Detective Comics #996
Written by Peter J Tomasi
Art by Doug Mahnke
Mythology Part Three – See Paris and Die!
Batman has beaten the inmates of Arkham Asylum and leaves without any information on the recent attacks of his inner circle. He returns to the Batcave to find Damian watching over Alfred. Damian tells Batman that Alfred will fully recover from his injuries. Damian and Batman try to determine who is attacking Bruce’s allies. It’s not Talia or Ra’s al Ghul because they wouldn’t have taken their revenge in such a roundabout way. Damian guesses it could be Henri Ducard, to seek revenge on Bruce after Damian killed Henri’s son, Morgan.
Bruce travels to Paris and finds Henri hiding in one of the city’s catacombs. Henri was being hunted by the unknown assailant and now Batman has lead the monster he fought two issues ago to Henri’s location. The monster has evolved, taking on the shape of multiple rogues. Henri shoots the monster in the back of the head to save Batman. Henri is grabbed by the monster and starts to get suffocated by the monster’s fleshy mass until he uses a grenade to stop the monster permanently, killing himself in the process. Batman now realizes that the people that made Bruce Batman are being unmade.
Next, Batman travels to North Korea to the temple of Sensei Kirigi located high above a mountain top. Batman finds that all of the ninjutsu students have been killed and a bloody bat drawn in the snow. The lone survivor of the massacre, Kyodai Ken, prevents Batman from seeing the sensei. A fight between both men ensues, which nearly kills Kyodai, until Kirigi stops Batman. As Batman and Kyodai dress the sensei’s wounds, it’s revealed by Kyodai that a monster possessing many guises attacked the temple and killed the students. Knowing that Kirigi is being safe and under protection, Batman leaves and travels to Gila, New Mexico. Batman arrives in the desert by halo jump and encounters the man he was searching for: Thaddeus Brown, the original Mister Miracle. Thaddeus, with chains around his ankles, warns Batman it’s a trap. The ground both men are standing on rises in the air and begins to flip over. Batman grabs hold of Thaddeus but it’s too late and the man are trapped underground.
Henri Ducard is the latest victim of the mastermind trying to destroy Batman. Will Thaddeus Brown be next? I’m hoping Zatanna guest stars in a future issue because her father, Zatara, helped train a young Bruce Wayne in the ways of magic. Researching online some other potential victims may include: Ted Grant aka Wildcat, detective Harvey Harris, David Cain, and Willie Doggett, an Alaskan hunter that taught tracking skills to Bruce. The monster that attacks Henri and Batman looks a lot like the alien monster from the Thing but instead of animals, think of a creature with Joker, Penguin, and Bane heads.
Up Next – Detective Comics #997 – On Sale 1/30 – There’s no man on Earth more convinced that he knows what makes Batman tick than Dr. Hugo Strange! Which makes him a natural target for the thing that’s hunting Batman, unless Batman gets there first!