This storyline follows Batman in the aftermath of the massive breakout at Arkham Asylum, leading up to his confrontation with Bane and the fallout from that. Knightfall is broken up into two parts "The Broken Bat" and "Who Rules the Night".
The Broken Bat
Following Bane's massive break out at Arkham Asylum Batman hunts through the city of Gotham tracking down the escaped inmates. He confronts multiple enemies in rapid succession including Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, Zsasz, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and Joker (among others). With no rest between battles he quickly wears down but refuses to give up or stop. Finally when he is at the end of his rope, he is confronted by Bane right inside Wayne Manor and after a brutal and bloody battle, Bane lifts Batman above his head and breaks his back over his knee. He then throws Batman's broken unconscious body into a crowd in Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is now in a coma with severe spinal trauma.
Who Rules the Night
With Bruce stabilized but out of commission, Gotham City still needs a Batman, so Bruce asks Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) to step in as Batman. His first battle is with Scarecrow and he begins to get more and more comfortable in the role of Batman. However his previous brainwashing begins to kick in and his Batman becomes more and more ruthles s as time goes on. He develops a pair of razor claws that he wears out as Batman and eventually even attacks Tim Drake (Robin in the Bat Cave.) Meanwhile, Bruce leaves the country to rescue Tim Drake's father and Dr Shondra Kinsolving and is unaware of his replacements behavior. Increasing in madness, Jean-Paul in his new Batman-like aromor tracks down Bane and beats him within an inch of his life however at the last minute pulls back and spares him. He hands Bane over to the police and expels Robin from the Bat Cave at the end of the storyline.
This storyline continues in KnightQuest: The Crusade which follow Jean Paul and his violent rampage as Batman against Gotham City villains and KnightQuest: The Search which follows Bruce Wayne quest to find Frank Drake and Shondra Kinsolving.
In 1994, DC Comics brought readers a landmark story featuring Batman. The Dark Knight has been Gotham City's protector for years, challenged by its many villains. But now there's a new villain on the scene, determined to conquer where others have failed. Known as Bane, he starts his campaign against Batman and Gotham by emptying Arkham Asylum, where so many of Batman's enemies are imprisoned and have spent their time plotting revenge. Almot single-handedly, Batman fights off these long-time opponents only to find himself so exhausted after it all that his strength fails him when Bane follows the onslaught to face Batman himself. Now Bruce Wayne is confined to a wheel-chair and must turn over his cloak and cowl to his apprentice, Azrael. But Azrael's philosophy of crime-fighting is much more violent and harsher than Batman's ever was. And now Bruce faces two challenges: the first is dealing with his incapacitation; and the second is dealing with Azrael who, it's become clear, is a loose cannon with an agenda all his own.
- Written By: Dennis O'Neil
- Publisher: Bantam Books (July, 1994)
- ISBN-10: 0553096737
- ISBN-13: 978-0553096736