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Nightmare Fuel / The Changeling Sequence

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As befits a Batman story, the series is pretty heavy in Adult Fear.

The Changeling

  • Jason waking up away from his dad and understanding he's pratically a prisoner in Talia's house is pretty distressing, and that's only the beginning.
  • Talia's manor burning. Jason barely has time to grab Damian and run outside, and when they find themselves in safety, the kid realises his mother was still inside.
    • Afterwards, Jason quickly understands the fire is going to bring Ra's al Ghul sniffing for Damian, so he's now responsible for bringing the eight-year-old to Gotham before the terrorist grandpa get his hands on them.
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  • Right before leaving Germany, Jason manages to destroy a human-trafficking ring. How did he learn about them? Well, they were scouting for prey and Damian apparently fitted their victim profile.
  • Bludhaven deserves its title as Gotham's dirtier sister: screams are so frequent to be unnoticeable, and Jason openly doubts about a possible right side to town. Punks later mugging and shooting him in front of Damian - almost forcing the boy to see his family die - further justifies him.
  • Tim's apparition and the reveal that Joker is still running around lead Jason to finally crack, steal Dick's gun and run into the streets... making way for Arkham.
    • But Arkham being too well defended, the teen changes cap, in such a mental turmoil he just wants to end the pain... and he has a gun...
    • Only for Batman to startle him, disrupting the suicide attempt and making Jason shoot at him. Yup, Jason almost shot his dad while he was suffering his psychotic breakdown.

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The Guardian

  • As Identity Crisis is gradually unfolding in the background, Bruce is naturally paranoid about something happening to his sons. As he explains it, the killer targeting spouses only doesn't mean they won't think about other potential victims - it bothers him so much he gives his blessing for Dick and Jason to leave on a road-trip and briefly excuses Damian from school to keep him at home.
    • And his fear comes true: something awful happens to one of his boys, and Bruce is powerless to prevent or even stop it, being only able to pick up the pieces in the disaster's wake.
  • After Bruce's phonecall to inform him from Mr Drake's demise, Dick immediately decides to come home. Only, he can't because Jason went on his own earlier and Dick doesn't manage to contact him in spite of all his efforts. Okay, Jason merely forgot to pick but the moment was really inappropriate.
  • Jason confesses to Talia he might start to regain his memories from his Empty Shell period. She immediately tells him to keep it secret, or Ra's would want to clarify things and unpleasantness would be the least of it.
  • A villain named Prometheus decided to use the current murder spree within the hero community to launch his own attack, hoping to hide himself behind the other criminal. The results are Roy Harper maimed and his six-year-old daughter Lian dead. Dick and Jason are pretty shaken by the news - Dick because Roy is a very good friend of his, Jason because Lian was around Damian's age.
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The Progenitor

  • Following the Queen family's implosion in the previous story, Connor Hawke found himself responsible for keeping their boat afloat, and that includes watching over his adoptive sister Mia. Who regularly neglects her treatment for HIV, and claims she merely forgets it. Connor isn't really convinced but nothing he says or does can influence her to be more careful.
  • Ra's al Ghul breaching the Batcave's defenses, while Tim is inside and unaware. Bruce immediately commands Tim to go upstairs and keep Damian away.
    • The reason why Ra's wanted to see Bruce? Someone is destroying the Lazarus Pits - the immortal's means to not die - and he thought Batman was responsible, as a bid to indirectly rid himself from a threat.
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