The 52 special

Bat-Signal Shines Again: The Light’s Back On, But Is Anybody Home?

by Alexander Knox

GOTHAM CITY, NOVEMBER 16 — 

A familiar sight appeared in the nighttime sky over Gotham City as the famous “bat-signal” made an unexpected return. The sudden reappearance of the distinctive beacon has fueled speculation that the Batman, unseen in Gotham for the last six months, has returned amidst a wave of brutal gang violence and reports of a mysterious “Batwoman” operating in his absence.

The Batman disappeared after the worldwide incident now referred to as “the Crisis,” along with his longtime associates Robin and Nightwing, and other noted crimefighting figures such as Superman and Wonder Woman.

Gotham’s criminal community seemed to become more and more emboldened as word spread through their circles that the so-called caped crusader had gone missing. The city’s crime rate rose five percent within the first six weeks of the Batman’s disappearance and another ten percent by the three-month mark. But as the crime wave began to escalate even further, rumors began to circulate about a new, female Bat-themed crimefighter roaming Gotham at night.

“I saw her myself,” claims Sean “Shamrock” Dooley, a 65-year-old homeless man who has lived on the streets of Gotham for the last several years. “She was skulking around St. Elmo’s Church, looking for a way in. A few minutes later, I heard a lot of noise inside, sounded like fighting and gunshots.”

When asked to provide a detailed description of the Batwoman, Dooly muttered incoherently, took a long swallow of mouthwash, soiled himself and politely asked to be excused.

Gotham Police Commissioner Michael Akins denies the existence of a “Batwoman” picking up where the Batman left off.

“I’ve seen no convincing evidence that we now have a ‘Batwoman’ in our midst,” Akins said outside Police Headquarters. “All we have now are hard-working, dedicated, and incredibly brave police officers doing their best to serve and protect the people of this city-and that’s how it should be.”

Asked about the shining of the bat-signal, Akins replied, “I did not authorize it, and that beacon did not originate from Police Headquarters. The bat-signal used by my predecessor was taken down months ago.”

Akins described the reappearance of the signal as “part of a hoax or an elaborate prank.”

When it was suggested that a Batwoman could possibly be a help to the police during the current surge in gang violence, Akins said, “Vigilantes who answer to no one but themselves do nothing but feed the chaos-we’re looking to restore order. Anyone who dresses up in a costume and tries to take the law into his or her own hands is breaking the law, and if caught, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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