It’s the third act, and everything is coming to a head!
Detective Comics #673
Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Graham Nolan
Inks by Scott Hannah
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by John Costanza
Edited by Darren Vincenzo & Scott Peterson
We open on Joker’s goons taking pot shots at a chained Batman, before they realize they’re shooting blanks – can’t have some extra steal the big scene. However, this whole situation gives AzBat time to break free and start attacking the goons. This leads the Joker to a horrifying realization: It’s not him.
Joker storms off and kills his Siskel and Ebert. Meanwhile, AzBat breaks free of The System and frees Cindy, who reveals that she was a paid actress and wasn’t getting paid to do her own stunts – she could have been killed! She storms off, possibly to fire her agent.
This leads to a St. Dumas hallucination, where St. Dumas bascially tells Jean Paul to slide back into the more conventional role of Azrael – you can’t trust anyone, the Crusade is all. After a brief interlude at GCPD, we return to AzBat chasing down Joker.
AzBat catches up, disarms the explosive collars Joker has on his hostages with a casual shuriken shot., and then they has fight. AzBat wins handily, and makes it clear that this time he intends to kill The Joker. He’s only stopped by Ketch – who has just arrived with Bullock, Montoya, and several officers – pointing a shotgun at Batman’s skull.
The police take away the Joker, as Bullock and Montoya discuss this. Montoya is with Kitch, in not liking this change in Batman, while Bullock is more forgiving. Bullock has the guard cuff Joker to the gurney as he’s transported to Blackgate. However, this doesn’t stop the Joker from escaping in transport, careening down a rod, strapped to his gurney, laughing maniacally as the issue ends.
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