"Playtime's Over"

Bruce Wayne's rock-climbing workout is interrupted by a visit from potential Hugh Marder, a man whose company Wayne Industries hopes to deal with. Marder's impulsiveness is impressive, and he explains that while Seattle's Q-Core has outbid him, Bruce's company can get Marder up and running faster which is important. While investing in Marder is a risky venture, Bruce feels it is important, for Gotham City's future.

Marder's visit is interrupted by a surprise 2:15 meeting with reporter Charlotte Rivers. Despite her demands for answers and an interview, it is clear that her intentions are far from professional. After making love right in his office, they look out over Gotham's night sky. She tries to get him to take her out on a real date later on, but Bruce has responsibilities elsewhere. He suggests that they try to postpone until the weekend.

Bruce hits the streets as Batman, making his way to Arkham Asylum. Commissioner Gordon is already there, and he is somewhat perplexed as to how the Joker managed to escape. He suspects an inside man. He threatens to have the asylum shut down unless the Gotham City Police Department gets full cooperation from Dr. Arkham and his staff. Of course, it is an empty threat, because nobody else wants to take on Arkham's patients.

Stepping out for a smoke, the Commissioner rendezvous with Batman. Batman demands to see the face that the police found, but Gordon refuses. Moving on, Batman asks about Olivia Carr, the girl who was kidnapped. Gordon reveals that she was taken from the hospital by a man named Ray Quimby, who had previously been known to have aided Wesley Mathis, a serial killer and cannibal. They suspect that both men are involved in the Joker's escape. A police radio announces that Quimby has been seen with the girl, and Batman pursues.

The Commissioner follows up on the call, and heads to the site. He calls back to dispatch, and discovers that the officer who called isn't on duty today. He calls for back up, and investigates the police cruiser nearby. A thumping comes from the trunk, and as the Commissioner opens it, a hand reaches from inside and grabs him.

Inside the building, Batman discovers Quimby's body, very recently killed. He soon finds the body of the officer who supposedly made the call - twelve hours dead. The call was a trap. Within seconds, Batman is set upon by men with horrible masks on made of patched together skin. In his confusion, an anaesthetic is stabbed into Batman's shoulder, and a sledgehammer comes down on the back of his head.

A voice calls off his attackers, and Batman looks up to see The Dollmaker. The madman has them bring in Commissioner Gordon. When Batman turns over his body, he discovers that his friend's face has been remade in patchwork out of other people's skin.


"Playtime's Over"






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