|First Published:||September 25, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||The Penguin #1|
|Next Issue:||Batman #24|
As preparation for his trip back to Gotham City, Bane injects the prisoners of Peña Dura with venom, challenging them to try to kill him. After he broke the Batman and took his city, Bane was cast out when the bat returned. Now that Batman has been taken down again, by the Crime Syndicate, he has decided to take his city back. First, though, he sharpens his skills by having his prisoners sacrifice themselves for him. One of the prisoners' daughters appears, and the man begs Bane to spare him for her sake. Grinning, though, the girl explains that she only came to watch Bane kill her father. He had beaten she and her mother, and with knowledge that Santa Prisca was freed by Bane - he is her greatest hero.
With a scheduled arrival time in Gotham four days away, Bane orders the captain to make it two days, or die. Once the ship has left port, Bane spends the time beating his own people to pulp. Meanwhile, those who survive tell tales of how Bane came to be. His father had been a revolutionary who stood up for those who had been oppressed by the government. When he was imprisoned at Peña Dura, he escaped, and his son - still a child - was made to take his place. Over the years, he grew stronger and more cunning. Though some might think Bane relies on his venom for strength, those truly in the know are aware that Bane had been a great man first.
As his legend and power grew, he heard tell of Gotham City - a place of dark madness that was said to be untamable. He, however was possessed of the desire to take it and tame it. The city had a protector in Batman, though, who used his own cunning and strength to prevent Bane's victory. Now, though, Batman has been removed by the Crime Syndicate, and Bane has built an army out of any who would follow him - and he is bringing it to Gotham.
Meanwhile, at Blackgate Penitentiary, interim warden Agatha Zorbatos is annoyed to have been brought in to the prison when she's supposed to be holding a cushy desk-job in Hawaii. Though the prison's power is still on, much of the eastern seaboard's is not - and though that is fortunate, it is also foreboding. Soon, her wariness proves valid when the Crime Syndicate's warning appears across all of her security monitors. Knowing that it won't be long before the entire prison is over-run, she resigns herself to a probable death, and orders her men to do all they can to keep 2000 of the most dangerous criminals in the country away from the rest of the world.
In the meantime, Bane has already placed men within Blackgate's guard population, seeing to the release of everyone imprisoned within. The police, meanwhile, are too busy handling the breakout at Arkham Asylum to even be aware of the break. Bane looks ahead to his arrival, ordering that venom-injected assassins be sent to kill the Scarecrow as a sign that he is the one that Gotham should truly fear.
As his ship nears Gotham, Bane arms his men, but demonstrates that he will go into Gotham empty handed, using only brute force to take what is his. He reminds them that they are not him - but they now have the opportunity to create their own legends - or die nobly.
- Agatha Zorbatos
- Batman (In Flashback Only)
- White Rabbit
- Mr. Mosaic
- Mister Combustible
- Santa Prisca (Flashback and Main Story)
- Pena Duro (Flashback and Main Story)
- Gotham City (Flashback and Main Story)