|"Batman in the Underworld"|
|First Published:||July 2008|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #676|
|Next Issue:||Batman #678|
"Batman in the Underworld"Edit
Batman does battle in the depths of the Gotham sewers with a knife wielding psychopath wearing a gargoyle mask - demanding to know who the Black Glove is. He is stopped short of giving the man a true beating of a lifetime only by Commissioner Gordon's arrival on the scene. Gordon claims that he's looked everywhere for any information available but the only reference to The Black Glove is the old John Mayhew movie.
Back in the Batcave, the Bat-Computer seems to feel the same way. The movie, which is a tale of two lovers destroyed by a group of super-rich gamblers is playing at the theater in town. Bruce asks Alfred to take the evening to go and watch the movie while he and Jezebel have their date. Bruce is so wrapped up in the case that he hasn't even noticed that Tim had taken leave to deal with the revelation that Damian is truly Bruce's son and the other tragedies that have recently befallen him. Alfred attempts to clean a wound Bruce suffered earlier in the night while battling the Gargoyle man but Bruce refuses and orders Alfred to leave.
Elsewhere in the city, Dr. Simon Hurt has gathered the members of his Danse Macabre at his high-rise. The doctor reveals that the gargoyle henchmen's blade was coated with Librium which will make Bruce more susceptible to the trigger phrase he planted in his head all of those years ago during the experiment. Dr. Hurt sends the members out to target Bruce's friends and family. The final stage of the self-destruction of Batman has begun.
While the Black Glove disperses throughout the city, Commissioner Gordon is attempting to stop what could possibly be the assassination of the Wayne Family's image. The Mayor tells Gordon that during the Gotham Grand Central Bomb Scare, a dossier turned up and made its way to his desk. In it were documents which depicted Thomas Wayne as a foul mouthed degenerate drunk and addict and raises the possibility that Bruce is actually the son of Alfred Pennyworth. Commissioner Gordon refuses to hear any of it at first but is speechless when he sees the more damnable images in the file. One image in particular shows John Mayhew, Thomas Wayne, Alfred and the stars of the Black Glove movie - Mangrove Pierce and Marsha LaMarr with a drugged out Martha Wayne.
The Mayor claims that the entire dossier was compiled by a private detective hired by Martha Wayne's family who felt that Martha was being held captive by the abusive rich drunk. The detective was set to make his research public but suddenly disappeared without a trace. This apparently lead some to believe that Thomas Wayne actually hired his wife to be murdered and faked his own death to escape prosecution. The dossier raises the distinct possibility that Thomas Wayne is alive and well today!
Jezebel arrives at the Batcave and confronts Bruce about the Black Glove situation. She says that this entire situation has gone on too long. According to Jezebel, everyone can see that Bruce has taken his obsession too far but no one is brave enough to confront him. Bruce of course refutes her claims. Finally Jezebel offers up the possibility that the reason why Bruce is unable to track down the Black Glove is because he himself is the Black Glove. Who else would be smart enough to out maneuver the greatest living detective at every turn than the detective himself? Bruce stands his ground and insists that if he was the Black Glove - the Bat Computer would have pointed that out by now.
Bruce laments that the computer however has thus far proved incapable of finding any common threads in this mystery. When Bruce looks at the Bat Computer screens all he see is static. Jezebel finds this confusing as the screens are coming in clear as far as she's concerned. Unfortunately she says that the screens are only displaying the same nonsense graffiti over and over again. Bruce, still unable to see anything on the screens, asks Jezebel what those words are. She reads them out loud to him - "Zur-En-Arrh" and suddenly the static on the screens that Bruce is viewing show the alien monster face from his hallucinations after the isolation experiment.
With his trigger-phrase finally said aloud, Bruce begins to convulse as he reaches for the alarm system, shouting about how unready he is. As Jezebel rushes to his side, the lights go out in the Batcave and suddenly everything in the cave explodes. As Swagman's explosions continue to go off, Le Bossu and his henchmen begin to surround Jezebel and Bruce. Alfred arrives back from the movies and goes to check on the burning smell but is jumped by Le Bossu and his gargoyle henchmen who begin beating the butler with clubs.
"Batman in the Underworld"Edit
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Jezebel Jet
- Black Glove