|"Bright New Yesterday"|
|First Published:||September 12, 2012|
|Next Issue:||Batman #1|
"Bright New Yesterday"Edit
Six years ago, on the day before the grand opening of the newly redesigned Gotham National Bank, Sam Deke allowed his coworkers to celebrate their shift to a more modern kind of banking with coffee and cake. Unfortunately, the celebration was interrupted by the appearance of the Red Hood Gang, who aside from being annoyed that the bank was changed, demanded all of the money they could get from the vaults. The leader revealed that they had obtained a special skeleton key that had already got them access to the vault without being detected by alarm systems. One member of the gang was ordered to kill Sam, and clubbed him upside the head with his gun.
This was a mistake. The leader of the gang ordered him to remove his hood, and place his gun in his mouth, pointing out that the real Red Hood #5 would have killed Deke without hesitation, and would much more likely have shot than hit - not to mention that he was also left-handed. Mockingly, the Red Hood pointed out that whatever this imposter had intended was too late. They had poisoned the cake the previous day, and all of the innocent bank employees were already dead. Angry at himself for being careless, Bruce Wayne knocked aside his erstwhile compatriots, and made a run for the front door.
The Gotham City Police Department was waiting outside, and as the Red Hoods appeared behind Bruce, he made a run for it, sliding under a police cruiser, and then into the manhole beneath it. He tore off his disguise and retrieved his hidden motorcycle, calling back to Alfred Pennyworth to have the back door to his hideout opened for him. The Red Hoods were in hot pursuit, and Alfred was unsure of how to control the super computers, but Bruce was fortunate enough to escape unharmed.
Bruce had moved out of Wayne Manor since returning to Gotham City, setting up shop within a brownstone just a short distance from Crime Alley. He had equipped it with masses of technologically advanced tools and vehicles in pursuit of his new mission. Despite all of this, Alfred felt it was necessary for Bruce to keep up some semblance of the life he is expected by Gotham to lead. While Bruce wanted only to pursue his mission unfettered, Alfred reminded that failing to retain his Wayne legacy would surely draw suspicion, and he would be found out sooner than later.
Bruce was more interested in testing out a new device he'd designed; a kind of boomerang that would leave no trace; no trail to lead back to him. He snuck out onto the roof of the building, programming it to return in thirty seconds. He threw it, embedding it in a wall. When the timer reached zero, it propelled itself away from the wall, and back into his hand - a success. He decided that his next test should be for four minutes, and threw it again, beginning to count down the minutes. He was interrupted, though, by Alfred, who had come with Police Lieutenant Jim Gordon.
Knowing that the device would return in just under four minutes, Bruce tried to shuffle the Lieutenant inside. Unfortunately, Gordon's smoking habit took precedent, and Bruce would have to make their meeting pass quickly. Gordon had come with the intent to question, or at least warn Bruce about the fact that his cousin Philip Kane, may have been extending Wayne Enterprises' reach beyond regulated business practices. Though Gordon had no proof, he was quite sure of it. Bruce professed to have no knowledge of any such dealings.
However, before he could leave, Gordon felt compelled to ask whether Bruce knew anything about reports of a vigilante in the area. This particular vigilante had very high-tech equipment, and Gordon warned that if anyone was found to be helping that vigilante, it would become a very big problem. Bruce did his best to deflect the Lieutenant's suspicions, pointing out that while he appeared to be on a crusade, Gordon is also rumoured to be on a similar crusade. With that in common, the pair of them returned to the elevator and went back inside, just as the boomerang made its return.
On the street nearby, the Red Hood Gang recognized Bruce's brownstone, and decided that it was time to blow the whole thing sky high.
Five years ago, Lieutenant James Gordon prepared to make an important move for Gotham City; something he hopes would change the tides of justice. His daughter Barbara was unconvinced, warning that a move like this could undermine the justice system. It would show that the police had no control over anything. That, according to Jim, was exactly the case.
Meanwhile, at Graystone Academy, Timothy Drake had been called to the office of principal Renfield, who had just expelled him for hacking into Mr. Archer's computer. However, as he casually sent off an email from his smart phone, Tim predicted that he would not be expelled at all, for a few reasons. The first reason being that Renfield will soon discover that Tim actually aced the aptitude test that was meant to prove that he was cheating on his exams - obviously, he was not cheating - and Renfield could not expel the best student in the school.
The second reason was that he had actually broken into the entire teacher's network, not just Mr. Archer's. This led to the third reason: Tim had found evidence that Mr. Renfield had embezzled 41.6 million dollars of funding from the school over the last decade. The email Tim had sent was actually to the police, and they arrived soon after. However, this was not before Tim managed to ask his principal whether the test he was made to take was, in fact, an S.A.T. It was, and Tim realized he would have to start picking out colleges.
Elsewhere, a pair of thugs were robbing a convenience store. One of them was chosen to keep a look-out, but when he saw how scared the woman he was meant to hold hostage was, he tried to calm her by explaining his situation and telling her his name: Jason. Angrily, his partner warned that she would get them both caught if she knew their names. Coldly, he shot her in the face before Jason's eyes, and ran. Jason tore off his balaclava and chased his partner Chris down, reminding that he was promised no one would get hurt; that the guns weren't loaded. In rage, he leapt on Chris and promised to make sure he'd never hurt anyone again. He was in the process of beating Chris savagely when a policeman grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him aside.
Just outside the city, Haly's Circus had set up shop, and acrobat Dick Grayson spotted a purse thief running through the crowd while he rehearsed. Deftly, he knocked the thief out, and returned the purse to its owner, inviting her to come to the Flying Graysons' performance later that weekend, which Bruce Wayne was rumoured to be attending.
Suddenly, the crowd's attention was caught by something else; something that could be seen across the city. Dick looked up into Gotham's night sky to see a shining light projected. It was the same thing that Jason Todd saw in his sky. It was the same thing that Timothy Drake saw out the window as the police took Renfield away.
It was a Bat-Signal - a sign to Gotham that their secret hope for Justice wasn't merely a fantasy.
His job done, Jim Gordon returned to his office to answer the calls and complaints that would surely follow his gesture. His daughter Barbara, however, was transfixed by the image floating ghostly above Gotham's skyline. Jim could only hope that the right people would see the light.