Inferno (Batman novel)
First edition cover
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Publisher||Del Rey Books|
|31 October 2006|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Batman: Dead White|
|Followed by||Batman: Fear Itself|
Batman: Inferno is a novel set in the universe of DC Comics superhero Batman and was penned by Alex Irvine, a writer and assistant professor of English at the University of Maine. The novel is a tie-in with the film Batman Begins and features Batman's archenemy The Joker and new villain Enfer (similar to the villain White Eyes being introduced in Batman: Dead White, this novel's predecessor). It also makes reference to several aspects of the Year One exploits of Batman's early days.
A former firefighter, now an explosives expert, breaks into Arkham Asylum and burns it to the ground. Many of the inhabitants escape, including the Joker. The arsonist, calling himself Enfer, continues his rampage of destruction and comes into conflict with the Joker. The latter inmate has stumbled upon a way to disguise himself at the Batman. With some unexpected assistance, the Joker convinces the city that Batman has become a murdering lunatic.
Enfer and the Joker finalize their conflict with an array of customizable remote-control robots. Batman is setback by the fact this is early in his career and he is limited in his resources thanks to losses caused by his adversaries.
- The majority of the novel takes place between July 26 at 9:09 a.m. and August 5 at 10:44 p.m. An epilogue takes place nearly four months later, on December 1 around 7:16 p.m.
- The novel is set approximately a year after the events of the film Batman Begins. (Irvine, 4)
- Harvey Dent does not appear in the novel, but he is mentioned as having "been undergoing psychiatric treatment in Arkham," implying that he has become Two-Face. Sal Maroni is also referred to, and he is implied, but not explicitly stated, to have been involved in the disfigurement of Dent, which would tie into Batman Annual #14, Batman: The Long Halloween, and the film sequel The Dark Knight.
- Additionally, this novel appears to be set after the events of The Dark Knight, as Vicki Vale, a columnist for the Gotham Gazette in the novel, remarks that "Hearing that Two-Face or the Joker is definitely off the streets will let us all sleep better at night," in reference to the climax of Begins, which was the arson that previously destroyed Arkham Asylum and freed several notorious prisoners. (Irvine, 39)
- In Chapter Three, Bruce and Alfred comment on the reconstruction of the main part of Wayne Manor, and that it could withstand any major seismic eruptions. This is a slight reference to the '90s storyline No Man's Land, in which the manor did survive a violent earthquake that shook Gotham.
- Soon after the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum following the arson that destroys it, he finds the cave beneath Wayne Manor. After an encounter with Alfred, the Joker steals a Batsuit, a number of gadgets and tools, and most strikingly the Batmobile. (Irvine, 53-60) Interestingly, a Rogue's Gallery member discovering the Batcave, but not Batman's identity, was also used in Batman: Dark Victory.