|"Batman: Year Three - Different Roads"|
Batman: Year Three
|First Published:||August 1989|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #435|
|Next Issue:||Batman #437|
"Batman: Year Three - Different Roads"Edit
Batman watches a group of mobsters and their women bring their boat, the Deep Waters, into port just before dusk. A WGCN—Gotham City's twenty-four hour news network—helicopter arrives and opens fire on the boat, killing the fourth mob boss in as many weeks. Despite the deaths being "no great loss," the Batman attaches himself to the fleeing helicopter, deciding nothing excuses murder. The pilot eventually loses Batman, knocking him into a tower and forcing him into the water in front of the Gotham Harbor Club, where Commissioner Gordon recovers vigilante, who's angry he was unable to prevent the hit.
At the Gotham City Court House, a man tries to make the case to the parole board that despite Tony Zucco's guilt, he has paid his debt to society with the last 12 years imprisonment.
Dick Grayson arrives at Wayne Manor for the first time in two years feeling there have been changes, but not able to put his finger on what they are. He enters the Batcave, reflecting on how different it all feels now that he's an adult. Looking at the trophies he realizes something Alfred Pennyworth told him is right, there is nothing saved from the time Jason Todd fought as Robin and what was there has been removed, even in his bedroom.
Another man tells the parole board that, before they free Tony Zucco, they must understand how he ruined a young boys life with one act of violence. With that he tells them the story of Zucco's life, starting with being "bullied" by his father and watching his father beaten by thugs for not paying them protection money. Eventually both of his parents were killed and the Zucco children were taken in by family, with the exception of Anthony, the oldest and most out of control, who was sent to St. Jude's Orphanage. There, despite the best attempts of novice nun Sister Mary Elizabeth, Zucco held on to his anger—even praying for the deaths of those who killed his parents, despite the nun asking him "why?" and if that "will bring them back". After leaving the orphanage he started a life of crime, eventually being brought into a major crime family, where he kept a ledger of the goings on to study them.
The story is interrupted, so the man focuses on the victims left alive—specifically Richard Grayson. Jumping to ten years ago, he begins by explaining how the performers of Haly's Circus were more like a family than co-workers, then how young Dick overheard Zucco and his thugs attempting to extort protection money from Haly. Though Dick tried to warn his parents, they put him off until after their show, which resulted in both Mary and John's trapeze lines snapping and their plummeting to their deaths—right next to Dick—while the audience watched. Just then, Batman swung in. After explaining to the newly orphaned boy that his parents death wasn't an accident, Dick tells him about Zucco. Batman promises the mobster won't get away with it and Dick, crying, yells after him to kill Zucco for him. With the law forcing his hand, Commissioner Gordon takes Dick to St. Judes, where he also comes under the care of Sister Mary Elizabeth. Still angry, Dick mentions to the nun that he wants vengeance, but when she asks him if that will make things better he considers her words and actually rethinks his stance.
The orator, revealed as Alfred Pennyworth, wraps up his comments by comparing Grayson and Zucco, two children who saw violence and wanted revenge, yet turned out completely different. He asks them how many more lives Zucco will take over money if they free him, saying he has not repented and nothing has changed in all of the years he has been in prison.
In the Batcave, Grayson, giving credence to the letter Alfred sent him saying Bruce may be losing his sanity and is refusing to acknowledge Todd's death, changes into his Nightwing costume to go out and find him.
Batman, meanwhile, is in his second hour of standing watch over what he believes is to be the fifth gangland murder site. When he sees a helicopter approaching he crashes through the window, yelling to the people inside that they're going to be attacked. Unsure if they can trust him, the criminals scramble confused as the helicopter hits the building with a missile and it's occupants fly away saying "Nothing could have survived in there."
"Batman: Year Three - Different Roads"Edit
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Mary Grayson (In Flashback Only)
- John Grayson (In Flashback Only)
- Sister Mary Elizabeth (In Flashback Only)
- Tony Zucco (In Flashback Only)
- James Gordon (In Flashback Only)
- C.C. Haly (In Flashback Only)
- Tim Drake (First Appearance)(In Flashback Only)
- Jack Drake (First Appearance)(In Flashback Only)
- Janet Drake (First Appearance)(In Flashback Only)