"The Man Who Falls": Batman prepares to jump from a building ledge into the night of Gotham city and he remembers all his life up until this moment.
Appearing in "The Man Who Falls"
- Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Mentioned only)
- Holly (Cameo)
- Martha Wayne (Dies)
- Thomas Wayne (Dies)
- Tom Woodley (Cameo)
- Willie Dodgett (Dies)
- Paektu-San Mountains
Synopsis for "The Man Who Falls"
Batman prepares to jump from a building ledge into the night of Gotham city and he remembers all his life up until this moment.
As a young kid he was falling down a hole on the grounds of Wayne Manor. Bats begin to swarm toward him and out the hole. Bruce's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, rescues him but is angry at Bruce's carelessness. Bruce's mother, Martha Wayne, comforts her son. When Bruce asks if he was in Hell, she reassures him it "was just some old cave." Bruce knew that it has all begun and he remembers the murder of his parents and him kneeling at their dead bodies.
At the age of 14, Bruce leaves Gotham City to explore and obtain skills in martial arts and forensics. His early training as a teenager included failed attempts at college along with failed attempts to bond with other people, and last a disillusionment with working with the FBI upon turning 20. He realizes that to achieve justice the way he sees fit, he cannot work within "the system." Bruce then remembers his time training at a monastery, hidden in the Paektu-San mountains of North-Korea. After nearly a year of training, Master Kirigi tells Bruce he has exceptional intelligence and physique, but his traumatic past has made him self-destructive.
Bruce Wayne leaves Korea and heads to France, where he trains with a bounty hunter named Henri Ducard, who shows him "the uses of brutality, deception and cunning." When Ducard kills a fugitive he had been tracking one night, Bruce becomes disgusted with Ducard's brutal ways of punishing criminals and departs.
On his journey, Bruce meets and learns from every great detective in the world and at some point he approaches Willie Doggett. Bruce, now 23, and Doggett track down a man named Tom Woodley to a mountain ledge, where Woodley guns down Doggett. Woodley and Bruce fight in the mountain and Woodley falls from a precipice. Bruce, without food or warmth, wandered the snowy mountains. After being knocked unconscious, he is rescued by a Native American shaman. When Bruce awakens, the old man tells Bruce he has the mark of the bat, an animal sacred in his tribe.
Bruce returns to Gotham to begin his crime-fighting. On Bruce's first night out, he ends up fighting street thugs while still uncostumed and is deemed a failure. While brooding in the library of Wayne Manor that night, a bat crashes through the study window. Modeling himself after the recurring images of bats, Bruce creates his costumed identity which he names the Batman.
Batman finally jumps off the ledge and he reckons how metaphorically, he is always falling.
Appearing in "The Haunting"
- Krypton (as an illusion only)
Synopsis for "The Haunting"
This story is reprinted from Man of Steel #6.
Later that night, Clark cannot sleep as he wonders what his father was about to tell him. When he goes for a midnight snack, a “ghost” of Jor-El surprises him and touches him.
In a flashback, it turns out that on the night that Clark learned his heritage he went to Lana and revealed the truth of his powers to her. She confesses her feelings to him. She realizes that Clark can no longer belong to her, that he belongs to the world and this fact had hurt her. She had gone through a period of depression and finally accepts the fact.
The next day, Superman thinks about what she said and starts wondering about where he truly came from. He goes to the location where Jonathan hid the rocket ship he was found in only to find that the ship is gone. The hologram of Jor-El reappears and tells him to be silent and to learn. It appears that Superman is under some kind of psionic attack but the Kents arrive in time and break it off. Superman flies away, realizing that it was not a mental attack but a download of knowledge of everything about Krypton into his brain. He finally knows his biological parents and where he came from and though he appreciates the knowledge he has been given, in the end, he embraces his humanity even more.
Appearing in "The Secret Origin of Green Lantern"
- Abin Sur
- Elite Design Consultants
Synopsis for "The Secret Origin of Green Lantern"
This story is reprinted from Secret Origins (Volume 2) #36.
Appearing in "Martian Manhunter"
- Unnamed cop
- Bill Ralston
Synopsis for "Martian Manhunter"
This story is reprinted from Secret Origins (Volume 2) #35.
Appearing in "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt"
- L.D.L. Terrorists
- Elongated Man
- Flash (Jay Garrick)
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
- Henry Allen
- Kid Flash (Wally West)
- Nora Allen
- Superman (Clark Kent)
Synopsis for "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt"
This story is reprinted from Secret Origins Annual (Volume 2) #2.
Appearing in "All Together Now"
- Superman (Cameo)
Synopsis for "All Together Now"
This story is reprinted from Secret Origins (Volume 2) #32.
- "The Man Who Falls" is reprinted in Batman: Secrets of the Batcave.
- The Man Who Falls consists of a series of concentrated retellings of previously published Batman stories, including the following:
- Detective Comics #33, which includes Gardner Fox, Bill Finger and Bob Kane's first version of Batman's origin.
- The layouts of this version of the Waynes' murder is designed to resemble Frank Miller's 1986 text of Batman: Year One in Batman #404. Also from that issue are taken the crime-fighting debut and the bat crushing into Wayne's library scenes.
- The introduction of Henri Ducard from Sam Hamm's Batman: Blind Justice.
- O'Neil's own Batman: Shaman story-arc, from Legends of the Dark Knight.
- In the first story there is a reference to Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in the context of an F.B.I. joke, because of Zimbalist's performance in the series The F.B.I. A few years later, the actor would work for DC voicing the character of Alfred Pennyworth in the DC Animated Universe.
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Links and References
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