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Batman Issue 438

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"Batman: Year Three - Turnabout"
Batman438
General Information
Series: Batman
Batman: Year Three
Issue Number: 438
First Published: September 1989
Previous Issue: Batman #437
Next Issue: Batman #439


SynopsisEdit

"Batman: Year Three - Turnabout"Edit

Seated on his bed, holding a gun, Alfred Pennyworth contemplates the pending release of Anthony Zucco that he could not prevent and decides that something must be done. After pacticing aiming, however, he realizes he can not kill, not even for Dick Grayson. He leaves Wayne Manor, thinking to himself that things will turn bad when Grayson finds out his parents murderer has been released and even worse when the recently more erratic and violent Bruce Wayne finds out.

Elsewhere, Nightwing searches the streets of Gotham City for Batman, contemplating the changes in the man who raised and trained him. He begins to wonder if Bruce isn't going crazy, a theory Kory has always believed in, because though he's always seemed to be in control the death of Jason Todd changed all of that.

Outside of a warehouse, the press questions Commissioner Gordon on the deaths of the recent crime lord deaths and rumors of a coming bloody retaliatory war on the horizon. As he answers their questions to the best of his ability, Nightwing arrives on the scene and is invited by the investigating officers to check the roof, as long as he doesn't touch anything. While he does, eventually finding a silk parachute thread and a fingerprint, he reminisces on his early studies with the Batman who taught him his craft. Meanwhile, outside, Gordon proposes a meeting between a city negotiator and the leaders of the "alleged" crime families.

Meanwhile, Batman is face to face with the surviving mob bosses in a restaurant. They pull their guns on him, but he warns them that killing him will leave them to be killed off by whoever is out there. One of the bosses, Agoura, decides that if anyone can hunt down the killer it's Batman and decides to trust him, however another figures this will be the only chance they have "to skag Batman" and that they'll get their killer soon enough.

At Gotham Prison, Taft, a lawyer and Zucco's man on the parole board, protests the warden allowing the just arrived Alfred to visit Zucco. When they come face-to-face, Zucco tells Alfred that he knows he's the man who petitioned to keep him in prison for the past eleven years, and admits that he allowed it to work for ten years for his own reasons, but now wants to know why he came to visit him on the eve of his pending release. Alfred explains that he works for Bruce Wayne, who took in Richard Grayson—the surviving member of the family Zucco murdered—and for their sake he will pay Zucco any amount to leave Gotham on his release, to which Zucco laughs uproariously.

Later, in the Batcave, Nightwing uses the Batcomputer to identify Sherman Saticoy's fingerprint from the warehouse roof. At the same time he reminds Alfred that Batman used to tell him to always know what they're getting in to and never leave anything to chance, Batman himself is fighting off the mob bosses, improvising shields out of serving trays and generally not taking his own advice. After disarming them he, he forces them to talk. He tells them the killer has to have an "army" at his disposal, and because of the lack of gossip in the streets it's a long-standing and loyal army. Batman puts forth the theory that it's a takeover attempt, which Agoura dismisses since all the bosses are in that room and they would have heard by then. When Batman asks if all of the families are there, Agoura goes through a list of inactive families, including Zucco. The very mention of Zucco's name sends a flood of memories through Batman's head of taking the family down with Grayson. When Agoura tells Batman about Zucco's book, with which he's been blackmailing all of the bosses from prison, he begins to feel uncomfortable with the information Batman is receiving. One of the mob bosses mentions is the first to tell Batman that Zucco is getting out of prison.

Batman and the mob bosses break into the apartment of a man named Drexel who works for Risingstar Entertainment, one of Zucco's front companies. After threatening to leave him with the mob bosses, Drexel agrees to tell Batman everything he knows about the gang slayings.

In the Batcave, Alfred is still attempting to talk to Dick about Zucco getting out. While watching him work on the current case, he remembers back to when he his beginning days. As Grayson goes deeper into the Allied Importers—a Zucco dummy corporation—board of directors, he discovers something shocking and Alfred decides it's time to talk.

Nightwing takes off towards the prison, where he's both shocked and not shocked to find Batman already there. They share the information they know—Nightwing's attained by being hunched over the Batcomputer all night, Batman's by "praying [he] wouldn't have to wash off too much dirt"—and wait for the man's release. Batman mentions that they could grab him immediately, but Nightwing decides he wants him to "taste freedom for just a moment" before they do.

On his way out, Zucco and Taft discuss how Taft only helped because Zucco had proof in his ledger that Taft once bribed a judge. Taft asks for the proof, which Zucco promised to give him so it couldn't be used it again, but Zucco refuses and, as he's stepping out of the prison, says that ledger will make him King of organized crime. Raising his arms above his head and celebrating his first moment outside, Zucco is cut down by a hail of bullets fired from the WGCN news helicopter. In shock, Nightwing screams at Batman "You knew[...]didn't you?"

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