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"The Messiah of the Crimson Sun": A masked terrorist called the Messiah of the Crimson Sun claims responsibility for reducing every inhabitant of the town of Shinn Corners to a charred skeleton. Across nationwide airwaves, the Messiah proclaims that in twenty-four hours, Gotham City will suffer
Appearing in "The Messiah of the Crimson Sun"
- Captain Reems
- Professor Markewitch
- Shinn Corners
- Cape Canaveral
Synopsis for "The Messiah of the Crimson Sun"
A masked terrorist called the Messiah of the Crimson Sun claims responsibility for reducing every inhabitant of the town of Shinn Corners to a charred skeleton. Across nationwide airwaves, the Messiah proclaims that in twenty-four hours, Gotham City will suffer an identical "judgment" from him.
Working together, Batman and the military discover two survivors at Shinn Corners: a rambling "Children of Adam" cultist named Seth, and a kidney patient hooked up to a dialysis machine. Batman has Robin disguise himself as Seth and rejoin Seth's fellow cultists, while the real Seth is held in military detention. The disguised Robin quickly discovers that the Children of Adam are indeed connected to the Messiah of the Crimson Sun, who is in reality Ra's al-Ghul.
Meanwhile, Batman deduces that the people of Shinn Corners had died from some chemical smuggled into their drinking water (which both Seth and the kidney patient had been deprived of for the past twenty-four hours), in reaction with the special red sunlight produced by the Messiah. He discovers this fact too late to stop the Messiah's men from contaminating Gotham's water refinery with the chemical, but gains an unexpected ally in Talia al-Ghul, who has chosen to side against her father.
Ra's, having discovered the disguised Robin, takes the Boy Wonder hostage as he and a group of subordinates escape into his space-station headquarters. From the station, Ra's plans to sweep another wave of his lethal red sunlight across Gotham, but Batman and Talia infiltrate the station in a shuttle borrowed from Cape Canaveral. While Talia rescues Robin and sabotages the station's cloaking device, Batman engages Ra's in hand-to-hand combat, both men agreeing to drink a sample of the chemical so that the first brushed by the red sunlight will lose.
Once the station's cloaking is shut down, the American military immediately targets it with missiles. His latest plan foiled, Ra's tries to flee in the station's sole escape shuttle, not knowing that Batman had previously tampered with it to make it controllable by remote. Batman forces the shuttle to fly into the red sunlight, completely disintegrating Ra's, before ordering it back to the space station so he, Robin, and Talia can escape before the missiles hit.
Upon returning to Earth, Talia orders Batman away, so she may grieve over her father alone. Batman acquiesces, knowing one woman's love is a small price to pay for Gotham's continued survival.
- This is the first Batman annual to feature an original story, instead of reprinting older ones.
- No trivia.
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