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Detective Comics Vol 2 24

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"State of Shock": Elliot Caldwell has supplied the Gotham City Police Department with equipment, generously. Unfortunately, his intentions are cruel, and that equipment begins pumping electrical charges through 90% of the force, and soon, many of them will b

Quote1 The entire Gotham City police force is feeling my wrath. Painfully. Slowly. And it will be the last thing they feel. Quote2
-- The Wrath

Appearing in "State of Shock"

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Synopsis for "State of Shock"

Elliot Caldwell has supplied the Gotham City Police Department with equipment, generously. Unfortunately, his intentions are cruel, and that equipment begins pumping electrical charges through 90% of the force, and soon, many of them will be dead. Meanwhile, Batman, who is enraged by Caldwell's actions, must rescue Alfred Pennyworth, whom Caldwell has just caught sneaking into a hangar full of artillery, suggesting that he has been preparing for a war.

Tiring of handling Alfred, Caldwell, who has dubbed himself "The Wrath", begins pursuing the Batplane across Gotham in his own high-tech aircraft. Knowing he doesn't have the time he needs to take the Wrath down and save the policemen, Batman tries to buy himself more time by self-destructing his plane, and escaping via a Bat-Glider. The explosion catches the Wrath's warplane in its blast, and Batman manages to glide to Alfred's location unseen.

Alfred wakes to find the Batman nearby, disabling the electrical shocks surging through the police force. Bruce explains that he has only temporarily stopped Caldwell. No doubt he will come back to wage an even bloodier war than he had first planned. Alfred responds that he may know why Caldwell is doing this. Hacking into Caldwell's computer, he pulls up a crime-scene photo from 15 years ago, showing the death of a man shot while fleeing a jewellery store robbery. That man was Mallory Caldwell, and the diamonds he stole were never discovered. Alfred believes that E.D. Caldwell blames the police for both the shooting and for corruptly pocketing the diamonds. Batman wonders at how he didn't pick this connection up during his investigations, but it was his command that Alfred bypass the firewall and hack Caldwell's system that he learned of it, and of Caldwell's removing the information from the GCPD's databases. Once confirming that the information has been saved to his computer, Batman sets about destroying the Wrath's hangar.

It was later that afternoon when the Wrath resurfaced, opening fire from a heavy-artillery vehicle at the most populated precinct in the city. When he left the vehicle, hoping to finish off whomever remained, he was surprised to find Batman waiting and prepared. Earlier, Batman had convinced the Commissioner to evacuate the station house. As it happened, this precinct was the one where the men in charge of investigating Mallory Caldwell - Elliot's father - were stationed. Angrily, Batman warns that there will be no more murder and no more revenge - only justice.

Their fight makes its way outside, where Jim Gordon and the GCPD wait to arrest him for multiple police homicide. Though Batman feels he could have taken the Wrath down by himself, he also knows that the GCPD needs to get this justice for themselves. They blast him with his own weaponry, causing his armour to crack. Batman stands over him warning that this is justice. If Caldwell had cared to see past his need for revenge, he'd have known that Jim Gordon was the man who ultimately brought down the crooked cops responsible for Mallory Caldwell's death. And though they had put Mallory in the grave instead of jail, jail was certainly where Elliot Caldwell would be going.

As Caldwell is hauled off to Blackgate Penitentiary, Batman promises that he will ask Bruce Wayne to pay for the repairs to the station house. Jim waves the idea away, reminding that Caldwell's assets will be seized, which means his fortune will go to good use, for once. As Batman prepares to leave, he is stopped at the last by Officer Henry Wallace. The man admits that he never much liked Batman or his "family", feeling they were responsible for the psychos who attack Gotham frequently. However, since Batman helped his friends, he came to realize that the Wrath is a creation of a corrupt police force that pre-exists Jim Gordon and the Bat. From his position, Batman has changed the city for the better.

Some days later, Gordon pulls Mallory Caldwell's file and manages to clear the man's name based on the evidence. He shows this to Elliot Caldwell, and explains that it was not for Elliot's sake that he did it - but because it was the right thing to do. That is what justice is. Even so, Caldwell is unmoved, and swears that when he gets out of jail, Gordon and every cop who serves under him will die by his hand. He is overheard by Ignatius Ogilvy, who suggests that they have a chat about their plans for the future.


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