"The Monster Machine": In the underground bowels of Arkham Asylum, Jim Corrigan learns from Mr. Bygone that the asylum changed him. The creatures surrounding them are not his creations, but Jim's. They are fueled by the sorrows caused by [[The Spectre
- I brought you along for backup, and here you're messing with a pretty high-grade tulpa. You know I don't give out danger pay, right?
- -- Jim Corrigan
Appearing in "The Monster Machine"
- Mister Bygone
- Joker's Daughter
- Deacon Blackfire (Mentioned only)
- Maxie Zeus
- Professor Pyg
- Professor Milo (First full appearance)
- Margaret Pye
Synopsis for "The Monster Machine"
In the underground bowels of Arkham Asylum, Jim Corrigan learns from Mr. Bygone that the asylum changed him. The creatures surrounding them are not his creations, but Jim's. They are fueled by the sorrows caused by the Spectre's reaping, and now they are going to kill Jim. Batwing, meanwhile, has been captured by The Joker's Daughter, who manipulates the communicator in his suit to call back to Batman, reporting that there is nothing to worry about at Arkham.
Batman, meanwhile, observes the GCPD, under Lt. Jason Bard's command, taking down yet another of Carmine Falcone's operations. Bard is surprised when he sees that Vicki Vale has crossed the police line to flirt with him.
On the ground level at Arkham, Professor Pyg is entered for processing, his escorts unaware that the staff has been murdered and replaced by inmates. Doctor Milo receives him and leads him down into the tunnels, where he meets an unpleasant fate.
In Tokyo, Red Robin suddenly finds himself under attack by some kind of mechanical tentacles. Harper Row, who followed him against his wishes, attempts to help, tracking the control signal to its source and disabling it. With the threat eliminated, Tim tries to warn Harper to go back to the Batplane, but he is interrupted by the voice of Sergei Alexandrov who announces that they have both earned the right to speak to him by surviving his attack.
Jim repels the creatures coming for him, explaining that the concepts of sorrow and regret are hardly alien to him. With the Spectre inside him, he regrets every time the Spirit of Vengeance has come out - and some of the times he wouldn't. He punches Mr. Bygone in the face and marches on, as he does in living with the Spectre.
Trapped with the Joker's Daughter, Batwing complains that she shouldn't have been able to manipulate his systems that way. She responds that she is magically empowered to sound like anybody she wants to. Grinning, she decides she wants to break his arm, but when her hand gets close, a cable launches out of his suit's wrist, and cuffs her to him. Angrily, he tears himself free of the wall and demands answers. She explains that the Arkhamites are remaking their asylum, just as they will remake the whole of Gotham City. They are the things that grow from the dark. She calls out to Maxie Zeus, setting the man on Batwing like a puppet. He wonders who's pulling the strings? After a stressful battle, Batwing brings Maxie to his knees, and chokes him out. With the Joker's daughter long gone, he sets his communicator to try to contact Batman on three-minute intervals while working on decrypting The Riddler's coded message from his cell wall.
In the meantime, he begins looking for Jim, as the residents of Arkham's tunnels retrieve Maxie's body and prepare it to act as the vessel something else. Instead of Jim, Batwing finds a weak Dr. Simon Ecks, who warns him to stay back. He explains that most of the Arkham staff were killed or taken. It has been months since. Batwing takes a step closer, and again Ecks warns him back. There is something inside him that kills what it touches. As a spirit rises up from Ecks' body, reaching for Batwing, Jim catches up at last, and clubs Ecks over the head. He warns that the spirit was a Tulpa, and he doesn't give out danger pay. Gratefully, Batwing thanks him and turns his attention back to Ecks. Jim doubts the man will be alright. Whatever is causing all of this is a dead enemy of Gotham. Someone is trying to bring his soul back from Hell, and doing a poor job of it. He expects that somewhere down there, there will be a church which they must get to in order to put an end to this before the spirit is called upon.
Unfortunately, they are too late. Deacon Blackfire has returned.
- This book was first published on July 23, 2014.
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