"People of Gotham, I salute you!" It has been a long time coming, but the Deacon Joseph Blackfire is once again on a podium in Gotham square, masses around him, and being played to televisions and radios across the city. All have heard of how the holy man has cleaned up the streets in a violent yet effective pogrom of the colourful psychopaths that make up the city's rogues gallery. All have heard how Blackfire intends to make Gotham a glowing example of how a city should be in these modern times. All seem to have forgotten the man named Blackfire from a decade ago, who tried something very similar, and was supposedly killed by his own cult...
"That is right, people of Gotham. I salute each and every one of you for having to put up with characters such as the Joker, the Scarecrow, the Riddler and the Catwoman. The Batman. Oh, hoo hooo. The Bat Man. Your saviour from all of these freaks and malcontents." Blackfire chuckles as the crowd grows hushed. To many, Batman is a rumour and myth, but one that brings hope in the darkness. "You have trusted your fate to a man in a bat costume!! I salute you people for your desperate need to cling onto anything that can bring you light, but surely, Gotham has gone too far when it needs a being like that for protection!"
Blackfire waits for absolute silence before continuing. "I am no politician. I am not running for some kind of office or official position. I am an old, very old man, and I have seen the world and all its faces. All of its evil. I can tell you that there is no evil more raw and corrupt than in this city. It breaks my heart to tell you that you have all gone far too far, but it is not too late. I have performed wonders over these months, and I will show them to you."
On the large television screens erected in Gotham Square appear images of burned out houses and factories. "These are places purified by my righteous anger, Gotham City. I am no pyromaniac, do not misunderstand me. But safehouses for criminals? Brothels? Drug dens? They must all be removed like rotten flesh from around a wound." A number of men and women accompany Blackfire on the stage at this moment. "These are my brothers in arms. You may recognise some as some of the most terrifying monsters in Gotham, but through me they have found the true meaning of existence. They have no need for individuality when they work for Gotham. Gotham the being, Gotham the state of mind. You can work for Gotham too, if you do but listen to me."
Something is going on. Perhaps it's something in Blackfire's voice. More likely it's the subliminal message being played through the huge screens. The crowd begin to chant the Deacon's name. "Ha, haha. No no, I am not your leader. I am merely his disciple." He quietens the crowd down, but the television crews picked up the wave of support for Blackfire, and it's infectious.
"Do you feel... loneliness, Gotham? Alienation, perhaps? No doubt due to the state of your city, you sometimes feel fear and despair. Why, when you could live in a jewel like Metropolis, where is your sense of self-worth? They mock you, you know. The other people in America. They condemn you for your following of false idols. They misunderstand that it's all you know. But perhaps you should feel guilt, and shame. Even failure! Do not worry though, Gotham. You do not need to feel these things alone. Feel them together, and come before me. Feel them together, and be as one. Hate all others. Your hate is justified. Where were the rest of your countrymen every time your lives came under threat? Hate them! Anti-life justifies your hate!!!"
And Gotham explodes...