Batman #491 Recap

We now come to the biggest inciting event of the Knightfall Arc – the rubber hits the road from here.

Batman #491

Written by Doug Moench
Art by Jim Aparo
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Lettered by Richard Starkings
Edited by Scott Peterson, Jordan Garfinkel, and Denny O’Neil

We open with Trogg, who is having a blast (no pun intended), attacking a National Guard armory with a robot, the guards flee in order to get backup, allowing Bane and Company to load up on weapons, including several missiles and a shoulder mounted missile launcher.

At GCPD, Gordon, Montoya, and Bullock discuss the robbery. Bullock doesn’t think the weapons are for domestic use – which seems optimistic considering how recent The General’s Campaign was. Gordon and Montoya don’t say it outright, but they clearly haven’t forgotten and are worried.

Elsewhere, Bane & Company are planning their attack, and picking what blocks of inmates to free. And in Arkham itself, Jeremiah Arkham is starting to lose his grip.

Quick aside – I did some checking, and “A Serious House on Serious Earth” came out well before this.

At Jean-Paul’s apartment, Robin is cutting his hair short at his request – as Jean Paul think he needs to get serious.

However, that day (and it is during the day), at Arkham, the Jailbreak begins. It starts with bombs dropped by one of Bird’s birds springing several inmates from the violent word – particularly The Joker. Then, some strategic rocket attacks cut off the guards from the inmates, killing guards and orderlies in process, and cutting off the response of others. Finally, Trogg and Zombie use a helicopter to drop the rest of the weapons into the yard for the inmates.

Meanwhile, The Joker has armed himself and come to pay Dr. Arkham a visit, tying him to a barred window, with a shotgun pointed at Arkham’s head, with the trigger rigged so if Arkham moves, the gun will kill him.

At Krol’s residence, Krol demands that Gordon send the police to go in and just kill all the inmates. Gordon stands his ground and refuses. Krol says that this is what he was elected to do and what the voters want him – to which Gordon responds that Krol ran unopposed, and he has concerns about the fact that nobody ran against him.

Jim Gordon – honest cop.

Batman arrives at Arkham and makes his way through the Asylum, saving guards on the way – before reaching Dr. Arkham and disarming the trap with a very carefully aimed Batarang.

As Batman is fully engaged, Bane shoots off one more missile, clearing a path for the inmates to get through the police. 

Afterwards, GCPD takes stock. Numerous inmates, including The Joker and Two-Face have escaped, and plenty of guards, orderlies, and police officers have died. Gordon wonders, at least a little, if he was right to hold back – and at Arkham, Batman looks at the ruin, and cries out in frustration.

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