Dick meets Azrael, the Crusader, and Fireball on the top of a roof, as they summon their witness, a grown Prodigy, claiming he heard a voice that called him to Gotham. He tells his story. He was part of the same circus as the Flying Graysons, a big star, and one day he started hooking up with a girl who already had a boyfriend. The girl’s boyfriend and his buddies beat the crap out of the kid, leaving him for dead. The doctors say he was lucky to walk again, let alone live, and after the fact, he left the circus, drifting around the world. He tries to continue, but The Crusader stops him. Dick feels remorse for what he didn’t do, and tells Azrael that he will accept his sins, but they don’t deserve to be taken out on Gotham. Azrael offers Dick the chance to serve God under him, but Dick refuses and “dooms the city.” Before Azrael can act, Dick questions what would happen to Jenny and Azrael’s family, as he points out that they haven’t left the city, and are in the alley below. Azrael brings them up to him, saying that they should have left. Jenny can’t believe what she is seeing, realizing the truth. She says, even if he spares them, he’ll lose them regardless.
Dick brings up the fact that Jenny used the Sword of Sin and Salvation on herself, which revealed the hidden truth in her life. Dick asks Azrael to do the same, to which he agrees, and stabs himself with both the swords. He sees that it is not God’s will he’s carrying out, it’s Ra’s al Ghuls. Ra’s wants to destroy Gotham, pinning it on terrorist attacks which would lead to more violence, and more attacks, until the world destroys itself, leaving him a blank canvas to recreate it in his name. Azrael realizes what he’s done, and his cause isn’t just or of God, but it’s too late, Fireball is losing control as his body starts to blow. The Crusader claims he can save them with the shield, but Dick tells him to try and contain Fireball’s blast. The Crusader isn’t sure, but Azrael tells him to do it. The Crusader puts his shield around Fireball, who barely gets his last words out “forgive me” and blows. The explosion shakes the Earth, but is contained by the Crusader, but Fireball lays in the ground, dead.
Azrael feels ashamed of himself, picking up Fireball’s dead body, and asks the Crusader to take them away. Dick tries to stop them, but Azrael points out that he can’t, as he, Tim, Selina, and Jenny all watch Michael float away. The Prodigy finds the time to tell his story. He tells Batman that he always knew his friend, Dick, was there that night, but forgave him nonetheless. He knew Dick was a kid, and kids make mistakes, figuring he’s more than made up for it by now. White Ghost slams the table in anger of Azrael’s betrayal. Ra’s al Ghul brushes it off, claiming that he has the advantage. He has eternity, while Batman must win every single battle, all he needs to win is once, and it will be game over.
- Dick Grayson
- Ra's al Ghul
- Tim Drake
- Alfred Pennyworth
- The Prodigy
- Fireball (Dies in this issue)
- The Crusader
- White Ghost