"Bedlam Beneath the Big Top!": Batman learns from Jack Ryder that the most possible location of the responsibles for his frame-up is in a foreign circus and Batman goes undercover to investigate. At first sight, there is nothing suspicious a
Appearing in "Bedlam Beneath the Big Top!"
- League of Assassins
- Gotham City
- Gaston St. Lucifer's Circus
- Gaston St. Lucifer's Circus
Synopsis for "Bedlam Beneath the Big Top!"
Batman learns from Jack Ryder that the most possible location of the responsibles for his frame-up is in a foreign circus and Batman goes undercover to investigate. At first sight, there is nothing suspicious about the place, but when Batman investigates on the crew's private rooms, he discovers a large machine that is completely out of place. Batman soon realizes that he has been followed by a midget, who is part of the circus and he tries to capture the small man, but he loses him in the house of mirrors. Batman is then attacked by a some of the "circus freaks", but he manages to defeat them and finds an exit from the maze of mirrors.
Once outside, Batman notices a group of thugs talking about their "boss" and he takes a shot by disguising himself as who he believes is their leader: Ra's al Ghul. Unfortunately, the thugs don't fall for the gimmick and they all attack Batman, leaving him unconscious for a few moments.
When Batman recovers, he find himself surrounded by the circus' crew and the ringmaster tells him that they are giving him the chance to accept a "generous offer". At first Batman refuses, but soon the snake charmer woman approaches him and takes off her disguise, revealing herself as Talia, alive and well, much to Batman's surprise. Talia tells Batman that she speaks on behalf of her father when she asks Batman to join them and take his rightful place at her side as the heir to Ra's al Ghul's empire. She tries to convince Batman by telling him that the police has turned against him and that he has no other choice to make. However, Batman refuses, causing the wrath of his enemies, who take turns to attack him. Batman takes care of the most dangerous adversaries and once he has taken them out, he finds himself outnumbered when the rest of the crew attacks him at the same time. Batman is about to lose the fight when suddenly, The Creeper appears and helps Batman fight the League of Assassins. Together, Batman and Creeper defeat the assassins and finally, they confront their leader, Ra's al Ghul, who was concealed behind the midget's disguise thanks to an hallucination-gas which tricked others into seeing what he wanted.
Ra's admits that his plan was to frame Batman, transform him into an outlaw and force him to join the League of Assassins. Batman tries to capture Ra's and bring him to the authorities to clear his name, but the circus tent starts to burn after the fight and the whole place starts collapsing. Ra's knows that Batman has one choice between saving Talia and capturing him, which is why he decides not to move from his place while Batman takes Talia out of the tent and witness how the place burns to ashes with Ra's al Ghul inside.
When Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD arrive at the scene, The Creeper flees the place and everyone is shocked to see Talia alive. Batman informs them about the conspiracy against him and to further confirm this theory, he shows them how the automatic guns that were used to frame him work. With his name cleared, Batman is glad to learn that Commissioner Gordon would retire the charges against him and he is allowed to work alongside the Police Force once again.
- "Bedlam Beneath the Big Top!" is reprinted in Best of DC #9 and Tales of the Batman: Len Wein (Collected).
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