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Batman: The Dark Knight Vol 2 22

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"Breaking Point": Jim Gordon is nearing his breaking point. Gotham City has taken his marriage from him. It turned his son crazy, and killed him. It took away his daughter [[Barbara Gordon (Prime Earth)|B

Quote1 Believe me, Titus, I'd prefer to rely on other people, and not have it boomerang back and find the chink in my armor. Quote2
-- Batman

Appearing in "Breaking Point"

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Synopsis for "Breaking Point"

Jim Gordon is nearing his breaking point. Gotham City has taken his marriage from him. It turned his son crazy, and killed him. It took away his daughter Barbara's ability to walk. Now, Clayface is back, and Jim isn't sure he wants to deal with it anymore.

Tonight, a gang attempted to knock over a jewellery store, but a quick police response has lead to a hostage situation. Fed up, Jim offers the crooks a deal. If they allow the captured security guard to go free, he will offerhimself up as hostage in the man's place. Against Harvey Bullock's protests, Jim ensures that the security guard is safe, and then steps inside. Unseen by the thieves, though, he has two guns strapped to his back, which he quickly grabs and unloads into them all. When every one of them is dead or injured, Jim stands, spattered in their blood. From the shadows, Batman appears, and with disbelief, demands to know whether his friend really did what he just saw him do. Unexpectedly, the Commissioner begins firing at him. In their struggle, Batman soon discovers that this is not Jim Gordon at all, but Clayface.

Confused, Batman wonders why Clayface would kill his own men. In response, the creature takes on the appearance of Natalya Trusevich, and begs Batman to know why he didn't save her in time. The transformation fazes Batman long enough that Clayface can escape. In the meantime, the GCPD bursts into the jewellery store to find the place empty of their Commissioner and every jewel in the place. Unseen, Batman knows that somewhere among these policemen, or nearby, Clayface is escaping; hiding in plain sight.

Unfortunately, the whole ordeal poses a question: where is the real Jim Gordon? Now that Bruce has foiled Clayface's obvious attempt to frame the commissioner for excessive force and murder, Jim will be expendable, which makes it all the more important that Bruce find him. Satellite footage can find nothing on Clayface's last known whereabouts, and Bruce hopes that if he can find a way to pick the creature out of a crowd, he'll be able to safely imprison him within a perfectly sealed cage, of some kind. To add to their many questions, Alfred wonders just how Clayface knew about Natalya's relationship with Batman.

That knowledge had been dangerous, as he noticed Bruce hesitate when he saw her face again. Bruce tries to shrug it off, but Alfred persists, warning that there are other kinds of strength than to create mental blocks against pain. Bruce grunts that he had tried to change, and now the woman he had changed for is dead. Alfred responds that Bruce change should have been for himself, not someone else. If Bruce intends to let all the loss he's experienced mean nothing, Alfred warns, he should continue to do nothing to change his life for the better.

Meanwhile, Jim Gordon has been chained to a trap door in the floor of the stage of an abandoned theatre. Though it is a struggle, he promises himself he will not give up, and noticing a large spotlight near to him, he attempts to tug the cover from it, and form a Bat-Symbol from the old scraps of posters lying on the floor. Stretching hard, he tries to reach the plug to a nearby outlet.

Soon, Batman spots the bright signal shining in the sky, and traces it back to the old theatre. Jim lies collapsed on the floor, and Batman cuts his legs free with a laser. Though he hopes to get Jim to safety, the Commissioner insists that they have a look around this safe house. The information they discover is not news to them: Basil Karlo is both a narcissist and a master of disguise, capable of becoming anyone, anywhere, and at any time. A crowd has gathered around the theatre, having seen the light of the signal, and Batman knows that Clayface is somewhere among them, but he and Jim escape unimpeded, even as Karlo watches.


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