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"Shaman - Book One": Several years ago, a young Bruce Wayne located tracker/bounty hunter Willy Doggett in order to improve his tracking skills by learning from the best. The two of them started a manhunt across the mountains of Alaska, looking


Quote1 Tell everyone. All the punks, junkies, gunsels, enforcers... all the wise guys, leg-breakers, muscle boys... tell them they're finished. Tell them the streets belong to the Batman. Quote2
-- Batman



Appearing in "Shaman - Book One"

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Synopsis for "Shaman - Book One"

Several years ago, a young Bruce Wayne located tracker/bounty hunter Willy Doggett in order to improve his tracking skills by learning from the best. The two of them started a manhunt across the mountains of Alaska, looking for the assassin named Tom Woodley, who appeared and killed Doggett, while greatly injuring Bruce. Bruce fought back, and during the struggle, Tom slipped from his perch and fell seemingly to his death. Without any means of survival, Bruce wandered the frozen mountains until he collapsed of exhaustion and dehydration, which caused him several hallucinations, including a vision of Joe Chill as an evil snowman. An Alaskan Shaman and his daughter found Bruce and nursed him back to health. The Shaman told Bruce an ancient Native American folktale about a bat to heal him and by the time Bruce departed, he made Bruce promise to never tell the story to another living soul.

Bruce returns to the United States and his family home at Wayne Manor. His first attempt at crime fighting (depicted as his first uncostumed encounter with Selina Kyle) nearly ends in disaster, and he returns to Wayne Manor broken and bleeding. While resting in his father's study, a large bat crashes through the window. Inspired by animal's dark visage, Bruce decides to adopt the costumed identity of Batman in order to strike terror into the hearts of criminals.

The following evening, Batman investigates a break-in at Leslie Thompkins' free clinic. He beats up several thugs in the alley behind the clinic and finds a scared patient hovering in a corner. The woman screams the word "Chubala" and then plunges a knife directly into her own heart.



Notes

  • This issue is reprinted in the Batman: Shaman trade paperback.
  • The events of this issue happen simultaneously to the events of Batman #404. The first half of this issue takes place in the month of December, according the timeline revealed in Batman: Year One.
  • The name of the girl who kills herself is Tina Wilson, but it's not revealed until the next issue.
  • The credit box features a special thanks to Carol Goldberg.

Trivia

  • This issue was offered with a dual-cover, printed in four different color variations; Blue, Yellow, Pink and Orange. The cover logo was designed by Dean Motter. The Newstand version did not have the colored second cover.
  • The famous phrase "Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot" is attributed to the in-universe author Sir Maxwell Floppy. In both the Golden and Silver Age versions of Batman's origin, Bruce mutters a version of this quote mere moments before the bat crashes through the study window. The author of the phrase is in fact Bill Finger and it was first written in Detective Comics #33.



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