. Bruce and Mario find cover behind a desk and when the shooting stops, Joker is gone and the bankers are dead. Bruce wonders why Joker attacked the.
And Falcones the same day. At the GCPD Headquarters, James Gordon and Janice Porter share an elevator and they discuss the recent attack on the Falcones.
Porter reminds Gordon that he must be cautious with a cop killer on the loose and he tells her that he already has a bodyguard. When they reach the parking lot, they find Officer Henry Gustavson, Gordon's bodyguard, hanged on top of his car with a hangman note attached to his dead body.
That night at the Falcone Estate near Wayne Manor, someone has broken into the house and killed the servant Angelo. And then, the same person pushes Sofia Falcone down the stairs on her wheelchair. The responsible party is the Joker, who tells Sofia that he thinks she can actually move, and that if she doesn't get up until he counts three, he will shoot her and kill her. At that moment, Joker is shot in the shoulder by Alberto Falcone; a. Batman breaks his way inside the house and takes down Falcone but Sofia tells him that the Joker is the true menace.
Batman follows the clown outside the house and knocks him out. The day is almost over and Batman regrets not being able to visit his mother's grave on. At that moment in Haly's Circus, Tony Zucco talks to Mr. Haly and tries to convince him to let him use the circus as a way to transport "stuff" across the state lines.Haly wasn't completely sure but Zucco forces him by threatening the circus' main attraction: The Flying. The whole scene was being watched by the kid, Dick Grayson.
There is a couple of tickets and Alfred reminds him that he was going to take Selina Kyle to the circus after he made a donation. Bruce doesn't feel like going to the circus, but Alfred reminds him that the donation was done to the Martha Wayne foundation and he feels that Bruce must attend to The Haly Circus. During the show at Haly's Circus, the trapezists known as The Flying. The trapeze ropes snapped and John and Mary Grayson fall to their deaths, leaving their son Richard Grayson all alone.The scene is contemplated by Bruce Wayne, who was present during the incident. Dick Grayson is taken to Wayne Manor as Bruce has become Dick's guardian. However, Dick is still troubled for his parents' deaths and he gives Alfred a hard time. Meanwhile, Tony Zucco and Eddie.
Realize how fortunate they are after having successfully eliminated the circus' main attraction. Zucco tells Eddie that he is planning to get total control of the circus for his illegal activities, but they are still a bit worried about the Grayson kid, who might say something that would affect them. At the GCPD Headquarters, Alberto, Sofia and Mario Falcone are being held prisoners after the Joker's attempt to murder the three of them. Commissioner Gordon and Batman believe that one of them is involved in the Joker's crimes and they are waiting for one of them to say something that would prove it.
Mario and Sofia start discussing but Alberto stops them, and tells them that they should be quiet until their lawyers get them out. Gordon and Batman are surprised at Alberto's calm and just moments later, D. Janice Porter comes into the room and tells them that a judge has ordered the Falcones' release. Batman and Gordon try to prevent it, but Porter tells them that there is nothing they can do. Meanwhile at Wayne Manor, Dick has entered the master bedroom, that used to belong to Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Dick picks up a hairbrush before Alfred finds him. Dick explains that his mother used to have one of those and that she would use it before the shows. Alfred remembers that something similar happened with Bruce after his parents died. Bruce picked up his mother's hairbrush and remembered how she used it before going out with his father.
Alfred came in and Bruce asked him what will happen to him. Alfred tried to assure Bruce that he would be raised as good as his parents would have wished, but Bruce realized that he was alone now and will always be.As Bruce left the room, sad and brooding, Alfred did nothing to help the young boy. Dick asks Alfred why did Bruce took him in and Alfred tells him about Bruce's parents. Dick realizes that they are both orphans and that he is all alone now. Trying to fix a past mistake, Alfred tells Dick that he is not alone and that he will never be again. At the GCPD HQ, Gordon gathers the special crimes units on the rooftop and tells them that he doesn't want them involved in the hangman case anymore because of what happened to Gustavson. However, they tell Gordon that they want to keep working in the case, as they feel like they are making progress.
Gordon tells them that it is fine but then he realizes that officer O'Connor wasn't present. He asks them about O'Connor and they recall that he told them that he was going to take a shower in his place and that he would meet them later in the rooftop.
As they were speaking, O'Connor has been killed by the hangman killer in his own shower. At Wayne Manor, Batman finds Dick Grayson on the ledge of the upper rooftop.Dick tells him that he knows what happened to his parents wasn't an accident and Batman tells him that he believes him, as he found traces of acid in the trapeze ropes. Eager to help Batman, Dick tells him about the "fat man" who threatened Mr. Batman promises Dick that when the time is right, he will be of some help but for now, he should go inside the house. Later that night, Bruce visits his. Graves and tells them about Dick.
He hopes that he can make a difference in the life of the boy, trying to be a father figure, just like his own father was to him. The fourth of July in Gotham City, Alfred Pennyworth starts some fireworks to try and cheer up Dick Grayson, who feels abandoned when his guardian Bruce Wayne leaves him alone because he has "other plans". Later, Commissioner Gordon has decided that the evidence incriminating Harvey Dent in the "hangman killings" is too much to stay inactive.
Gordon takes some of the special. Units with him to the sewers, where Dent is supposed to be hiding.In the shadows, Batman follows them in order to provide some protection if needed. Two-Face realizes that the police has found him and that he needs to escape somehow. Dent asks Mister Freeze to create an ice wall to delay the police from reaching them and then he tells The Mad Hatter to spread the word and get everybody out of the sewers.
Gordon decides to split the team and he goes with Julia Lopez, while Lauren Wilcox and King go the other way. Gordon and Lopez encounter Mister Freeze and he attacks them. Gordon avoids the freezing beam from Freeze's cold gun but Lopez is trapped in a block of ice. After freeing Lopez, Gordon starts to look out for Dent and Freeze. Batman follows his moves very closely and he stops Mad Hatter from shooting Gordon.
Out the little deranged man. Gordon doesn't notice the incident as he was trying to communicate with Wilcox and King, who apparently are in danger. Their position, he finds that King has been hanged and killed.
Two-Face is near the corpse, holding Wilcox as a human shield against Gordon. Gordon tells Harvey to drop the gun and surrender, and after some tense moments, Dent does as Gordon told him, allowing Jim to place him under arrest. Batman contemplates the scene, hardly believing how things used to be in the past. Later that night, in Haly's Circus, a man that works for Tony Zucco is threatening Mr. Haly by reminding him what happened to the.Suddenly, a rock smashed the window of the office and the man goes outside and finds little Dick Grayson, who asks him to tell whatever he knows about the death of the. But a second man attacks Dick from behind. At that moment, Batman arrives and takes the man out and tells them to stay off the circus, while Dick passes out. Dick recovers and wakes in the Batcave, where he questions Batman and his motives for caring so much for him, believing that even Bruce Wayne doesn't care for him. Batman takes off his cowl and reveals his true identity to Dick, and he tells him that they have much to discuss. Two-Face is prisoner at the Gotham City Jailhouse and one day before his trial, D. Janice Porter tells him to call a lawyer to defend him, but Two-Face refuses, telling her that he is capable enough of defending himself in court. Porter gets on her way and Two-Face tells her to bring all the evidence of the hangman case to the trial. Meanwhile, Batman is at the Maroni's restaurant, trying to beat the location of Tony Zucco out of Pino and Umberto Maroni, and when they can't stand the beating, they tell Batman all he needs to know. Moments later in the Batcave, the young Dick Grayson trains some of the movements he has learned with Batman, but he is furious because he isn't of any help to his mentor. Alfred tells Dick that Bruce has trained him to capture the man responsible for the murder of his parents and nothing more, and just as he is done speaking, Batman arrives and tells Dick that it's time. At that moment, in the Falcone Estate near Wayne Manor, Alberto Falcone is wearing his Holiday outfit and carries the same gun used in his crimes along the house, while listening to "his dead father's voice", telling him to take control of the Falcone crime family. Holiday opens the door of the room where Sofia Falcone is, sitting in her wheelchair and looking herself at the mirror, without her wig. Silently, she mutters the word "poppa" and touches the scars on her face, similar to the ones her father had. Alberto has no heart to kill his sister and quietly walks away. Later, at The Ox Club, Tony Zucco is having dinner, when Batman interrupts him and questions him about the murder of the.
Zucco grabs his gun and shoots Batman, asking him how does he know about the. And Batman tells him that the.Told him all he needed to know. Zucco runs out of bullets and he starts running away from Batman until he is out of the building, where he is attacked from above by Dick Grayson. Suddenly, Zucco starts having a stroke and Batman stops Dick from further hurting Zucco. Zucco begs for his life and tells Batman some details about the.
And the Arkham breakout, before dying in Batman's arms. Batman decides to take away Dick, who is in shock after watching Zucco die.
At that same moment, Janice Porter meets with Mario Falcone to discuss the deal. Mario tells her that he has been doing his part well, taking the power away from Sofia and that he doesn't want to be involved in police investigations like what happened after the Joker attacked him; but Janice tells him that he is in no position to demand anything and that he must remember that she is in control. After that, she tells him to go away before "someone drops a noose around his neck". The next day, on the trial of Two-Face, Porter starts asking him questions about the evidence found in the crime scenes of the hangman killings and how they are all related to him. The trial and notices that something isn't right when Two-Face asks for the hour when he is wearing a watch.
When Porter tells him that it's Two O'clock, the floor of the courthouse explodes and Mister Freeze, Solomon Grundy and Poison Ivy appear from underneath it. Batman manages to attack Freeze, but he is then attacked by Grundy, giving Two-Face enough time to retrieve all the evidence from Porter's desk.
Two-Face and the rest start going down the hole in the ground and Ivy uses her vines to drag Porter down with them, but Batman reacts fast and cuts the vines, saving Porter from being taken, while Mister Freeze seals off the hole creating an ice wall that covers it completely, preventing anyone from following them. Down in their hideout, Poison Ivy congratulates Two-Face for the success in the plan and she tries to seduce him and put him under her spell with help from her pheromones, but Two-Face resist her charms and tells her to go to hell. That night, in the Courthouse, Officer Lauren Wilcox is going to see judge Harkness as she has been assigned as his escort, but while she is in the elevator, a noose comes down from the ceiling and grabs Wilcox's neck. Moments before dying, Wilcox recognized her assailant but when the elevator doors opened again, she was dead and the piece of the hangman game, drawn over a piece of newspaper about Harvey Dent shooting Falcone, is attached to her chest.Two days after Two-Face escaped from his trial, Janice Porter goes down to the sewers to find him, but she finds Joker and Scarecrow instead. They take her to the place where Harvey was contemplating a picture of Gilda.
Porter tells Harvey to tell Joker and Scarecrow to release her. Joker realizes that Porter and Two-Face have something hidden and he decides to keep Porter in case Harvey tries to double-cross him.
Porter yells at Harvey and tells them that she loves him and that she knows that he loves her too, but Two-Face shoots her and tells her that Harvey is a married man. Porter is dead and Harvey wants to talk to Mister Freeze and Julian Day immediately. Two days later, at the GCPD Headquarters, Commissioner Gordon and the last surviving member of the Special Crimes Units, Julia Lopez, listen to the last radio message by Officer Wilcox before she was hanged in the elevator. They realize that she recognized the killer, but before they could investigate further, Batman enters the room and tells them that Porter has been missing for two days now and he gives them a yearbook he found in Porter's apartment. The book was from the time when Porter attended the Gotham University and her picture was signed by Harvey Dent, who was then a teacher to her.
Batman suspects that everything that Porter learned from the GCPD, she told Harvey Dent. At that moment, at the Falcone Estate, Alberto Falcone wakes up in the middle of the night and notices that his pillow and sheets are covered in blood.Scared, he sits on his bed and finds that he is holding the gun used in his Holiday killings and then he notices the dead body of Janice Porter lying on the bottom of his bed and a couple of bullet cases right below his hand, holding the gun. Alberto jumps out of his bed and starts listening to "his father's voice" telling him that he is a shame to the Falcone family and that he should kill himself. Alberto knows that his father would never tell him to kill himself and he shoots at the mirror, revealing the Calendar Man on the other side. Two hours later, Batman and Gordon arrive at the Falcone Estate and find Calendar Man lying on the ground outside the house, unconscious and with Alberto's monitoring band attached to his ankle. Gordon thinks that Alberto couldn't have done it all by himself, but all the evidence indicates that he did. Batman and Gordon go inside the house to get a closer inspection and they find that the whole place was wired with cameras and microphones, that explained why did Alberto listened to his "father's voice" and also the persistence of Porter on sending Alberto to that house. There was no sign of Sofia in the entire place. Batman and Gordon find Porter's body in Alberto's room and they notice that she was killed with two shots from a. 22 gun; just like Holiday's M.
However, Batman noticed that Porter was dead for longer than a day and that her blood contained a. That preserved her body, similar to the one Mr. Freeze used on his wife.The evidence indicates that it is all a conspiracy against one man, Holiday. A few days later, Bruce examines the evidence of the hangman killings, but Dick Grayson keeps disturbing him. Dick just wants to help and he tells Bruce that maybe the first clue of the hangman killings isn't "None of you are safe", but "Nine of you are safe". Dick came up with that answer as he compared the picture of the nine remaining members of the Gotham Organized Crime that was on the screen of the. Bruce realizes that Dick's suggestion is good and it changed. Batman goes to the Falcone Penthouse, that is vacant and under repair and notices that somebody has been near the bookshelf but the books haven't been moved. Batman finds a secret door behind the bookshelf and when he opens it, he finds several hangman's knots and a hangman note with the message "you lose". Someone throws a noose and grabs Batman by the neck, pulling him out of the penthouse and leaves him hanging from the ledge of the building, when suddenly. Appears to watch the scene. Batman is hanging from a noose at the Falcone Penthouse, when. Batman leaps back to the building and assumes that. Is involved somehow in the hangman killings and he attacks her and forces her to confess where she has been for the last six months and why was she at the penthouse. Explains that the night Carmine Falcone was murdered, she scratched Sofia's face, just like she did her father.
However, Sofia survived the fall from that night thanks to. Bola and was saved by Angelo. Who took Sofia to Italy, to her brother Mario. There she was operated by a plastic surgeon that fixed her face completely, but she scarred it back, to resemble her father's face. Explains the situation, Batman asks why she cares about Sofia and before she can answer, Batman leaves her talking alone.
Dick Grayson is willing to help, but Bruce isn't in the mood to deal with him. Dick tells Alfred that he just wants to help, but Bruce never asks and Alfred tells him that Bruce may never ask for it. Of Columbus Day, Two-Face and his gang kill all the members of the Falcone Crime Family except for Sofia, Alberto and Mario. Meanwhile, at the Gotham Cemetery, James Gordon and Julia Lopez await at Janice Porter's grave to meet with Mario Falcone, who is looking for protection after all that's happened. At that moment at the Falcone Mausoleum, Sofia Falcone is taking care of his wounded brother, Alberto, who was shot by Calendar Man.Alberto wants to go to a. But Sofia wouldn't allow it because they would be discovered if they go to any hospital. Sofia tells him to be like their father, who survived being shot five times in the chest. Alberto replies that he is not their father and Sofia is infuriated by the answer and kills Alberto by asphyxiating him. Later, Mario Falcone is taken to Gordon's office in the GCPD Headquarters, where he tells Gordon and Lopez about the deal he had with Janice Porter.
Mario was giving Porter all the information about Sofia's movements in return of protection. Gordon and Lopez show him the last record from Lauren Wilcox before she was hanged and Mario tells them that Wilcox is the name of someone who was part of Sofia Falcone's deals. The evidence makes sense and the officers are in shock to learn that one of them was a betrayer. At that moment, Batman appears in Gordon's office and reveals to them that Sofia Falcone is the Hangman Killer. As soon as Batman finished his sentence, a big explosion destroys the windows of the office and many explosions across the city are destroying the streets.
The gas lines have been opened and set afire, causing the sewer system to collapse and forcing Two-Face and the whole Arkham gang leave their hideout in a hurry. While Gordon takes care of the citizens, Batman goes to the sewers and saves a burning Scarecrow from dying and asks him about Two-Face's whereabouts. Two-Face is escaping from the chaos in the sewers when suddenly, a noose falls around his neck and he is hanged from one of the main pipes. The whole place starts burning as Two-Face is hanging from his neck.
The killer appears from the flames and she approaches Two-Face in a menacing way. Sofia reveals herself to the man she hated the most for killing her father. Two-Face spits her and she punches him in the stomach and tightens the rope he is hanging from.Cuts the rope, saving Two-Face's life and Batman fights Sofia Falcone. Batman struggles for a while and as he gets the upper hand in the fight, Two-Face kills Sofia by shooting her from behind directly in the head. As Sofia's body falls down, Two-Face places the noose around her neck and hangs her from the pipe she was hanging him while he drops down to a lower level in the sewers.
Two-Face reaches the gang and they find in a dead end. Two-Face tells Solomon Grundy to remove the electrified fence in order to keep moving. The undead does as he is told but the shock causes him to drop unconscious. Two-Face and the rest leave him behind and keep moving forward until they arrive at the Batcave. Dick Grayson realizes the threat of the villains inside the cave and decides that it's time to start acting.
He gets himself a disguise and using his skills, he drops a stalactite on top of Mister Freeze and knocks down Poison Ivy with a rock just in time for Batman to make it to the cave. Batman and Dick attack Two-Face and Joker and when they have the situation under control, Batman starts beating Two-Face until the latter pulls out a gun and points it towards Batman. Two-Face feels victorious for having eliminated all the organized crime in Gotham, turning him into the most powerful force in the city, until Joker shoots him and makes him fall to a dark abyss in the cave. Joker tells Batman that he wouldn't let Two-Face have it all, because in the end, all he wanted was to get rid of the organized crime, just like the "old" Harvey Dent.
Joker starts telling Batman that only they understand Gotham City but before he is finished, Dick knocks him down by breaking a staff in his face. Batman is surprised with Dick's performance and with his costume. After the incident, Batman decided to seal off the tunnel from the sewers, to prevent events like that from happening again.
Days later, Gordon and Batman discuss the aftermath of the events and Gordon thanks Batman for the help provided in the hangman case. Gordon also tells Batman that he wants to meet his young partner sometime. On Halloween night, Julia Lopez is a guest at the Gordons' place, and Gordon tells her that he is appointing her as Chief of Police. At the Falcone Estate, Mario has lost what he had left of sanity and he burned the whole place down after learning that Sofia Falcone murdered their own brother Alberto.
As the last member of the Falcone Crime Empire, the man has been left in a broken state. She explains that she left for Italy in order to prove once and for all that she is Carmine's daughter.
She failed, but deep inside, she is convinced that Falcone is her father. Meanwhile, somewhere in Gotham's sewers, Two-Face keeps the corpse of the man he hated the most, Carmine Falcone, inside a block of ice. In the Batcave, Batman makes Dick go through a ritual in which he is asked about his costume and the name he wants to be called.
That he chose his costume in honor of his dead parents and that his secret name from now own will be Robin. Under the dim light of a candle, the two orphans swear to protect Gotham together. That it arrives to you perfectly and quickly. FC, 20 pages (Issue #1) 48 pages (Issues #1 &13) 32 pages (Issues #2-12), Comic, 10.25" x 6.75".
None Stated (Issue #0) 761941220543 (Issue #1-13). Collectible Entertainment note: Comics #0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13. In Fine to Very Fine condition. A must have for any serious Batman collector and/or enthusiast.
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