"Fades to Black"

Bruce Wayne stands in his darkly lit mansion, speaking to the old picture of his parents on the wall. He talks of how he saved Black Mask from being murdered and, that because of his parents' death, he must stop any murder, no matter who the intended victim. Wayne then secures his cowl and sets off to stop Black Mask from murdering. Sergeant Bullock is having his head bandages removed by the stern Nurse Charlotte. After having his cigar broken in two and tossed at him, Bullock playfully jokes about how his flirting with the nurse has obviously failed. As he leaves the office, they casually set up a date at the movies for the following night.

Using a blackmail diary found at the False Face Society's last hideout, Batman is stalking former members. During the first interrogation, he is told that Black Mask has been "flushed out." Sergeant Bullock and Detective Montoya are patrolling the streets as Bullock begins expressing his affection for his new date. He talks about their two weeks together in the hospital and how Nurse Charlotte once threw a bedpan at him.

Newly assigned commissioner Essen Gordon calls her husband, James, into her office. She begins claiming that his arrest of Tommy "Mangles" Manchester was out of line. They quickly begin arguing, but Sarah confesses that she wants James to reconsider his resignation, which he criticizes. She then talks about his age catching up to him and his heart problems until he finally announces his full departure from the force. James slams the door behind him, shattering the window pane.

The Dark Knight crashes in on two drug dealers. He quickly beats them down and begins interrogating. Once again, Batman is told that Black Mask is "gone with the wind." The story cuts to a donut shop where Bullock is talking to the employee. He buys a bag of donuts and says that they're backup, should the date go like his rare others. Batman leaps onto a car, grabs the owner by the neck and asks about Black Mask. Again, an unhelpful answer is received. Bullock is seen taking Charlotte to the movies in his car of many scents. He holds her hand while making an admittedly strange analogy about respecting the past.

James Gordon makes a visit to his daughter, Barbara. She admits that she knew about Sarah's new role as commissioner and asks about her father's arrest of Tommy Mangles. After getting the details, she explains that James is impetuous when it comes to personal emotion. Barbara continues by saying that James's future will be shaped by the loves in his past, for Sarah, his job, and even Batman. Batman makes an appearance at a tavern, using a pool que as a weapon to beat a man down. The interrogation is unsuccessful.

Bullock and Charlotte are exiting the theatre after their date. As they make their way to Bullock's car, a man approaches with a gun, demanding the car keys. The man shoots Charlotte before Bullock can react. Momentary frozen, Bullock becomes furious and beats the man down with his own handgun. Soon after, Charlotte dies in Bullock's arms.

Batman is shown brawling and interrogating a collage of suspects, only to receive the same, dead end answers. After a brief scene at the police station, where Batman has dumped nine suspects with incriminating evidence, he is seen atop a statue in thundering rain. Batman speaks out to his fallen parents, claiming that he has failed them but will never stop trying


"Fades to Black"



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