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Todd McFarlane and Alfredo Alcala take over the art on Mike W Barr’s story as Batman: Year Two continues in Detective 576 (July 1987).

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Bruce practices using a gun, but it’s not a weapon he feels comfortable with, and he doesn’t do very well with it.

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This issue also gives the background to the Reaper.  The story is consciously parallel to Batman’s origin, as Rachel and her father witnessed the senseless slaying of her mother.  Judson was also wounded, although he recovered in time, and adopted the guise of the Reaper to avenge his wife’s death.  The similar childhood trauma of Rachel and Bruce helps bring them together.

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The Reaper appears for more threatening with McFarlane and Alcala rendering him.  He also is proving quite effective against Gotham’s underworld.  So much so that the gangs make common cause with Batman to take down the Reaper.

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In a bitterly ironic twist, Joe Chill is assigned to be Batman’s gun man on behalf of the mob. Chill is completely unaware that he was the one who killed Batman’s parents.

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