Who Rules the Night
Credits: Chuck Dixon (writer), Graham Nolan (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Costanza (letterer), Adrienne Roy (colorist)
Summary: Bane throws Batman’s comatose body into Robinson Square. Alfred, Robin, and Jean-Paul soon arrive in disguise and take him away in an ambulance. Robin contacts Commissioner Gordon, who arranges for Bullock and Montoya to drop off Decadron, a medicine Batman needs to prevent spinal damage. Meanwhile, an irritated Scarecrow turns on Joker, who easily fights him off, and the Ventriloquist is injured in a shoot-out between his two puppets.
Irrelevant Continuity: Scarecrow gases Joker, even though he’s already thought to himself that it wouldn’t work. It could be argued that Scarecrow is unusually emotional in this scene and simply lashed out at Joker, but that wouldn’t explain his surprise when the fear gas has no effect.
Review: I suppose this is the Batman titles’ equivalent to the X-Men’s post-crossover “quiet” issues. The story is largely devoted to how various supporting cast members react to Batman’s defeat, and possible death, although this is far from maudlin. Bullock and Montoya don’t seem particularly fazed, the subplot pages with Joker, Scarecrow, and the Ventriloquist don’t even address Batman’s injuries at all, and there aren’t any of the predictable “man on the street” media montages of the average Gothamite’s reaction. There are a few emotional scenes with Batman’s immediate allies, though, including a nice moment between Gordon and his wife. And the logistics of how exactly Alfred can reach Batman before the real paramedics can, and whether or not Batman should be taken to an actual hospital, are handled well. There just aren’t enough of those scenes in the issue, making the installment feel inappropriately cold.