"The Freedom of Madness!": Bane and his men secure some weaponry from an armoury, and prepare for their assault on Arkham Asylum. At Gotham City Police Headquarters, Commissioner Gordon, [[Harvey Bullock (New Earth)|Harv
Appearing in "The Freedom of Madness!"
- Arkham Asylum inmates
Synopsis for "The Freedom of Madness!"
Bane and his men secure some weaponry from an armoury, and prepare for their assault on Arkham Asylum. At Gotham City Police Headquarters, Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, and Renée Montoya discuss theories as to what purpose the theft of the armaments has, and who pulled it off. Later, Bane decides that the first inmate he will break out of Arkham will be The Joker.
With Bane's help, the Joker escapes, stealing a weapon from his guard and then releasing the other inmates. Then, Bane fires a stinger missile into the wall of the asylum, providing the inmates with an opportunity to escape. Meanwhile, the Joker seeks out Jeremiah Arkham, the asylum's administrator, and locks him in a cell at gunpoint. Bane's men drop the munitions outside the hole they blasted in the wall, and the inmates eagerly help themselves.
Gordon orders his tactical unit to backup the state police at the asylum, while he waits at the Bat-Signal for a response from Batman. Bullock informs him that Mayor Krol wants to see him. Gordon shuts off the signal, hoping that Batman is already on his way to Arkham. Robin happens to see the signal go out, and then receives a call from Batman. Robin offers his help, considering Bruce's physical and mental state, but Batman refuses and hangs up.
Mayor Krol wants the police to shoot to kill, but Commissioner Gordon refuses to issue this order, despite warnings that most of his men could end up dead if they don't take the offensive position. Meanwhile, Batman arrives at Arkham and is able to safeguard the asylum staff, including Jeremiah Arkham. Unfortunately, the Joker manages to escape, just as Bane and his men fire missiles at the police blockade, essentially freeing all of the inmates. Gordon wonders if he made the right decision in refusing Krol while Batman howls in frustration at his defeat.
- This story is reprinted in Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat and in Batman: Knightfall Volume One and is considered to be the prologue to the main story.
- Batman is shown wearing the black S-Shield armband given to him by Oberon in Justice League America #70 following Superman's death.
- Batman: Knightfall begins after the events in this issue on Batman Vol 1 #492
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