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Mike W Barr and Todd McFarlane bring Batman: Year Two to an end in Detective 578 (Sept. 87).

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Things have been going very well between Bruce and Rachel.  So well that he proposes, and she accepts.

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Things are not going so well between Bruce and Joe Chill.  As Batman he rescues Chill after an explosion injures him.  The panel in which he holds a gun to the sleeping man’s head is not given the prominence I would have expected, but the scene is still disturbing.

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After Chill wakes up, Batman begins to argue with him, eventually unmasking and revealing that Chill killed his parents.  It seems that Batman might actually kill Joe Chill, but the Reaper shows up and murders Chill instead.

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This leads to the final battle between Batman and the Reaper, which ends with Judson Caspian unmasked, and falling to his death.  Rachel, distraught over the revelation that her father was the murderous vigilante, calls off the engagement.

It’s certainly no Batman: Year One, but there are some good things in this storyline.  Rachel and the Reaper would both return in a couple of years, in the Batman – Full Circle one-shot.   The story was also the basis for the Batman – Mask of the Phantasm animated movie.

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