"Deceit in Dark Secrets": The moon shines upon a rooftop in Gotham City, where Batman and Nocturna share a kiss born of a dark desire. Batman eventually breaks free from the spell, but he is unable to take his eyes away from Nocturna
Appearing in "Deceit in Dark Secrets"
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Amanda Groscz
Synopsis for "Deceit in Dark Secrets"
The moon shines upon a rooftop in Gotham City, where Batman and Nocturna share a kiss born of a dark desire. Batman eventually breaks free from the spell, but he is unable to take his eyes away from Nocturna, who reveals that she knows Batman is Bruce Wayne. This shocking revelation comes as Nocturna tells Batman that her plan to adopt Jason Todd was initially to force him into marrying her, but now that she has learned the dark secret of Bruce Wayne, he has become infinitely more attractive to her, to the point of devotion. Nocturna vows to keep the secret of Batman, but she wants him to take her as a lover and partner, something Batman tries to deny, even though it is something he wants more than anything in the world; for his fascination with the pale beauty is born out of the same mystery that shrouds the Batman. When Batman denies Nocturna's request, she points out the sacrifice she has made by killing her former partner, Anton Knight, but when they turn their gaze to the place where the Night-Slayer's body was, they find only a trail of blood leading towards the edge of the rooftop of the building. Nocturna's spell over Batman is broken as his concentration shifts towards the trail of blood. Fearing for the Night-Slayer's vengeance, Nocturna pleads for Batman to stay with her, but the Dark Knight chooses to track down the injured criminal.
Part of Batman's decision to follow the Night-Slayer was to get away from Nocturna in order to clear his thoughts about her, but also because of his usual determination to bring criminals to justice and save lives. After following the long trail of blood, Batman is unable to find the criminal as he has been led to a dead end alley. At that moment, Jason decides to go out as Robin, but he is visited by Nocturna, who tenderly tells Jason to go back to his temporary home, for she will soon give him all the care a good mother can provide. This encounter is enough to convince Jason to follow with the adoption process, but only because now he knows that Nocturna knows Batman and Robin's secret.
The next night, Bruce Wayne goes into action as Batman to stop thinking about Nocturna, and Mayor Hill has the would-be killer of Harvey Bullock released from police custody. When Bullock and Commissioner Gordon discuss this rather obvious political manipulation of the system, Batman listens to their conversation and decides to stalk the criminal who has been released. In the dark of the night, the criminal realizes that he is being followed and tries to lose whoever is chasing him. However, after his best efforts, the crook can't lose his pursuer and when he realizes that it is the Batman, the criminal panics.
On a desperate escape attempt, the crook runs into a dead end alley, the same in which the Night-Slayer disappeared the previous night. The blood on the ground covered by the giant shadow of the Batman makes the perfect scenario for the criminal to become horribly terrified. Taking advantage of this situation, Batman interrogates the criminal and learns the conspiracy organized by Mayor Hill in which he used Bullock to make Gordon resign, but when Bullock turned against him, he hired Doctor Fang's goons to eliminate Bullock in return of the release of their leader from prison. After this discovery, Batman deduces that Hill is behind the manipulation of Jason Todd's adoption procedure, since Bruce Wayne was always a detractor of Hill's office.
In the middle of the night, Batman goes to Mayor Hill's office and gives the crooked politician a cryptic warning before disappearing into the night. When Batman returns to the Batcave, he considers his course of action, unsure if he should solve his problems as Bruce Wayne or Batman. After pondering, he realizes that Bruce has become unreliable because of his obsessed love of Nocturna and thus, he decides to solve everything as the Batman, because after all, that is the center of his entire life.
Appearing in "Fair from the Madding Crowd"
- Sharon Greenglass
- Rick O'Conner
- Mr. Penumbra (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Fair from the Madding Crowd"
Green Arrow battles and defeats the Printer's Devil, but Bad Penny and Pinball Wizard take over an automated automat at the fair grounds and hold the people within hostage for $6,000,000. Oliver Queen is allowed inside to inspect the hostages, but Bad Penny stops him at the door, wanting to know what he has inside a bag he is carrying--which contains his Green Arrow gear.
- "Deceit in Dark Secrets" takes place after the events of Batman #377 and the story continues in Batman #378.
- This issue includes a 16 page paid promotion of the new toy line "Flash Force 2000" called "Driving Force!". The story was written by Robert Loren Fleming, with pencils by Denys Cowan, inks by Sal Trapani, colors by Joe Orlando, letters by Gaspar Saladino and edited by Andrew Helfer.
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