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"Book Two: Hierarchy": In the Batcave, an elderly Bruce Wayne confronts his son Damian about his decision to execute criminals instead of making them face proper justice. Damian is unrepentant, claiming that whi
- I know you had high expectations for me... heights I have yet to achieve. I won't let either of you down... as the next Batman!
Appearing in "Book Two: Hierarchy"
- Robin/Batman (Damian Wayne) (First appearance as Batman)
Synopsis for "Book Two: Hierarchy"
In the Batcave, an elderly Bruce Wayne confronts his son Damian about his decision to execute criminals instead of making them face proper justice. Damian is unrepentant, claiming that while it may have been his recklessness that got Dick Grayson's Batman killed at the dock - but that it had been Bruce's principals that got them there. Angrily, Bruce attacks him, hoping to put a stop to the killings Damian had carried out since Dick died. He denounces Damian as his heir and his successor, but in the fight Damian accidentally stabs him, just within centimetres of his main artery. Damian tries to offer help, but Alfred glares at him, remarking that he has done enough, and exiles him from the cave.
Crestfallen, Damian goes to church to confess, where his worries are heard by Father James Gordon, who suggests that the best way to atone for his guilt is to bring peace to the people by adopting the righteous and forgiving path of the Batman. The principle of the Batman is not to choose death as a permissible tool for fighting evil - it is to let the law decide the fate of the accused. Only when he learns to forgive himself and earn it from his father, will Damian be admired by his fellow man for his crime fighting skills - and then he will truly become the Batman.
Damian plays chess online to while away the time it takes his other computers to scan for recent sightings of known criminals. He is frustrated that his opponent is clever, and despite his efforts, he has never been able to suss out his identity. After losing his bishop, Damian receives a notification that the Joker was sighted recently, and enters the cave. There, he stares at Bruce's old uniform and wonders whether there might be some reason in the priest's words. On a whim, he decides to modify the uniform, and become the Batman at last.
In his new identity, Damian enters Wayne Manor and visits his father, who is unconscious and attached to several life-support systems. He apologizes, explaining that he now seeks to live up to his father's legacy by changing his behaviour to meet Bruce's expectations - and he won't let him down as the next Batman.
Damian travels to the now dilapidated Arkham Asylum, where the Joker was supposed to have been sighted. Making his way to the Joker's cell, he discovers a lock of red hair, and a teddy bear, causing him to realize that Professor Pyg had been there. He tracks Pyg to his hideout, where he is planning to inject children with a serum that will turn them into Dollotrons. Disgusted that Pyg would use children in his schemes, Damian attacks, forcing himself to be careful with the children who have already been turned, hoping that they may be able to change back. Unfortunately, they overcome him, and throw him through the window toward his inevitable death.
- This book was first published on November 27, 2013.
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