Bad news rears its ugly head in Gotham once again when former Mayor Kroll turns up dead. The Clench virus had not been cured by Azrael's vaccine
merely made dormant. After studying Krol's corpse,
Oracle determines that this new mutated strain of the Clench is like a ticking
time bomb waiting within everyone who had been exposed. Realizing that Tim was one of those once infected with the Clench,
Batman contacts Azrael for more information on it's origin.
Azrael confesses that the origin of the Clench is deeply intertwined with a three-way war that had been raging for centuries between the Vatican, the Order and someone known as "the immortal." The three factions had been warring over a journal that is said to contain
information that could allow someone to control the world. Being that germ warfare has always been an effective mode of population control, Azrael theorizes that whoever holds the journal could also have the Clench's ultimate cure. With that, Batman, Nightwing and Robin
head off to the Sudanese desert to hunt down the journal. In their absence they appoint Huntress to guard the city, a position which she does quite well at.
Upon arriving in the desert, Batman and gang find that the "immortal one" is none other than the Demon's Head himself - Ra's al Ghul. They follow Ra's tracks leading them to a hidden sanctuary housing a giant
wheel that serves as a biological warfare cipher. Ra's uploads the cipher's information to his computer systems so that he can control it's data in hopes of concocting a virus powerful enough to wipe out 90% of the world so that his daughter Talia
and her offspring can be it's rulers. After obtaining the data he needed, he orders the cipher be destroyed by flooding the sanctuary.
Batman, Robin and Nightwing barely escape the flood waters in time to watch as Ra's, Talia and his manservervent Ubu escape. But as they lift off into the air, Batman realizes that masked behemoth Ra's had been calling Ubu
was in fact Bane, the man who broke his back! (Knightfall)
In order to successfully spread the virus and wipe out the world's population, Ra's needs to launch it from three distinct sites. The team splits up to neutralize Ra's forces in each location, eventually meeting back up in Gotham. It's there in Gotham that Batman destroys
Ra's final viral launch pad and does battle with Bane. In the time since their last encounter
(Vengeance of Bane II - The Redemption), Bane had been courted by Ra's al Ghul as a potential mate for Talia. Even though Talia showed no interest in Bane,
her beauty was enough to win him over and begin following the Demon's Head in his attempts to
whittle down the population. Batman defeats the madman but is unable to bring him into custody.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Bat-Family has managed to get aboard Ra's al Ghul's yacht in an attempt to steal his computer data and
ascertain a cure for the Clench. They manage to retrieve the data just in time before the ship explodes. They then rush the cure's makeup to the authorities and begin
administering cures. Bruce Wayne graciously donates money to help expedite the process.
With members of Ra's guard in custody at police headquarters, a few of the remaining free agents attempt a suicide bombing on the station. Ultimately their attempts are thwarted and in the process Jim and Sarah Gordon get a chance to
discuss their feelings. A tense awkwardness had developed between them since Sarah assumed the role of Commissioner but the two discuss their feelings and make up.