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Detective Comics Annual Vol 2 1

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"The Abyss": Since the attack by the Court of Owls, Jeremiah Arkham has been proud of Roman Sionis' success in keeping control of his dependency on his Black Mask. That is, until [[James Gordon (Prime Earth)|Commissioner Gordon


Quote1 I will have to rely on your telling me the truth because I cannot see into your mind. You will have to rely on my mercy. Quote2
-- Black Mask



Appearing in "The Abyss"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Black Mask
  • Mad Bull
  • Wolf Boy
  • Serpentine
  • Edgar Dempsey

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:




Synopsis for "The Abyss"

Since the attack by the Court of Owls, Jeremiah Arkham has been proud of Roman Sionis' success in keeping control of his dependency on his Black Mask. That is, until Commissioner Gordon appears, and makes him aware of the fact that he has been administering treatment to nobody at all, and has been under the mental manipulation of Black Mask - who escaped on the night of the attack.

Batman, meanwhile, is chasing down Mad Bull, a member of the False Face Society, that was supposed to have been disbanded when Sionis was put away at Arkham Asylum.

The commissioner questions Clayface hoping to get some information on Sionis' contacts on the outside. The prisoner claims that he and all the others were under the manipulation of Sionis' mind control, but Gordon and Bullock produce Karlo's pain medication, and in order to get it, he tells them what they want to know.

While escaping Batman, Mad Bull discovers that the other masks of the False Face society have been stolen. Batman catches up to him, and tears off his mask, rendering him effectively a zombie. Apparently, he is a victim of mind control as well. Batman takes residue samples from the mask, though he is already sure that it will point to Black Mask.

Later, Alfred Pennyworth confirms that suspicion. Batman deduces that Sionis left someone behind that he trusted to dismantle the False Face Society if he was ever caught. There is another variable too. Somebody wants the same mind-control technology that Black Mask uses, and he suspects that it is the Mad Hatter.

At the Black Otter Carnival, Tetch disguises himself, and tricks Mr. Edgar Dempsey into thinking he is there to help him escape from the cops. Instead, though, he knocks Dempsey to the floor, at the feet of Black Mask and the False Face Society.

Batman meets with Gordon on the roof of Gotham City Police Headquarters, where the commissioner points him to Edgar Dempsey as the one who Sionis chose to hide the False Face Society's masks. Those masks were supposedly made of the same material as his black mask, and their minds were connected by them. Obviously, Sionis intends to revive the society. But Dempsey's betrayal indicates an outside influence - that of the Mad Hatter.

Black Mask finds that he can't influence Dempsey's mind into having the man tell him where the masks are, so he tries alternative methods. Desperately, Dempsey promises to take them to the masks, so long as he's kept alive.

Batman tracks down Tweedledum and Tweedledee and demands to know what their boss has been up to.

Meanwhile, Dempsey leads Black Mask to the Gotham Museum of Natural History, and shows him that the masks have been included in one of the exhibits, but they have been changed by someone. Sionis realizes that he's been betrayed and tries to kill Dempsey, but he is protected from mental attacks by his co-conspirator. At that moment, the men wearing the masks spring into action, and advance on Sionis and his companions. Angrily, Black Mask grabs a spear, and thrusts it into Dempsey's chest.

The Mad Hatter reveals himself, explaining that there can only be one mind-controller in Gotham City. He forces Black Mask to his knees, and removes the mask - carved from the ebony with which his father's coffin was made - taking it for himself. Suddenly, though, Batman crashes through the skylight, and knocks the mask aside. Sionis manages to get the mask back on, and the two mind-controllers become locked in mental battle, until Batman intervenes, cracking the Black Mask with a kick. The mask begins to radiate a brilliant white light, and everyone collapses. Batman, in a daze, grabs the mask, and escapes.

Later, Batman meets with Gordon, and reveals that he has no memory of what happened since the white light, but at least the mask is in police custody. Sionis is now at Arkham again, with significantly less comfortable cell conditions.

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