"Dead Reckoning, Conclusion": To complete his knowledge of Sloan, Batman returns to Arkham and interrogates the man most responsible for Sloan's eight-year disappearance: the Scarecrow. With neither the means not the motivation to resist, the Scarecrow freely admits he had misreported Sloan's de
Appearing in "Dead Reckoning, Conclusion"
- Charlatan (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Scarecrow (Flashback and main story)
- Two-Face (Flashback and main story)
- Veronica Bella
Synopsis for "Dead Reckoning, Conclusion"
To complete his knowledge of Sloan, Batman returns to Arkham and interrogates the man most responsible for Sloan's eight-year disappearance: the Scarecrow. With neither the means not the motivation to resist, the Scarecrow freely admits he had misreported Sloan's death, then imprisoned the barely-alive Sloan in his hideout as a test subject. Months of Scarecrow's brutal experiments eventually left Sloan psychologically incapable of fear, whereupon he escaped, leaving a note promising events would "come full circle".
After leaving Arkham and re-securing Penguin (whom he had managed to resuscitate from Sloan's attack) in a preset safe house, Batman convenes with Oracle. Using Scarecrow's recollections, the pair trace Sloan and Two-Face to an abandoned aircraft plant - the site where Two-Face had originally tortured his would-be replacement. There, Batman finds Sloan locked in a standoff with Two-Face, each ready to shoot the other.
Batman disarms both men without hesitation, before pleading with Sloan to surrender peacefully. Sloan greets these pleas with nothing but contempt, claiming he has long surrendered himself to life as "another of Gotham's freaks". A moment later, he attacks Batman with high explosives and automatic weapons, all the while explaining the earlier attacks had never been for revenge; their only goal had been to draw out and kill Batman, so Sloan could at last prove himself a "worthy" successor to Two-Face.
After a long, fiery battle (which Two-Face retreats from after a "clean" toss), Batman manages to capture a badly-wounded Sloan, who mocks his sentimentality before passing out. In following days, both men slowly recover from their wounds, Batman ruminating over Gotham's corrupting nature while the incarcerated Sloan descends ever-deeper into his new "freak" identity: the Charlatan.
Appearing in "The Mourning After"
- Batman (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Unnamed thugs
- Phillip Lennox (Single appearance)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only) (Appears only as a corpse)
Synopsis for "The Mourning After"
Across the span of a decade, street-sweeper Phil Lennox begins to notice the roses Batman surreptitiously leaves at the mouth of Crime Alley on every anniversary of the Wayne murders, and decides to investigate. Inadvertently, Lennox's plans are overheard by Alfred, who marshals the rest of the Bat-Family in a joint effort to keep Batman's identity secret.
On the next anniversary, Oracle uncovers Lennox's identity and address, allowing Alfred to deflate the tires on Lennox's car; undeterred, Lennox simply takes a bus to Crime Alley. Next, Robin disguises himself as a lost tourist and persuades Lennox to lead him to the closest police station; this successfully delays Lennox, but Batman is delayed equally long by police matters, leaving the situation unchanged.
Finally, Nightwing poses as a purse-snatcher, with Batgirl his "victim"; this finally defuses the situation, as Lennox reluctantly goes to recover the purse while Batman faces no more delays. The Dark Knight pays his annual respects none the wiser, save a gentle reminder from Alfred that he still possesses a loving family.
- This book was first published on May 7, 2003.
- The Scarecrow's flashback depicts a chemical labeled "Blue Dahlia" being injected into Sloan. This refers not to any real-life plant, but to a famous film noir by famed mystery writer Raymond Chandler.
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