Detective Comics #574 VF

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In Crime Alley, two members of a gang called the Demons prepare to rob the Thomas Wayne Memorial Clinic. Batman arrives and scares them off, then kicks in the door. Leslie Thompkins threatens him with a baseball bat, assuming he is an intruder. Batman stands in the rain holding an injured Robin and asks her to help him. He explains that Robin was shot by the Mad Hatter. Leslie tells him there's a chance she can save Robin, but he has to stand back and let her work. Batman sits in the waiting room dwelling on his past.

He remembers the night his parents died. They were walking out of a movie they had seen twice. A man asked if Thomas Wayne had a match, then demanded his wallet. The mugger grabbed Martha Wayne's pearl necklace. Thomas put his hands up and demanded the mugger keep his hands off Martha, so the mugger turned and shot him. The mugger then shot Martha because she was screaming too loudly. Young Bruce tried to hit the mugger, but the mugger heard police sirens and ran away. He tossed his gun and it landed in the nearby bushes. The police arrived, and the Waynes were sent to the morgue. Bruce was taken in by Leslie Thompkins who became his foster mother.

Bruce recovers Joe Chill's gun.

Leslie tells Batman that Robin is stable, but he might not make it through the night. Batman tells her Robin is a fighter, and Leslie yells at him for endangering a child. Batman tells her that he didn't choose Jason for this "work," Jason was chosen by the "work" just as Bruce was chosen many years ago. Leslie says Batman is making his choices sound noble when really they are selfish and childish.

Bruce remembers the night Leslie took him home. She put him to sleep early and he snuck out to visit the cemetery where his parents were buried. He cried over their graves, then returned to the crime scene where they were murdered. Their blood was still on the ground. He found the mugger's gun in the bushes and kept it for himself.


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