Batman: Year Two

Detective #575

Cover Date: June 1987
Subtitle: Fear the Reaper
Writer(s): Mike W. Barr
Artists(s): Alan Davis, Paul Neary
Storyline: Newly appointed Commissioner Gordon gave a TV interview. The reported likened Batman to The Reaper - a vigilante from Gotham City's past. Dr. Leslie Thompkins introduced Bruce Wayne to one of her friends, Rachel Caspian. Bruce made a contribution to her charity and was told she was taking her final vows to become a nun soon.
Rachel's father, Judson, having returned to Gotham City after being away for some time realized how bad things were. He pulled out his old costume and went to town as The Reaper. The Reaper killed some street thugs who were attacking a young woman. Gordon called Batman in on it. Batman quickly found the returned vigilante and attacked him. The Reaper easily defeated Batman using both scythes on his hands and guns. His leather armor and larger stature made it harder for Batman.
Alfred and Dr. Thompkins patched Bruce up, who pondered using a gun himself. He pulled out the weapon which killed his parents.

Detective #576

Cover Date: July 1987
Subtitle: Deal with the Devil
Writer(s): Mike W. Barr
Artists(s): Todd McFarlane, Alfredo Alcala
Storyline: Gordon was called to the scene of a shooting. The Reaper attacked police escorting a mob boss to jail. The mob boss and some officers were killed by the Reaper. Caspian remembered how his wife (Rachel's mother) was killed by a burglar. Batman spoke with Gordon and promised that no matter what happened in the near future, they were still on the same side.
The Reaper attacked again, in the presence of Gordon and his men. Batman was there, too, and used his new weapon against them. The Reaper and Batman both escaped. Gordon realized Batman was now an enemy.
Batman made a deal with the underworld to help them take down the Reaper. The mob gave him a partner - Joe Chill - the man Bruce believed killed his parents.

Detective #577

Cover Date: August 1987
Subtitle: Deadly Allies
Writer(s): Mike W. Barr
Artists(s): Todd McFarlane, Alfredo Alcala
Storyline: Batman and Chill went out together and made some progress. Chill reported back to his employers. Rachel and Bruce had dinner with Dr. Thompkins. She introduced her father to the man who'd caused her to drop out of the convent. After dinner, both men changed clothes and went to work. Batman went head-to-head with the Reaper and police again, this time with Joe Chill at his side. Gordon lost men again, but Chill, Batman, and the Reaper all escaped. Batman, torn, saved Chill and vowed to his father that the killer would die soon.

Detective #578

Cover Date: September 1987
Subtitle: ...So Shall ye Reap
Writer(s): Mike W. Barr
Artists(s): Todd McFarlane, Alfredo Alacala
Storyline: Bruce had dinner with Rachel and proposed to her. She accepted. The Reaper played both sides - setting up a mob meeting and having the police informed. Many of the bosses were killed. Batman saved Chill again and stayed with him until he awakened. He believed the Reaper was dead.
When Chill woke up, Batman took him to the scene of his parents' deaths. He unmasked himself to his enemy. The Reaper shot Chill before Batman could. He also saw him without his mask. Batman and the Reaper fought at the construction site of Wayne's new building. The Reaper lost his mask in the fight and refused to let Batman save him from a fall. Judson Caspian was killed.
Bruce went to comfort Rachel, but she turned him away for her habit. Bruce presented Leslie with a new clinic and disappeared.

trade paperback edition


  • Gordon has recently been promoted to Commissioner.
  • Chapter two says Joe Chill killed the Waynes 25 years previous; chapter four says 20.
  • Return to continuity section 1.