No Man's Land

No Man's Land is a comic book story arc that appeared first in #

After a devastating earthquake, Gotham is declared a disaster zone and closed to the outside world. Edit

Plot Summary

Gotham City had suffered the results of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in the earlier "Cataclysm" storyline. Previous disasters, such as two separate plague outbreaks, caused many to want to write off Gotham completely. The U.S. Government gave a timeline. At the end, all bridges were destroyed and all known paths out of the island city were covered by the National Guard. The Justice League of America were forbidden by law from entering the city. They kept busy defeating outside threats to the city, along with other crises. The situation inside was left to Batman and his allies; Superman offered his help in the city, but after staying for one day realized this was not the type of problem he could fix with just power. Upon the realization, he leaves Gotham in the hands of Batman, (although Superman, in the guise of Clark Kent, would appear again months later to check on Batman's progress).

The city was swiftly carved up by gangs and various supervillains Batman had battled over the years. Jim Gordon and several well known Gotham officers chose to stay behind and an unknown number of policemen willingly followed suit, all in an effort to protect the innocent people. Oracle and Huntress also ended up on the inside.

Huntress adopted the Batgirl persona in Batman's absence, realizing that Gotham needed 'Bat-Personnel' to keep the situation under control. As Bruce Wayne, Batman had left the city to try to solve the problem politically, using his name and money to convince the federal government to delay closing off Gotham. Unfortunately, his efforts failed, arguably because he appeared to the government as Bruce Wayne—an air-headed billionaire with little concern for serious issues—of which the No Man's Land was exemplary.

Some 100 days after the Federal Declaration of the No Man's Land, he returned to Gotham to reclaim the Batman title and his people, many of whom had long since given up on him. Even his former ally, Jim Gordon, believed that Batman had abandoned Gotham to the villains.

What Batman returned to was a state of unrest and disorder on a grand scale. Since there was no longer anywhere to spend it, money became worthless; people would barter anything from batteries to services to protection for daily necessities. It seemed the only person to have any use for cash was the Penguin, who had nightly events where those few with cash left spent it all on such rare and simple items as an apple. The Penguin, despite his riches and implicit opportunities to flee the city, instead opted to stay. He had his own mysterious link to the outside and apparently enjoyed taking advantage of the dire situation in Gotham.

With Batman being gone for so long, and his very existence debatable in the Gotham underworld, the Huntress was able to pass off as not Batgirl, but Batman himself to many of the criminals she faced. Following the example of the gangs in town, she even tagged by graffiti her territory with the bat symbol. She went back to her Huntress costume when the Dark Knight confronted her after her failure to hold territory against Two-Face's forces, without any pleasantries. The third Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, estranged daughter of assassin David Cain, made important contributions to the effort during this time, as well as starting a lasting friendship with the Oracle.

In an effort to redeem herself, the Huntress went to the aid of a church that was open as a hospital and sanctuary to anyone desiring it in Gotham. Having no protection because of their benevolent intentions, the church and its kind staff were sitting ducks. The Huntress' desires to use her expertise to protect them was seen more as an unnecessary and warlike show of force than as help, even when she was trying to halt the Scarecrow's machinations to sabotage the church's efforts.

The weaker gang-leaders fell first, mostly to Batman and or James Gordon's officers. Street by street battles were fought, with deaths on both sides. Eventually Gordon's forces split, with half the squad following the more violent Petit, who believed that the only solution was to meet violence with more violence rather than Gordon's more peaceful methods. Two-Face became a major warlord, acquiring and losing territory every so often, and caused major problems for the police. He kidnapped Jim Gordon, killing two of his guards, in revenge for breaking a previous alliance, although in the subsequent trial Gordon was acquitted by the defence of Harvey Dent, Dent concluding that since Gordon had been essentially blackmailed into the alliance the agreement was void. The Penguin, as previously mentioned, remained in the city and was approached by Mercy Graves, acting on behalf of Lex Luthor, to begin a rudimentary clean-up of the downtown districts for Luthor's eventual move-in. Poison Ivy took over Robinson Park. She ended up caring for numerous orphans and was left alone by Batman in return for providing food. Zsasz owned his own territory, as did Mr. Freeze. Bane, too, was involved indirectly as a strong man for Lex Luthor; he notably destroyed the Hall of Records to fulfill one of Luthor's goals. He also drastically reduced Two-Face's territory in the process, making him insignificant. Despite his status as a supervillain, the Scarecrow was welcomed into a church filled with refugees and manipulated various factions in a plot to send the church's refugees spiralling into fear and despair. The Riddler, strangest of all perhaps, actually fled Gotham and spent the year barely noticed. The Joker made the most of his rare appearances. He spent some time as the ruler of an apartment building filled with supplies. This ended up, naturally, with lots of dead people, many from his own gang. He later re-formed and attacked Petit's territory. During the attack, he captured several of Petit's men, dressed them up to look like him, and forced them to walk in front of Petit; the now-insane cop shot all of them without even confirming whether or not they were the real Joker. When Petit killed an officer who tried to desert, Huntress knocked him out, subsequently facing the Joker and around twenty of his men all by herself, suffering near-fatal wounds in the process before Batman and Nightwing showed up to help her.

When Lex Luthor's money illegally brought in an army of construction workers, the Joker tried to kill his share. Bane, employed by Luthor now, appeared again, protecting the innocent workers from death, maiming and worse.

Near the end of the saga, as a statement to murder hope with the news that the No Man's Land was intended to end on New Year's Day, the Joker decided to kill all the children born during the "No Man's Land" storyline. Sarah Essen, Commissioner Gordon's wife, ended up confronting the Joker alone in Gordon's police headquarters. While saving a baby from a dangerous drop to a hard floor, she was shot and killed. Gordon restrained himself from killing the Joker, opting only to shoot out his knee. The Joker, quite naturally, found this unspeakably funny, since it had been he who crippled Barbara Gordon.

Eventually, thanks in no small part to the financial and political machinations of Lex Luthor—dipping his hands, as ever, in both legitimate and illegal means to achieve his goals—Gotham City was released and rebuilt, and rejoined the United States.

Gordon and the surviving officers were reinstated as full policemen.

Much of the story line was narrated by Oracle, as she used her resources to become a low-tech version of herself. She used paper to document events and the passage of time, operatives and emergency phones (knowing which ones were still in operation) to gather intel, and maps colored by pencils to keep track of who controlled which portions of the city at a particular time. Her maps were frequently shown in the comics to help the reader follow the progression of territorial disputes (Gotham City maps in current series are based in large part on Oracle's maps from this series). Oracle remained one of the few people in the city with the ability to contact the outside world. In his own series, Hitman, Tommy Monaghan had found his own ways in and out of Gotham (he spent No Man's Land protecting his own few blocks of where he had grown up, putting out the skulls of vampires as warning signs).

Like Oracle, all of the characters got serious testing of their mettle. Commissioner Gordon became more of a general leading an army than a police officer and held a grudge against Batman, even after he had returned. It wasn't until nearly the end of the story line before they talked again, and Batman even revealed to Gordon his secret identity, in a gesture to regain his trust, but Gordon turned away without looking. He didn't want to know who was under the mask, and told Batman to put it back on.

The story ran through the following issues:

Batman: No Man's Land #0 - Ground Zero

Batman: No Man's Land #1 - No Law and a New Order (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #83 - No Law and a New Order (Part Two)

Batman #563 - No Law and a New Order (Part Three)

Detective Comics #730 - No Law and a New Order (Part Four)

Azrael #51 - Miracle Run

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #116 - Fear of Faith (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #84 - Fear of Faith (Part Two)

Batman #564 - Fear of Faith (Part Three)

Detective Comics #731 - Fear of Faith (Part Four)

Azrael #52 - Devil Down Below

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #117 - Bread and Circuses (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #85 - Bread and Circuses (Part Two)

Batman Chronicles #16 - Two Down / The Comforts of Home / Harold

Batman #565 - Mosaic (Part One)

Detective Comics #732 - Mosaic (Part Two)

Azrael #53 - Jellybean Deathtrap

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #118 - Balance

Batman #566 - The Visitor

Detective Comics #733 - Shades of Grey

Azrael #54 - Step into the Light

Azrael #55 - Misery Dance

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #119 - Claim Jumping (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #87 - Claim Jumping (Part Two)

Batman #567 - Mark of Cain (Part One)

Detective Comics #734 - Mark of Cain (Part Two)

Young Justice No Man's Land Special #1 - Road Trip

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #120 - Assembly

Robin #67 - Way Dark

Azrael #56 - The Night Foretold!

Azrael #57 - Scratched Out!

Nightwing #35-37 - Escape to Blackgate

Catwoman #72-74 - A Funny Thing Happened On the Way Back To Gotham ... / Ms. Direction / A Slight Detour

Batman Chronicles #17 - Little Bat Lost / Turn On, Tune In, Freak Out / Identity Crisis

JLA #32 - Inside Job

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #88 - Fruit of the Earth (Part One)

Batman #568 - Fruit of the Earth (Part Two)

Detective Comics #735 - Fruit of the Earth (Part Three)

Robin #68-70 - War Beneath the Streets

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #121 - Powerplay

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #89 - The King

Detective Comics #736 - Homecoming

Azrael #58 - Ghosts

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #122 - Low Road to Golden Mountain (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #90 - Low Road to Golden Mountain (Part Two)

Batman #570 - The Code (Part One)

Detective Comics #737 - The Code (Part Two)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #123 - Underground Railroad (Part One)

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #91 - Underground Railroad (Part Two)

Batman #571 - Goin' Downtown (Part One)

Detective Comics #738 - Goin' Downtown (Part Two)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #124 - Captain of Industry

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #92 - Stormy Weather

Robin #71-72 - The Lizard King / Last Stand on Grand Avenue

Batman #572 - Jurisprudence (Part One)

Detective Comics #739 - Jurisprudence (Part Two)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #125 - Falling Back

Robin #73 - The World Around the Corner

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #93 - Assembly Redux

Azrael #59 - Pilgrim's Return

Catwoman #75 - The Rules

Batman #573 - Shellgame (Part One)

Detective Comics #740 - Shellgame (Part Two)

Azrael #60 - Evacuation

Catwoman #76-77 - Strange Bedfellows / Payback

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #126 - Endgame (Part One)

Batman #574 - Endgame (Part Two)

Detective Comics #741 - Endgame (Part Three)

Azrael #61 - Presents of Mind

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #94 - Days of Auld Lang Syne

Associated Issues Edit

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Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Commissioner Gordon, and the Huntress (back to her former guise), continue their war against the gangs and super villains who want to take control of the quake-ravaged Gotham. As Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Clayface each make their individual plays for power, Superman visits No Man's Land for the first time and the newest Batgirl makes her first appearance ever.

In the fifth and final installment of the NO MAN'S LAND saga, Batman begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel as the United States government step in to restore Gotham City. But after months of physically fighting for his city, the Dark Knight might see all of his work go in vain as Lex Luthor plots to own Gotham. While working against this "hostile takeover" as Bruce Wayne, Batman learns that his greatest foe, the Joker, has returned. Now, at his physical and mental breaking point, Batman must simultaneously fights battles on two different fronts.

This book reprints the following issues:
Batman #573
Batman #574
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #126
Batman: No Man's Land #0
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #94
Detective Comics #740
Detective Comics #741

200 pages

In the second installment of the NO MAN'S LAND storyline, Batman and his allies continue their fight to save Gotham during its darkest hour. Taking on a new costume and persona as Batgirl, the Huntress joins forces with Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl, while Nightwing, the former Robin, tries to help the city's remaining citizens in any way he can. But as Batman begins to realize that he is fighting a fight he can't win, he collapses into a state of despair from which he may never recover.

In the fourth installment of the No Man's Land saga, Batman and his allies continue their quest to bring justice back to Gotham. But as Batman, Nightwing and Batgirl try to defeat the warring gangs of the city and reclaim Gotham, Bane, the man who once broke Batman's back, returns with his own self-serving agenda. Now, battle weary and physically depleted, the Dark Knight must find the inner strength and mental toughness to face the one man to ever defeat him.

Huntress defends Gotham now that No Man's Land is declared, and puts on the Batgirl Costume.  Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham to help the Huntress defend Gotham.

The National Guard blocks all the boarders to Gotham to let no one in or out. Oracle develops a new network of  "agents, and creates maps that lays out the territories of different and who controls them.

Road to No Man's Land

Batman does not appear in this story.

No Man's Land

Continued from: Batman #565

Road to No Man's Land

Batman does not appear in this story.

Gotham had been ravaged by a terrible earthquake. It had been evacuated by the government and was now considered to be a “No Man’s Land.” Clayface had The Batman in his grip when Poison Ivy stops him. Poison Ivy had been prisoner to Clayface for six months and exacts her revenge on him by turning him into a small, weedy lump of dirt. Computer discs that the Batman was after where retrieved from Poison Ivy, but where destroyed. A truce is called between the Bat and Poison Ivy.

 Meanwhile Montoya is captured by Two Face show Commissioner Gordon and the police force, once again, that Two Face is a poor choice for alliances This Comic is part of the “No Mans Land” story line.

No Man's Land

Story continued from: Batman #563

Reprinted in: Batman : No Law and a New Order (tpb)

Also contains a Bob Kane obituary.

No Man's Land

Story continued from: Batman #570

Story continued from: Batman #571

Gotham City has been devastated by a terrible earthquake. Gotham lies in ruins and has been declared a disaster area by the U.S. government. Two-Face has been running things from City Hall. Bane takes out Two-Face’s guys at City Hall, and Two Face is captured and held on mock trial by the rest of Gotham gangers. They decide to hang him. Meanwhile the Penguin keeps track of what is happening from a distance. Batman and Robin are forced to save Two-Face from the Gangers. The comic ends with Bane blowing up City Hall and all the city’s records.

Oracle, Harvey Bullock and Batgirl make cameo appearances, they react to the explosion.

This comic is part of the No Man’s Land story line

No Man's Land

Bane is coming home, where he rules and where no one can stand up to him. He is now on his way to no man's land.

Story continued from: Batman #572

A terrible earthquake has leveled Gotham City. The U.S. government has declared Gotham to be a No Man’s Land and has deserted it. Two-Face holds Commissioner James Gordon in a mock trial with Detective Renee Montoya as his witness. He condemns Commissioner Gordon for breaking is agreement with Two-Face and endangering Detective Montoya’s life. However, Gordon demands that Harvey Dent, (the alternate persona of Two-Face,) act his defense lawyer. In a truly bizarre cross examination between Two-Face and Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon is exonerated and Two-Face is incriminated and placed under arrest.

During the Mock trial, Commissioner Gordon’s family is rescued by Batman and Robin with cameo appearances of Detective Harvey Bullock, Azrael, and Batgirl who all apparently aided in the rescue of Gordon’s family for Two-Face’s men.

This Comic is a part of the No Man’s Land story line.

Joker has kidnapped aall the babies in Gotham. Batman, his allies, and Gotham PD must work together to save them. Also includes "a preview of Batman: No Man's Land Novel" (written by Greg Rucka).

Joker is on the loose again. It's Bane to the rescue?


Azrael becomes an Agent of the Bat.


Batman makes a cameo appearance in this "Road to No Man's Land" story. The malevolant Nicholas Scratch takes center stage in a conspiracy against Gotham City and Gotham's Angel of Justice is framed for the murder of the one senator who might have been able to save Batman's home base!

Batgirl has failed Batman, and people under her protection have been killed by Two-Face. Meanwhile, Barbara Gordon has a new helper who turns out to be the daughter of the mercenary Cain, preventing her father from killing James Gordon.

It's mad man against mad man when Joker interrupts Petit's Christmas feast. Can Huntress save the innocent lives at stake?

LexCorp's move into Gotham to rebuild means the beginning of the end of No Man's Land, but can Luthor be trusted? Meanwhile, Joker has been out of the spotlight for too long and plans to correct this mistake.

Joker seems to have disappeared and the only who's worried about this is Batman. Meanwhile, the citizens of Gotham all enjoy the holiday season.

Batman confronts Lex Luthor with his plan to acquire most of the land in Gotham. Meanwhile, Gotham rings in the new year.

Gotham falls in to more chaos, with Batman still missing. James Gordan takes his task force to regain control of the city sector by sector, things don't go so well for Gordan when he runs into the Street Deamonz.

Scarecrow ends up in the fall out shelter and finds the weapons that Father Christian is storing for the Penguin.  Scarecrow lets all the gangs know about these hidden weapons.

Batman battles in the Penguin's roman-style arena, to get to the Penguin's supply line to the outside world.

A stubborn old man is caught in the middle of a gang war.  The old man fights to keep his home.

Little Bat Lost

Francine Langstrom looks for her son that is lost. The search leads her to the Penguin where Francine use the Man-Bat serum to escape.

Turn On, Tune In, Freak Out

A man sends a television signal discribing the chaos of No Man's Land.  Oracle and Batman send the signal across the country, to let everyone know what is happening in Gotham.

Identity Crisis

Bruce Wayne's old friends finds out his secret identity, the man tries to sell that information to Two-Face.

Two Down
Renee Montoya finds her brother alive, but Two-Face causes some problems with this family reunion.

The Comforts of Home
A young couple find shelter in an abandon apartment that was once occupied by the Joker.  The apartment is rigged to blow and  Batgirl has to save the couple.

Alfred sends Harold away and tells him that they will call when they need Harold.  Harold spends the time reflecting and some of Harold's past is revealed.

No Man's Land.
No Man's Land Images:

General Information Edit
Storyarc Name: No Man's Land
1st Appearance: #
Appears in: 8 issues
Publisher: DC

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