- Complete Monster: Deacon Joseph Blackfire is a cult leader who believes humanity is a lost cause and deserves to be purged. Establishing his cult by kidnapping, torturing, and brainwashing homeless people into becoming his followers, Blackfire uses them to begin butchering criminals across Gotham, from entire crime gangs to petty pickpockets. Brainwashing Batman into assisting him, Blackfire assassinates numerous politicians across the city and kills dozens of police officers and soldiers before seizing control of Gotham City. Blackfire then allows crime and anarchy to run rampant throughout the streets, along with holding mass lynchings and executions regularly and displaying the bodies for all to see. Claiming to be immortal, Blackfire regularly bathes in a huge cauldron of human blood, having used the blood of hundreds of innocents for his baths. When confronted by Batman, Blackfire tries to force him to kill him in order to make himself a martyr and convince his followers to carry on his human-purging quest. Whether he is truly thousands of years old or just a petty con man is left ambiguous, but regardless, Deacon Joseph Blackfire was a narcissistic and misanthropic psychopath who stood out as one of the few villains Batman nearly killed due to his depravity.
- Follow the Leader: There is a lot in this story taken or outright lifted from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, including the layouts, the depiction of the deaths of the Waynes, the expository news segments, and the souped-up Batmobile.
- Older Than They Think:
- Most Bat-fans, when asked "Who broke the Batman?", will answer Bane, from the Knightfall arc. Deacon Blackfire did it five years before him, though a bit differently.
- The idea of a completely isolated Gotham is most often connected with the Batman: No Man's Land arc, while this story did it eleven years prior.
YMMV / Batman: The Cult