Batman and Robin 666 #7

April 27th, 2009

It’s four years after the events of Batman 666, and Batman, aided and abetted by a new Robin (a re-wired Dollatron: Damian Wayne’s best pal, supertank and portable batcomputer rolled into one), Ace the Batmobile (half bat-themed Godzilla, half mobile fortress with a detachable head that doubles up as a car) and the kind of technology one would more commonly find in an Ian M Banks novel find themselves battling a new breed of villain in a city teetering on the edge of madness.

The Gotham of tomorrow is a fusion of all its previous incarnations: the playground, the gothic wonderland and the hardboiled urban sprawl. Half its population have floated away into it’s virtual reality suburb, Toytown, and a sizeable percentage of the DCU’s magical community have relocated to its outer fringes. Then there’s the influx of other even weirder immigrants from as near as the Plateau of Leng and as far away as 3,000000,00000,000000000 BC. Throw in the increased degeneration of the natural environment globally, just for good measure, and the city’s beginning to feel like a pressure cooker, where all the lunacy confined to Arkham in bygone years is spilling out. Gotham’s certainly at the centre of something, it’s just that, as yet, nobody seems to have any idea what that might mean.

In the first story arc, Snake Charmer, the Sensei unleashed a reality virus programmed to destroy Toytown and cripple the city by plunging its users/inhabitants into an apocalyptic virtual world in which the new Batman never existed. This virtual assault threatened to fry the brains of Gotham’s online citizenry, until Batman and Robin managed to rewrite the virus’s programming from inside the virtual hell, turning it against its makers and preventing the Sensei and his wife, Agrat Bat Malhat, from detonating a nuke in the city’s docklands. Why did the Sensei decide to show his hand after all this time? Nobody knows, but it’s clear he had a hidden agenda. The word on the street is: ‘apocalypse’.