The Joker walks over to a battered and bleeding Robin—Jason Todd—and, laughing, starts beating him with a crowbar.
Dick wakes up from his nightmare and finds himself in bed, with Bruce tending to his injuries from his fight with Deathstroke. Bruce tells him that he was out for two days and Dick notices a card from Alfred on his nightstand. He thanks Bruce for rescuing him, but Bruce tells him that it wasn't him. Barbara found Dick on his balcony and Dick figures that whoever brought him there knows where he lives.
Realizing that Bruce isn't there, Dick waves his hand through the hologram. Bruce admits that it's a long trip from the Watchtower, and Dick asks when he was going to tell him about Barbara still being alive. His mentor explains that they had to convince the Joker that Barbara was dead, After that, Barbara had her own reasons for not telling Dick that she was alive. Bruce kept her secret because she asked him to, and to give her time to find herself. He admits that he made mistakes, and when Jason died he considered retiring. Bruce admits that he tried to replace Dick too soon, and that Dick was right to leave. He hopes that when he eventually died, Dick will take his place. Dick points out that Deathstroke easily defeated him, but Bruce notes that he rushed in and tells him to use his detective skills.
Bruce assures Dick that he'll be better as Batman than he ever was. While Dick takes that in, Superman calls to say that they have a League emergency. Dick says that he can't do it alone, but Bruce says that he's son and that he can, and cuts off the transmission.
Dick realizes that Barbara is in the doorway and has heard everything they said. They go out to the Oracle computer and Dick tracks the dog tags that he saw Deathstroke wearing. Dick plays back the footage from the camera in his mask and gets a close-up of the tags, spotting the name "Slade Wilson." As he works, Dick admits that he got cocky and got beat, but it won't happen again. As they wait for Oracle to bring up the military records, Dick and Barbara both start to apologize, and then they kiss.
They're interrupted when the computer matches Slade to a government organization called S.H.A.D.E. Barbara hacks the encryption in a matter of seconds and discovers that the acronym stands for Super Human Advanced Defense Endeavor. S.H.A.D.E. formed its own army of superpowered individuals in response to the emergence of metahumans. The organization recruited the decorated veteran for a metahuman enhancement experiment codenamed Team 7. The drugs improved his brain performance, musculature, and reflexes. After S.H.A.D.E. fell apart, Slade set up in Bludhaven and has been killing off anyone with ties to his past. There's only one man left alive: Mayor David Redhorn. Dick prepares to head out, saying that he has to do it despite his condition. Barbara says that she'll be monitoring him through Oracle, and Dick figures that she'll be Oracle for the night.
Redhorn is in a limo heading to the airport for a meeting with Lexcorp, well aware that Deathstroke is after him. The mayor realizes that the limo has gone past the airport exit, and the driver draws a gun and orders Redhorn to toss his cellphone out the window. Once the mayor does so, the driver continues on.
Oracle gets a trace on Redhorn's phone heading out of town. Dick suits up and leaps out the window to save Redhorn.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 27, 2015