|First Published:||September 21, 2011|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #0|
|Next Issue:||Batman #2|
Batman finds himself surrounded in Arkham Asylum by a number of the villains he has since put away there. With superior fighting skills, he manages to hold his own until he winds up launched through an upper window. In the alley below, he prepares to go back inside, but the Joker sneaks up on him. They appear to have made some kind of alliance and when they get back into the fray, they fight as a team to take down all of the escaped inmates.
Later, Batman reconnoitres with Commissioner Gordon on the roof of the Gotham City Police Headquarters. Batman explains that this wasn't a breakout. He had been investigating a weak link at Arkham a guard named Dan Matthews who opened the cell doors on Batman when he was coming for him. Gordon deduces that Batman had a man on the inside, and seems suspicious of security video showing Batman and the Joker fighting together, but his friend reassures him briefly before disappearing into the night.
In the Batcave, the Joker appears behind Bruce, joking that the latter actually practices brooding. Bruce responds that he is actually testing a new computerized contact lens, which can provide him with remote access to the cave's supercomputers. The Joker reveals himself to be Dick Grayson in disguise. Dick had been the man on the inside at Arkham, disguised as the Joker.
They ascend to the manor, where they encounter Bruce's other sons adopted and biological Tim Drake and Damian Wayne. Bruce is hosting a gala, where he plans to reveal some big ideas for Gotham City's future.
At the gala, Bruce announces plans to invest in Gotham's infrastructure, including an improved public transit system and restoring some of the city's derelict architecture. After his well-received speech, Bruce encounters Vicki Vale of the Gotham Gazette, who introduces him to mayoral candidate Lincoln March.
Bruce tries to convince March to invest in or at least support his plans for the future of Gotham, and March seems genuinely interested. They try to set up a date to further discuss their agreements, but Bruce happens to notice that Commissioner Gordon has received a work call. He uses his new contact lenses to lip-read Gordon's side of the conversation, and overhears information about a fatal stabbing downtown. Casually, Bruce makes his excuses, and heads out as Batman.
He comes upon a crime scene being overseen by Detective Harvey Bullock. Inside the rundown apartment, they find the body of a middle-aged John Doe pinned to the wall in his underwear amid a number of paintings and a mess of painting supplies. The body has been fixed to the wall by several antique throwing knives of professional grade. Each knife has the symbol of an owl emblazoned on the handle. Additionally, they discover some tissue under the victim's fingernails, which Batman sends for scanning with a mini-computer in his gauntlet.
Batman happens to catch a whiff of Linseed Oil a common paint thinner. The smell is stronger than it would be through normal use in an artist's studio, though. Taking Bullock's lit cigar, Batman ignites the oil on the wall, revealing a hidden message in the flames. The message reads: "Bruce Wayne Will DIE Tomorrow."
Together, Batman and Bullock come to the conclusion that the victim anticipated his own murder and further that whoever would find him would find him on this particular day, along with the message. Bullock predicts that whoever is targeting Bruce must be close to him in order to bypass his high level of security.
Batman gets a call from Alfred, and is surprised to discover that the results of the DNA sample he collected are a perfect match with Dick Grayson.
- Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Dick Grayson (Disguised as the Joker)
- Tim Drake
- Damian Wayne
- Alfred Pennyworth
- James Gordon
- Harvey Bullock
- Vicki Vale
- Leslie Thompkins
- Lincoln March (First Appearance)
- Sam Strigs (Dies in this issue)
- The Riddler
- James Gordon Jr. (Cameo)
- Mr. Freeze
- Killer Croc
- The Scarecrow
- Victor Zsasz
- The Ventriloquist
- Professor Pyg
- Phosphorus Rex
- Jeremiah Arkham
- Big Top
- Dan Matthews (Guard at Arkham Asylum)
- Pandora (Cameo)
- Under the "Majestic Theatre" awning, two bums are warming themselves by a trashcan fire. A person wearing a purple cloak, and who has glowing eyes, stands next to them located in the first panel. This character first appeared in Flashpoint #5 and makes similar cameos in all #1s of The New 52. The identity of this character was revealed to be Pandora.