Scott Snyder begins his run on Detective Comics with issue 871 (Jan. 11), and his run will last out the remainder of the series. Mark Simpson does the art on this tale.
The story begins as a schoolboy is turned into a Croc-like monster after a dip in the school swimming pool.
When Batman goes to the boy’s home to investigate, only the butler seems concerned about the boy. The father is nowhere to be found, and the mother seems to have gone completely insane. She murders the butler (but she’s trying to kill Batman), and then leaps to her death. Batman discovers one of the Mad Hatter’s tags sewn into her neck.
Batman approaches Commissioner Gordon, and together they find the one police officer with access to the evidence room, where the atavistic serum and tag were kept. It turns out a number of other criminal “mementos” have gone missing.
Batman questions the policeman, but he dies from a Poison Ivy-like vine attack.
The story continues in the next issue.
Commissioner Gordon is featured in the back-up story, also by Snyder, with Francesco Francavilla on art. After someone releases all the birds from the zoo aviary, Harvey Bullock calls in Gordon. Spotted on the surveillance video is James Gordon, Jr, the commissioner’s son, not seen since Batman: Year One.
Gordon goes on the trail of his wayward son, and though we do not find out much about James in this story, there are certainly a lot of hints that all is not right with the boy.
The story continues in the next issue, although James also begins appearing in Birds of Prey, which marks his next appearance.