Last time, Batman reached the limitations of his physical strength and decided to start taking a designer steroid.
Legends of the Dark Knight #17
Written by Denny O’Neil
Layouts by Trevor von Eeden
Pencils by Russell Braun
Inks by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez
Letters by Willie Schabert
Colors by Steve Oliff
Edited by Kevin Dooley & Andy Helfer
A man in a trench coat & fedora burst into a bunch of crook’s safehouse, beats the crap out of them, forces them to spill their guts, with narration that would fit Frank Miller’s pen. We cut to the Batcave and learn that the trenchcoated figure was Bruce. He’s been cutting back on the detective work, and not wearing the Batsuit much at all.
Alfred does not approve – particularly since Bruce is still using the as-yet-unnamed steroid, without further investigation of its effects, leading to an argument ending with Alfred quitting/being fired.
At Dr. Porter’s house (and he now has a first name – Randolph), he’s introduced to retired Army general – Gen. Timothy Slaycroft. Batman asks for his pills but only gets four. Batman mentions that the kidnappers are out and asks if he should take him out again, but Porter says to leave them for now.
After Batman leaves, Slaycroft and Porter talk about nearly having Batman under their control – and Porter asks Slaycroft to deal with the kidnappers – Patsy and Brew – who were also Porter’s distributers, but now with the partnership with Porter, they have outlived their usefulness.
While leaving the property, Batman ambushes General Slaycroft’s son – Timothy Slaycroft Jr. He’s a big kid – taller than Batman and strongly built.
Before returning to the Batcave, Batman decides to pay Patsy and Brew a visit – only to arrive right after they’ve been killed by Slaycroft’s men. Batman hears the getaway car, and as the steroid is still in effect, he throws a refrigerator through the wall to stop the car.
Before Batman can interrogate the assassins, they’re killed by another gunman – and Batman is warned away from the attack.
This shakes Batman up, and he goes to Commissioner Gordon for the ballistics report, and uncritically asks about Gordon’s family – something Gordan doesn’t want to talk about. Since the report isn’t ready yet, Batman leaves, feeling very numb.
The next day, Gen. Slaycroft and Dr. Porter discuss the previous night’s work, and Slaycroft is concerned about Gordon – he can’t be bought.
In the Batcave, Bruce is alone. With no one but the bats, Bruce thinks through the problem out loud – the person who warned him sounded a lot like Gen. Slaycroft’s son. However, his line of thought is derailed by the revelation that he’s out of pills.
Batman returns to Porter, demanding a fix. Batman will get his pills, once he’s earned them. All he needs to do… is kill Commissioner Gordon.