- It's that smile. That same damn smile Zucco had on his face the night he murdered my parents. Like seeing their broken bodies lying there like rag dolls was funny. That their deaths meant as much to him as stepping on two ants on the sidewalk.
- -- Batman
Appearing in "Who Burns Who, Conclusion"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Merlin (Flashback only)
- Morgaine le Fey (Flashback only)
- Randu Singh (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Who Burns Who, Conclusion"
In the interest of shaking the deadly ghouls from their wings, Dick Grayson may have crash landed the Bat-Plane in a graveyard, but it's the corpses themselves who have unearthed the dead. Staring out from the wreckage, Dick Grayson and Tim Drake find the world around them transformed by the power of the Black Lantern rings. A giant black and white circus tent stands pitched before them with the Flying Graysons once again float across the high-wire like decrepit yet graceful swans. At the center of the grotesque Big Top is a life-size diorama of the Drake house the night in which Jack Drake was murdered. Standing in the center of the staged kitchen is Jack Drake. Tim is transfixed as he watches history begin to repeat itself before his very eyes. Word for word, Jack Drake's final moments continue to play out just as they had that night. Red Robin is but a phantom audience member, standing just outside the fourth wall of this macabre performance. He calls out for his father to hear his pleas, but it's as if the corpse is standing in a different dimension. He watches as his father's last night on Earth continues just as it had. And just then a thought enters Tim's mind - could this be the opportunity he's always dreamed about for these many years? The opportunity to finally be there to save his father from the razor sharp weaponry of Captain Boomerang?
By the time Tim is stepping onto the stage to intercept an undead George "Digger" Harkness, Dick has already dispatched Damian to take the Gordons back to the Bunker. He realizes the Black Lanterns' theater of the bizarre is no place for the rambunctious youth and had chosen this cemetery for a landing point because it contained a hidden path back to the Wayne Foundation via a mausoleum for "Archibald Stanton." But in an instant he too is sucked into their emotional ploy as his father's arms reach out and grab him and take him skyward just as they had so many years ago. "Heads up Richard! It's time to fly!" John Grayson's familiar voice calls out. But just like Tim's private hell playing out below, this Grayson family reunion is a doomed one.
Janet Drake stands on the periphery, urging her son on as he pummels the undead Harkness. His screams of rage echo through the night air, floating skyward where the Flying Grayson's life lines are once again severed by their malefactor Boss Zucco whose own Black Corpse stands grinning below. Crashing down inside the Drake kitchen on top of his parent's cadavers, Dick has just witnessed his parent's murder for the second time. Old wounds tear open as he digs himself up from the mess of tangled bones and rotten flesh to lunge at Zucco. Both boys seethe with hatred as the pummel their personal demons into the ground, their hearts marinating in the bright red glow of rage as the other Black Lanterns arrive and the glamour begins to fade.
Just as the Lanterns grasp for the heroes' hearts, Deadman arrives with the cavalry! Dispatched by Grayson upon arrival, Boston sought out the only person with enough firepower to possibly keep the Black Lanterns at bay - Jason Blood a.k.a. The Demon Etrigan! Taking control of Blood's body, Brand invokes the Demon and races to the graveyard where he blasts the encroaching dead! But neither Blood nor the Demon is very happy about being control by the ghost detective. And what's more even though the heartless hell spawn is impervious to the Black Lantern's touch, the blistering hellfire of the Demon is not unending. Dick realizes that they're going to need a backup plan.
Radioing back to the Bunker, he has Damian send them out Mr. Freeze's freeze gun from the armory via one of his old Nightwing gliders. The ice cannon arrives just in time as their fuel supply begins to run low. The ravenous horde of undead encircles them and with not a moment to spare Grayson uses the gun to freeze Tim solid before pointing the ray at himself.
With the heroes encased in ice and temporarily frozen, their emotions vanish from the sonar-like vision of the Black Lanterns. With no prey to feast on the Lanterns are forced to take off in search of other sustenance and once they depart Deadman enters the bodies of both men in order to give them the needed strength to shake themselves free of their petrified status.
Though their personal demons have been vexed, the threat of the Black Lanterns still lingers over all of Gotham and the world! And now Dick Grayson and Tim Drake turn their attentions towards passing on the knowledge they've just garnered to the rest of the super-hero community and rejoining the fight to thwart the black menace!
- No special notes.
- A mausoleum marked Archibald Stanton holds a secret tunnel created by Batman as a precautionary measure. This is of course a reference to the tombstone at the ending of Sergio Leone's classic Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
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| Crossover |
Blackest Night is a 2009 DC Comics crossover event featuring the dead rising, and attacks by the Black Lantern Corps. This is the culmination of the War of Light. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Blackest Night crossover category.