Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast is a 4 issue story arc from 1988. It started with Batman #417 and ended with Batman #420.

Synopsis Edit

The KGBeast comes to Gotham. A top-secret cell in the KGB called "The Hammer" that had grown too powerful and fearsome for the tolerance of the Russian government, sends its top assassin on one last unapproved mission before being dismantled by Gorbachev's reforms. The "KGBeast" is sent to Gotham City to kill nine people crucial to America's Strategic Defense Initiative (the "Star Wars" program), who will each be there within the course of a ten day period. A KGB agent is sent to Gotham to work with the American government in apprehending the Beast, and a team is formed composed of agents from the CIA, the FBI, the GCPD, and unofficially Batman, to determine and prevent the Beast's agenda.

Despite the best efforts of Batman and the others, the Beast, teamed up with a Shi'ite terrorist "Nabih Salari," manages to kill nearly everybody on his list.

The Beast uses various creative methods in his hits. He kills one man who commutes on a motorcycle by decapitating him with a wire strung across the highway at neck height. He replaces the bottle of orange juice in a woman's fridge with an identical canister of toxic gas, and kills her whole family. He lethally poisons an entire banquet of 80 people, just to kill a single attending target. Although Batman does manage to briefly detain him at one point, the Beast actually chops off his own hand with an axe to escape. He gets it replaced with a multipurpose weapon attached to his forearm, in enough time for his last hit, on President Ronald Reagan.

Batman does manage to save the president's life once by kidnapping him from a public area, and Robin saves him again when Nabih Salari attempts to suicide bomb his helipad with a hang-glider. Eventually, after a fight through the sewers, Batman manages to corner the KGBeast in an old underground compartment. The KGBeast invites him to a final battle, to test who is really the better fighter, but Batman remembers an earlier conversation with Ralph Bundy. Despite having killed over 100 people in less than a fortnight, if captured, the KGBeast would never be brought to justice for his crimes. He would be delivered to the Russian embassy, and would probably end up killing more for the Russian government. Batman walks away from the Beast, and locks him in the chamber, apparently leaving him to die. He gets into the limo with Alfred, who had been posing as Ronald Reagan, and drives home unsatisfied.