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Bob Gale, Phil Winslade and Sal Buscema deliver an excellent one issue story in Detective 733 (June 1999), part of No Man’s Land.

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The story sees Batman struggle to maintain some semblance of order in Gotham, and brings him to a very low point.  Jim Gordon bans him from the parts of the city controlled by the police, and resents that he has to deliver this news through the new Batgirl.  Batman stops what he thinks is a murder, only to find the “killer” has found a corpse, and started attacking it, in hopes that Batman will bring him to his prison, where he will be safe and get food.

The Penguin has been profiting steadily in No Man’s Land, but is dismayed to find that new foodstuffs have somehow made it in to the city, threatening his control of the supply.

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When Batman comes across two women fighting over a child, he tries the Solomon solution – and the women react to the idea of cutting the baby in half with rational disbelief.

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Distressed and dismayed, Batman talks to Alfred, who tells him a story about his father. Late one night, in desperate need of medication for a patient, Thomas Wayne broke the window of a pharmacy, took the drugs he needed, leaving a note of explanation, and the money.  The next day he was contacted by the pharmacist, who told him that others entered through the broken window and looted his story, demanding compensation.  This quickly degenerated into blackmail, and Thomas Wayne had no idea what to do.  Alfred saved the day, getting into disguise as a policeman, he and Thomas called the pharmacist’s bluff, getting back the note and publicly shaming him.

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Envigorated by this story, Batman sends Batgirl out to find the “killer,” and offers him work in his region.

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Batman also finds the quarreling women, and gets them to agree to put aside their mutual distrust, and raise the child together.

Another gem.

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