We start the path to the end of Knightquest: The Crusade.
Written by Doug Moench
Pencils by Mike Manley
Inks by Bob Wiacek
Colors by Adrienne Roy
Letters by Ken Bruzenak
Edited by Dennis O’Neil and Jordan B. Gorfinkel
We open on AzBat looking over the scene of a quintuple homicide – a family that was shot and flayed.
AzBat’s investigation (which he’s doing before the Police arrive) is interrupted by the ghosts of Jean-Paul’s father (as Azrael) and St. Dumas getting into a sword fight.
St. Dumas wins with the ghost of Jean-Paul’s father crying for vengeance. AzBat recovers from this right before the police arrive, so AzBat only has time to grab a piece of mail to ID the family – the Etchisons.
Which means our villain is Abattoir, who we sucking on the bones of his dead relatives.
In the Batcave, Jean-Paul angsts on having neglected the human part of being Batman, before researching the victims & finding the connection to Abattoir. Abattoir now has only one mainly family member left he can get at – Graham Etchison. Graham’s father Henry, is currently in Blackgate for previously trying to hire an assassin to kill Abattoir.
We then go to Graham, who is in the middle of accepting a grant from the Wayne Foundation, before taking some orphans on a camping trip.
AzBat rushes to intercept, as Abattoir gets to the bus company before Etchison arrives, and kills the driver so he can take his place, as it starts to snow.
Partway through the trip, Abattoir goes to kill Graham, only for AzBat to arrive and yank Abattoir onto the roof of the bus, leaving Graham to take the wheel. However, Graham does not have his CDL, so he nearly loses control, almost causing the bus to hurtle off a cliff.
The bus stops with the front tires over the edge, and Abattoir takes this opportunity toe escape, whiel Batman stabilizes the bus using a nearby tree and some Batline.
Afterwards, Graham thanks AzBat before he departs, and the kids think AzBat’s costume is cool.
Later that night, Jean-Paul begins to make further modifications to the costume as the issue ends.
The letters column (with a bunch of letters from the tail end of Knightfall, leading into the fight with Bane), we have some praise of Jean-Paul (and of Bane).
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