"The Slayer of Night": At the Courthouse in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne tries to prevent the judge's decision of giving Natalia Knight the rights for the adoption of Jason Todd, but his efforts are futile as t
- As much as Gotham could not survive without the Batman... I doubt the Batman can survive without Bruce Wayne. - By his very nature, Sir, and necessarily to ensure his success, the Batman is a... a creature of but one overriding emotion... supreme outrage. His consuming need for justice and retribution is the very factor which encourages his success. Therefore Bruce Wayne represents your positive side... the full spectrum of all your other emotions.
Appearing in "The Slayer of Night"
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "The Slayer of Night"
At the Courthouse in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne tries to prevent the judge's decision of giving Natalia Knight the rights for the adoption of Jason Todd, but his efforts are futile as the judge won't give him a fighting chance, thanks to the manipulations of a certain Mayor. Furthermore, Bruce is told that when the Child Welfare Bureau asked Jason about his adoption by Natalia, he gladly accepted. As the hearing ends in favor of Natalia, once again she suggests that Bruce should simply marry her and end his torment.
That night, Batman visits Jason at his temporary home, where the kid tells Batman that he told the authorities about his willingness to be adopted by Natalia so that once he is taken by her, he could find some evidence incriminating her as Nocturna. Batman tells Jason that his plan was ill-advised and he leaves the kid's room as the social service woman in charge of Jason shows up. When the woman asks Jason about himself, she can't avoid but notice Jason's true yearning for Bruce Wayne.
A few minutes later, Batman visits the Gotham State Penitentiary, where he is informed about Anton Knight's escape, which confirms his suspicions about the murderer he previously encountered. At that moment, Nocturna contemplates the night from her hotel's balcony, when the Thief of Night climbs to the place and the two night lovers are reunited. Nocturna is pleased to have her man back and she decides to end her partnership with Nightshade, but the Thief of Night informs her that there is no need to do such thing, as he had already murdered the man for daring nurse romantic ideas with her. Horrified by her partner's actions, Nocturna tells the Night-Slayer to get out of her sight, as she cannot forgive him for having stained the night with blood. Notincing how Nocturna's love has turned to hate, the Night-Slayer leaves the place using the shadows to lurk away.
The next day, Bruce has a reassuring conversation with his oldest friend, Alfred, in which he realizes how important is for him to attend matters as Bruce Wayne and leave the Batman to act only when needed. As this happens, Vicki Vale tries to go out with other men, but her thoughts are still with Bruce. A similar situation happens with Julia Pennyworth, who has found Vicki's pictures of Bruce Wayne and comes to see the man through the eyes of a woman in love, forcing her to steal some of the pictures.
When night comes, Bruce cannot resist the urge to go out as Batman, even though he knows that this night, there is a darker motive that drives his will. A few moments later, Batman arrives at Nocturna's balcony, to interrogate her about her accomplice, the Night-Slayer. Batman notices true sorrow in Nocturna for the loss of her loved one, but he realizes that she will not ally herself with a murderer. As they talk, Batman also notices that he is unexplicably attracted to Nocturna, as if driven by a need, a desire which only comes at night. He deduces that Nocturna is using some kind of drug to allure him, but she explains that she is the drug. Trying to get her to incriminate herself or her former partner, Batman is drawn towards her and as they embrace each other, the Night-Slayer appears and confronts Batman for his romantic approach on Nocturna.
Batman and the Night-Slayer struggle for a while, breaking most of the furniture in the hotel room until their fight causes them to plunge towards the nearby rooftop, a few feet below. Still dazed, Batman is unable to recover in time and the Night-slayer prepares to deliver the killing blow using daggers. The killer approaches Batman and as he raises his hand to kill his enemy, he is shot from behind by Nocturna, leaving the man seriously injured. Having the chance to kill Batman, Nocturna drops the gun and decides to help him instead. Nocturna lifts Batman from the ground and the Dark Knight, still with dulled senses, gets a look of the full moon in the night. The brightest thing surrounded by darkness, a beautiful contrast of white which he notices and compares it to the lovely and fair face of the woman who saved him, the same whose heart is touched by these words and embraces the Dark Knight in a loving kiss, one that serves to shield and protect those under its spell from the dangers of the night, but shall risk other kinds of falls.
- The events of this issue take place after Detective Comics #543 and the story continues in Detective Comics #544.
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