Spoilers for DC’s Infinite Frontier #0 below!
One of the deadliest attacks in Gotham City (and DC Comics) history has just occurred, leaving a number of Batman villains dead – including Bane – and the Joker is being blamed for the deaths. However, in this case, the Clown Prince of Crime might not be responsible for the chaos and calamity, as hints suggest it’s possible he’s getting framed for all of the murders by another villain.
DC Comics’ new Infinite Frontier era is DC’s new storytelling initiative that expands the multiverse in new and exciting ways, bringing both old and new characters together, as the publisher is taking an “everything matters” mindset to their comics. Infinite Frontier #0 is a collection of short stories introducing the new status quo and nobody has a more explosive chapter than Batman – as Arkham Asylum literally gets blown up.
The Batman chapter of Infinite Frontier #0 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, and Tomeu Morey, follows a guard named Mahoney doing a routine check of Arkham Asylum. However, when he reaches Bane, the Batman villain doesn’t move. When Mahoney removes his mask, he immediately recognizes that Bane has been Joker-ized (but was never heard laughing) with some sort of toxin and left for dead. Mahoney immediately calls a Code Green, telling security they need to lock down as they are under attack of a Joker toxin.
As Mahoney runs through the halls of Gotham and sees both inmates, security, and nurses dead, Batman calls him and tells him to enter a protocol to superheat the building and burn the excess toxin. However, after noticing nurses are using oxygen tanks on a security cam, Mahoney rushes to save them, getting there just in time, but taking the brunt of the subsequent explosion. The chapter then focuses on Scarecrow, who says the people of Gotham not scared enough.
Despite the use of Joker toxin, the explosive scene doesn’t feel like his style. Joker is nowhere to be seen after the events of the Joker War, and as noted by Gotham PD, it’s not his style to follow up an attack with another one so soon after. Plus, the victims, in this case, weren’t laughing at all – they were Joker-ized and killed. It sure seems like someone is trying to get Batman to believe that the murders (Arkham only had 17 survivors) were caused by Joker when in reality it was likely the Scarecrow trying to assert his dominance and scare the city. Killing Bane is a major move as well, as the brute is one of Batman’s top villains. Perhaps, Scarecrow was trying to eliminate one of his biggest fellow villains while pinning it on another during his own takeover? Regardless, something in Gotham is not as it seems. Infinite Frontier #0 is in stores now.