This city has changed. It's being rebuilt from its ashes as something new, something wild. I've heard stories of a new vigilante, a female one, who's been fighting the new Black Mask and his empire for the whole past year. At first, they called her "Red Bat", but as people started to get used to her prescence in Gothtopia, they gave her another name. " Batwoman " is how they call her.
There's a new Commissioner, a whole new wave of cops, who have been replacing the ones who died two years ago, during Dr. Wayne's attacks.
There's a new Mayor.
Change has taken-over these lands for the past year.
However, despite how big the changes may be, some things never change. Tonight, the people of Gothtopia will be reminded of this...
Commissioner Loeb J.R. : Yeah, last night, Scarlett Johansson was on SNL.
Detective Sawyer : I think she's cute...
Loeb : She was, Sawyer. She's starting to lose her shape. One day, you're the sexiest woman alive, then suddenly, the magazines are trashing you... Heh...
Sawyer : You're telling me that these changes in the city are affecting Scarlett Johansson, too?
Loeb : Not only her, Maggie, but the entire world. Today, I woke up thinking " What will change today? What will make this day special? "...
Batman : Me.
Loeb : What the..?!
Sawyer : Another imposter!?
Loeb : No... Put the gun down, Mags... It's him.
Batman : Commissioner. Detective.
Loeb and Batman shake hands.
Loeb : It's good to see you're back, Batman. We need you the most.
Batman : What's wrong?
Loeb : Oh, where do I start? Oh, right! The Gotham Underworld...
The Penguin is eating some oysters while watching TV in his new HQs.
Penguin : Waaghh! Damn you, get the ball away from there, kick it now, kick... DAMMIT!
From outside, Oswald hears gunfire and screams.
Penguin : What the..?!
He runs towards a closet and grabs his Umbrella Gun.
The shots are getting nearer with every second, until two men kick down the door of his room.
Man : Got 'im!
Two-Face walks into the room. He has an AK-47 with him.
Two-Face : Hey, Ozzy, IT'S TIME WE TALKED BUSINESS...
Batman : A gang war... Following the Black Mask's fall?
Loeb : Yes. It's getting worse night after night. Last week, the Gates of Hell invaded Scarface's turf. The result was an entire night of bullets and blood being scattered around New Bowery.
Sawyer : And 57 casualties, including 12 civilians.
Batman : And what about the super-humans? Were there any super-villain attacks?
Loeb : Thankfully, the only super-villian activity was part of the gang wars. No attacks on the city or anything outside the turf war.
Batman : Sounds llike they were lying low, waiting for me to reappear...
Loeb : They were not the only ones. Mayor Sharp has banned the symbol of the Bat. He's got us hunting down this new Batwoman like hound dogs. He blames you and your little " Bat-family " for the attacks on Gotham two years ago. You'll have to trust only Sawyer and I when it comes to the G.P.D.
Batman : You'll have to eran it... Hold on... Talk, Penny-two.
Julia Pennyworth ( via comms device ) : Oh, it's nothing, sorry. Just wanted to make sure the speakers were on...
Batman : Begin survellience of the city. Tell me if you pick anything up. Where were we?
Two-Face : So? Do you agree?
Penguin : I don't know, Dent. One day, you're trying to shoot my brains off and then you want a truce? Besides, you're not the most reliable guy in the city, am I right, lad?
Two-Face : DENT IS. I AM A MAN WITH A VISION. IF WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT, THEN BY THE TIME ONE OF US WINS THERE WON'T BE ANYTHING LEFT OF GOTHTOPIA TO RULE. WITH OUR COMBINED FORCES, NO ONE WILL DEFEAT US...
" He's right on something : our armies combined would make us a force to be reckoned with... " thinks Oswald. " I'll take advantage of this idiot of Dent... "
Oswald : I agree... alright, Two-Face... You've proven your point...
The pair of criminals shake hands.
Oswald : Partners...
Batman : Is there anything else you'd like to tell me?
Sawyer : Yes. Over the last three months, several people have vanished. One week after each disappearence, the victims' bodies appear without skin and infernal organs and missing bones. They are identified because they usually have an ID hanging on their necks.
Batman : A new serial killer. Any leads on this?
Loeb : The only lead we've got is that the bodies usually turn-up on trash cans, inside red trash bags near The Narrows surroundings. Last week we searched in every nook and cranny of they Narrows, but came-up empty handed.
Batman : I'll take care of this. Take care, friends...
Loeb : You t...
When Loeb and Sawyer look-up, Batman is already gone.
Batman is gliding across the city. It's been so long since he saw these streets from here, from above. He finds it all familiar, he knows the city so well, it's impossible for Tim Drake to get lost here. However, something feels out of place, making it all seem new and old at the same time.
Julia : Tim?
Batman : Huh? Sorry, Penny-Two, I was distracted. Say again?
Julia : I was saying that I've set-up a perimeter around The Narrows. But I also found something odd. In the perimeter, there's an abandoned hospital. If there's anywhere in the aera where the killer could get the means to skin his victims with such precission, it's there. You should go check it out.
Batman : I'm on my way. Thanks, Penny-Two. Stay on the line.
Some minutes later, Batman arrives at the abandones hospital.
The place is one of the dirtiest I've ever seen. The water reaches my knees, and I don't want to think about the stuff that night be floating around here. Dead rats, dead cats and dead insects can be found anywhere you look at. There's only a few lights on, and they are constantly flickering. My Detective Mode scans the building in a matter of seconds. There's only one person apart from myself in here, and he or she is three stores away. Better get movi...
Some kind of bag gets stuck on my boot. I look down and see that it is not a bag of any sorts at all...
Batman : You son of a..!
Three stores away, a thin, pale man is eating. His mouth and hands are bloodied, and he is surrounded by fecal matter.
He grunts and moans and murmmurs as he devours a little boy's skin.
Batman bursts through a wall and kicks the monster away.
Man : AAHH!!! STOP, STOP! I MADE WHAT YOU TOLD ME TO DO!
Batman proceeds to torture the man with a batarang, by slowly making cuts all over his body. The Dark Knight feels the rage, the justice... But he's wrong. This is not justice. This is vengance.
Batman : You're finished!
Man : I may be, but chaos is not done with this city yet. I have the key to seeing the future, aliens gave it to me. Gave me my holy mission.
The man puts his hand in his pocket, and then shows Batman some pieces of L.S.D.
Man : These lands are dripping with blood, Demon. I've seen it. He's gathering his forces, readying the habitants of Hell.
Batman : Who are you talking about?!
Man : The Knight who rides on insanity. He's coming, Demon, and then we will all DIE, kneeled down and begging for mercy.
Batman : You're wasted on drugs, you're delirious!
Man : No one believes me. No one believes The Skinner... Just wait and see, " Dark Knight "... HEHEHEHE!
Once again, Tim punches The Skinner, knocking him down in the process.
Julia : Batman? Is everything alright?
Batman : I've got the killer. Call the cops and give them my location, I'll continue my patroll...
The night goes on, quietly. There's not a sign of crime.
However, Batman picks-up something. It's coming from a building in the Gothtopian Industrial District.
Inside the building :
Great White Shark : So why me? I mean, I'm not saying that I'm useless or lousy at my " job ", but... C'mon, man, you have Two-Face, Penguin...
???? : That's exactly why I need you, Mr. White. The others see you below them, and for that reason alone, no one will ever look at you if something happens. You have my number, I have yours... We'll be in touch soon...
As soon as they mysterious man finishes his sentence, the doors of the lower floor is blown-up. Shark can hear his men shooting at the invaders.
Great White Shark : Aw, sh*t...
White loads his handgun and begins to desperately run away.
In the lower floor, Scarface and the new Ventriloquist with their men are shooting everyone at their sight.
Ventriloquist : Scarface, baby, this is some real fun, ain't that right!?
Scarface : Shut up and kill, Peyton.
In the midst of all the chaos, one of Scarface's men gets silently knocked down by three batarangs, which were thrown at his neck.
Scarface : What..? Oh, no... NO, NO, NO!
Ventriloquist : What is it?
Scarface : We've gotta get out of here now!
Ventriloquist : Why?! What's going on?!
Scarface : He's back..!
Batman throws a glue granade at the Ventriloquist, before breaking her machine-gun with his bare hands.
Scarface : You...
Batman punches the doll in the face, breaking it.
Batman : Yes. Me.
After that, Tim easily fights all the thugs, and as soon as he defeats them all, the G.P.D. and the Gothtopian ( the rebranded Gotham Gazzette ) arrive.
A photographer snaps a picture of the Batman, just as he was about to leave.
Said picture is in the front page of the Gothtopian next morning, along with the headline " BATMAN RETURNS ".
Julia : You enjoyed the first night?
Tim : It was alright, I guess. Leaving the Skinner and Scarface aside, I spent most of the night gliding around.
Julia : What are you trying to say, Tim?
Tim : I expected something else, Julia, the kind of threats Bruce faced almost every night. A serial killer high on acid and a small turf war. The police could have easily handled the night.
Julia : Give it time, Tim. Now that your return is public, then more villains will return looking for revenge...
Tim : And if that is not the case?
Julia : Well, in that case, then both Batman and Tim Drake will get the reward they deserve : A life without the cowl...
The Island of Mr. Mayhew :
A man is reading the newspaper, which reads " BATMAN RETURNS ".
Man #1 : It's him...
Man #2 : Then we shall begin with our contingency plan. Let them in...
Riddler, Killer Croc, Mr. Zsasz and Clayface enter the room.
Man #3 : Friends. The Batman has once again returned. It seems that our previous attacks were not enough for him. So, we'll have to try one more time... Head to Gothtopia, and kill the Batman... In the name of the Black Glove...
Next : Drake Enterprises
Arkhamverse : October 2015
. Batman : Knight of Vengance #6
. There's no going back...
. Batwoman #5
. Kate's dark past is uncovered, as Jacob faces the consequences of helping transform her daughter into a violent vigilante.
. Batman : The Awakening #5
. Batman's death has reached its full-circle. It's time for Bruce Wayne's rebirth to begin.
Also, guys, I've decided to start another series, called. " Batman and... ", which showcases the new Batman interacting with heroes and villains of all across the Arkhamverse. It begins next month.
. Batman and Robin #1
. Batman and Nightwing #2
. Batman and Batgirl #3
. Batman and Oracle #4
. Batman and The Huntress #5
Thanks TheCat for the signature and the avatar !
Formerly known as Red Robin 1999