During the DC Future State comic books, we have learned of something big that happened in Gotham that kicked off the anti-mask feeling in Gotham, saw the Magistrate be appointed to run a fascist private police system and lock Gotham down. It was called A-Day.
The Next Batman #1 solicitation told us "Following the tragedy of "A-Day," the mayor allowed the private law enforcement group known as the Magistrate to take over policing so-called mask crime—and that has given rise to a new Dark Knight!"
And lots of DC Comics characters decided they had to change their role, or leave the city entirely as a result.
With Nightwing turning the location of A-Day into a base of operations, safe in the knowledge no one would look there.
The solicitation of Batman #108 however, named the location unequivocally. "After the events of Arkham Day, what does The Scarecrow have planned for Gotham City? What plans does Simon Saint have for A-Day survivor Sean Mahoney, and how do they connect to Mayor Christopher Nakano and The Magistrate?" So what happened at Arkham Asylum? We have looked at both the roles of Scarecrow and Simon Saint on Bleeding Cool before.
Bleeding Cool also previously reported that the events of A-Day would play out in Infinite Frontier #0. We know that The Joker visited Bane in Arkham Asylum at the end of The Joker War. But he left a little present.
In his newsletter, Batman writer James Tynion IV previously stated "Something BIG happens in the Batman-centric pages of Infinite Frontier that serves as the inciting incident for the entire Batman line. Another pillar of classic Gotham falls and sets all the pieces in motion…..In 2021, Gotham City is going to E-X-P-L-O-D-E." Well, it's certainly explosive. Spoiler blinkers on.
And what was the Joker's present? Not the Party Crashers, clown thugs using the technology that the Joker controlled when he owned Wayne Industries. Not Punchline either, though the public are very much behind her – somehow.
No, it was Joker poison gas bombs that explode, silently, with a new formula that kills people with a manic grimace, but no forced laughter – a silent killer. And in doing so, kills five hundred in Arkham Asylum, including inmates, guards and medical professionals. This is A-Day. The mass slaughter of many of the Batman villains gallery, most prominently Bane, but also Jonathan Arkham. Who lived, who died, much of that will be revealed through Infinite Frontier titles – as who escaped.
Jonathan Crane, Scarecrow, is suspected of being part of the dead. He is not, it is his job to turn A-Day into something that plays on the fears of Gothamites to see villains and heroes alike, whether wearing a Bat or a Clownface.
And it is Simon Saint of Saint Industries, who uses this fear to kickstart the Magistrate program seen in Future State. Who recruits Professor Hugo Strange as a new hero for the streets of Gotham.
While ex-police Mayor Nakano takes an acting role as police commissioner, after Harvey Bullock resigned, while looking for a replacement. He campaigned on an anti-mask ticket and Batman's presence in Arkham saving people on A-Day only becomes fuel for his campaign to arrest Batman.
Harley working for Batman whether Batman knows it or not while waiting for Poison Ivy to turn up. If only she could get paid. Red Hood is a cold-blooded killer now. Nightwing is… well, looking after dogs, I guess.
But this is the challenge of Gotham. It has been held together by hand so long, and now must change, the old ways won't work, they have to face up to the fear or let the fear it and change the streets – and not just the street names (though that is happening too). Everyone has a New Vision for Gotham. And Batman, no longer in Wayne Manor, still needs his Bat Cave… or caves.
Because there is something coming to Gotham even bigger than the Joker…