"Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!": The news about Bruce Wayne's accidental death reach Gotham City and the consequences of this are discussed by Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Gordon wants Batman to assist to Wayne's memorial ceremony,
Appearing in "Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!"
- Doctor Harris Blaine (First appearance)
- Matches Malone (Only appearance; dies)
- Sluggo (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!"
The news about Bruce Wayne's accidental death reach Gotham City and the consequences of this are discussed by Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Gordon wants Batman to assist to Wayne's memorial ceremony, but Batman informs him that he is needed somewhere outside of Gotham and that he can't attend. Batman parts ways with Gordon, telling him that he might be out of town for a long time.
Once out of Gordon's reach, Batman thinks that faking Bruce Wayne's death was the best approach in order to take down an enemy who knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. With that in mind, Batman has decided that he will need assistance in order to bring down such a menacing threat and he starts recruiting members to form a team.
Batman's first choice is the relatively notorious gangster Matches Malone. Batman disturbs the man while he is taking a meal on his favourite restaurant and Malone sends his thug to stop Batman. When Batman easily defeats the henchman, Malone tries to escape through the kitchen, but he panics at the last second and he shoots at Batman. Unfortunately, the bullet misses the target and ricochets back to Malone, killing him instantly.
Batman's second recruit is Doctor Harris Blaine, a notorious scientist who has been working on secret projects for the government. Batman disguises himself as the late Matches Malone and follows Blaine to the Gotham Arms Hotel, where Blaine is suddenly attacked by a mysterious assailant. "Malone" intervenes, saving Blaine and taking him to a special screening room, where he is introduced to Batman. Both Malone and Batman explain that they need Blaine in order to stop the dangerous threat of a man who is mad for power: Ra's al Ghul. At that moment, the mysterious attacker finds them and he introduces himself as Lo Ling, one of Ra's men who was sent to capture Dr. Blaine and kill Batman. Having failed at his first assignment, Lo throws a dagger through Batman's chest and he escapes. Malone tells Blaine to find help and once he is alone, Batman takes off the disguise of Matches Malone and makes sure that the Batman dummy he used to fool the assassin accomplished its goal.
Batman then follows Lo Ling to the rooftop of the building, where the assassin attempts to escape. However, when Lo sees Batman alive, he loses his balance and falls down. Lo is saved by Batman and he is now forced to return the favor to the Dark Knight. Batman gives Lo the instructions to meet Dr. Blaine and Matches Malone the next week, when they'll start their plan against Ra's al Ghul.
Finally, when Batman finds himself alone, he realizes that all the odds are against him, but he doesn't give up as he believes he is fighting for the right cause.
Appearing in "Death-Point!"
Synopsis for "Death-Point!"
Robin, Lilith, and Terri manage to defeat the Cthuloid cult, but Lilith discovers that close proximity to her cousin causes an energy feedback that allows a demon to possess Terri. With Robin's help, they manage to take the demon out of Terri's mind, but they sadly realize that Terri and Lilith must remain separate in order to keep Terri's mind safe and sound.
Appearing in "The People vs. The Batman"
- Freddie Hill
- Horatio Delmar
- Weasel (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The People vs. The Batman"
This story is reprinted from Batman #7.
Batman investigates a poultry racket job and he is confronted by the criminals involved. However, when the Gotham City Police Department arrive at the scene, they only notice Batman and assume he was causing trouble. With no oprion left but run, Batman decides to investigate in the morning as Bruce Wayne.
As Bruce goes to the place, he is victim of a setup to frame him for the murder of an old man and the police has no option but to arrest him. Dick visits Bruce in prison and he decides to help Bruce by capturing the criminal who was responsible for framing Bruce.
The thug, whose name is Weasel, is in danger as his boss and his gang think that he might squeal their crime to the police. When they try to eliminate him, Robin arrives in time to stop them and gives Weasel a chance to escape. However, some of the thugs are driving a car and run the vehicle against Weasel, leaving him in a coma.
Later, one of the gang members disguises himself as Batman and goes to the hospital room where Weasel is recovering in order to kill him and frame Batman for murder. His plan fails, as the Police keep a close eye on Weasel and the thug has to run away. Because of this, the police now thinks of Batman as a murderer.
When news about Batman's murder attempt reach Dick, he decides to help Bruce by getting him out of jail so he can clear his name. Robin digs a hole underneath Bruce's cell in prison and they leave a dummy behind. Donning his Batman costume, the dynamic duo try to capture the leader of the gang to get a confession that would clear Bruce's name. During the chase, Batman and Robin are captured, tied up and tossed in the water. By the time they manage to escape, the thugs have already destroyed any sort of evidence or confession that would help Bruce's case and the Police have discovered that Bruce Wayne has escaped. At that same moment, Weasel wakes up, learns that he doesn't have much time to live and he decides to reveal the truth to the police.
A trial in court takes place and Bruce Wayne is about to be convicted for murder when Batman arrives, carrying the criminal mastermind with him. However, his presence only worsens things since the police seem to think that Batman is a murderer and that he helped Bruce to escape. The District Attorney starts making a case against Batman until Commissioner Gordon arrives and stands by the side of the vigilante. After a convincing speech, the judge and jury realize how important Batman is for the city and just then, Weasel arrives at the court and tells the truth about the murder right before he dies.
When the case is solved, Commissioner Gordon makes Batman an honorary member of the GCPD and they start working together. Bruce Wayne appears later, once his name has been cleared and he is out of danger.
- "Bruce Wayne -- Rest in Peace!" is reprinted in Batman: Tales of the Demon.
- This is the first appearance of classic Batman alias "Matches Malone". This version belongs to the Earth-One continuity, often refered as Pre-Crisis and a new version of the character was introduced years later after the event that altered the timeline and continuity: Crisis on Infinite Earths. That version of Matches Malone belongs to the New Earth continuity or Post Crisis.
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