A year after the events of Arkham Asylum, Bruce holds a press conference discussing the danger of Arkham City. However, Hugo Strange sends TYGER operatives to arrest him. Strange interrogates him, revealing knowledge of Wayne’s secret identity, and says with Batman out of the way, Protocol 10 may proceed as planned. Strange accuses Batman that the supervillain problem is his fault and he’s created an environment in which the criminal element has spiraled out of control. Like a plague, they have been forced to mutate and evolve but never completely wiped out until now. Ra’s arrives, reveals himself to be the mastermind behind the plot, and stabs Strange. With Strange’s dying breath, he activates Protocol 11, a self-destruct sequence for Wonder Tower. Batman attempts to save Ra’s. However, Ra’s tries to take advantage of the situation by attempting to stab himself and Batman mid-fall but only succeeds in killing himself. Joker announces he has taken Talia to the Monarch Theater and wants the cure in exchange for her life. Talia runs her sword through Joker and reveals she stole the cure from Harley. Batman then pieces together clues, revealing there has been two Jokers all along. The sick Joker kills Talia while the healthy was Clayface. With Clayface defeated, Joker detonates explosives on the floor of the theater, causing it to collapse, and bringing the fight into the Lazarus Pit Joker had been looking for, which Batman destroys. Joker, still dying, demands the antidote. Batman briefly contemplates allowing Joker to die but the impatient Joker tries to get the antidote by force, causing Batman to drop it. As Joker tries in vain to drink some of the now useless cure, Batman states the saddest part is he would’ve given Joker the cure. Joker thinks the comment’s hilarious and dies laughing. A stoic Batman lifts Joker’s body and carries him out of Arkham City as inmates watch. Outside, Gordon asks Batman what happened but Batman does not reply and merely lays down Joker’s body on the hood of a GCPD car before silently walking away.
Comic Page, by Dean Hsieh.