It’s time for the final installment of Knightquest: The Search.
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #61
Written by Dennis O’Neil
Art by Eduardo Barreto
Colors by Digital Chameleon
Letters by Willie Schubert
Edited by Archie Goodwin & Jim Spivey
We open with AzBat interrogating Wayne’s decoy – with it intended to be clear to the reader that Wayne suspected that Alfred would go to Jean-Paul, and did this to keep Jean-Paul from screwing up his plan.
Somewhere in the Caribbean – presumably Santa Prisca – Bruce has come to and is interrogated by Asp over how he survived. Bruce tries to use this opportunity to get Asp to let slip how his attack works. Asp doses Shondra to get her to use the weapon again, as Bruce drops the Grey voice to urge her to fight it – in turn causing her to get flashes of Bruce, of Sir Hemingford Grey, and of Batman.
In Gotham, Gordon calls Robin to the GCPD – where he reveals that he knows there’s been a change of Batman, that the original was on Sir Hemingford Grey’s boat, and that they’re in Santa Prisca so he can’t help them. It feels like he’s one piece of information away from figuring out Bruce Wayne’s identity as Batman – that is if he doesn’t already know.
Speaking of which, in Santa Prisca, Wayne comes to, and goes out of the room where he was held – using some knockout gas in his chair to take out a guard. He finds Shondra, who is in a partially mentally regressed state because f the drugs. They talk – with Asp listening in on a bug. Shondra reveals that she knows Bruce is – was – Batman, and that being forced to kill is taking a lot out of her, mentally.
At this, Asp & his goon come in to force Shondra to kill Bruce. They (Bruce, Asp, Shondra, and Asp’s Goon) has fight. Ultimately, Bruce manages to stick Asp with his own drugs. Shondra manages to turn her brother’s power back on himself, killing him, with Asp’s goon fleeing into the night. As a tropical storm wracks the island, Shondra – over the course of the night, uses her powers to heal Bruce’s injuries completely.
In an epilogue, Bruce, now able to walk, tells Tim about buying a house with caretakers and a well-funded trust, to make sure that Dr. Kinsolving, now mentally regressed to childhood, is well taken care of.
I understand why so many people assume that Bruce regains his strength and physical ability through the use of a Lazarus Pit – it’s a resolution that doesn’t involve some manner of fridging one of Bruce’s love interests. I do wonder, if given sufficient time, and without the impending mess of Zero Hour, would they have had Ra’s Al Ghul come into the story to restore the man who Ra’s will have succeed him, whether he wants to or not.
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