In the aftermath of the massive Batman Inc vs. Leviathan brawl, Bruce tells Damian about the dream he saw, as we flash forward to the world of Batman #666, where Gotham is up in flames, and due to Joker's "last gag" most of the citizens, minus a small population of uninfected (ironically held up in Arkham) are raving, Jokerized fiends. Damian is on a mission to rescue an infant who seems to be immune to the Joker strain, believing it could possibly turn out to be a cure. Bad news is, the mob found his secret hide out, and he's forced to make a quick evacuation, and barely makes it to Arkham Asylum, where he meets up with a somewhat reluctant ally, Barbara Gordon.
While Damian gets his wounds tended to, he discusses the situation with Babs, and then patrols the halls, walking through both refuges, and cells which hold some of his captured enemies. Elsewhere, the President of the United States is being informed that it's time to make a decision on Gotham, as all hope seems to be lost. Damian makes his way to the cell of Jackanapes, who you may recall from #666 as well. The Gorilla is the best option for a molecular biologist, and needs him to work on a blood sample from the child. Jackanapes doesn't respond to Damian's threats, as he begins to laugh at the truth behind the child, the reason she doesn't show any symptoms is because she's a carrier, Damian brought the infection into the camp.
Realizing he's pretty much fucked, Damian puts on a gas mask, and rushes towards the infirmary, where both Babs and the child are. As he runs, he recalls his past... the night Batman dies, and the night he makes a deal with "the Devil," our old friend Dr. Hurt.
By the time Damian reaches Babs, the doctors around her are dead, and he finds Babs, barely in control of herself, cracking a half smile... with a cracked baby neck. With a heavy duty shot gun pointed at him, Damian tries to talk Babs down, but it's now use, as he gets a shot to the gut. Elsewhere, the President's top advisor, who rocks black gloves particularly well, pushes him to "make an end of it" and with that, a nuclear bomb is launched towards Gotham.
With Damian wounded, Babs opens the front gate of Arkham, hoping for death, and sure enough, she's torn apart by the mob. In a last ditch effort, Damian releases his locked up inmates including Jackanapes, Flamingo, etc, and attempts to use them to help fight off the horde... but it's too late, as the bomb hits Gotham, and as Damian stares into the oncoming explosion, he can only think of one thing... how this was all his mother's doing.
Back in the present, Bruce tells Damian that he doesn't know the exact details, but that's the end game, Gotham's destruction. Talia's plan was to put Damian by his side, so he could ultimately replace, and become Batman. Bruce feels the best way to stop that from happening is to send Damian back to his mother, something Damian pleads against, saying that nobody knows the future.
The father/son moment is interrupted by Knight, Squire, Batwing, and the Outsiders who have discovered where Talia had been hiding out in Gotham. Bruce asks them who gave them the target to search, and yells for them to get out. Knight soon figures out why, as he discovers a bomb in the building, and... Kabloowy!
God, I love this setting. The #666 stuff is just fantastic, I always wanted it to be expanded upon for years now, so this was a godsend. Everything is just so god damn crazy, drenched in metaphor, and paying off in spades for those who have followed this story from the beginning. While I think that original issue by Andy Kubert is pretty untouchable in it's aesthetic, Burnham really made the setting all his own with his gritty, down right dirty style to this dystopian future. The violence, the blood, the gore... man it's all just great. Not Officer Downe great, but hey... they're are limits for what DC will allow.
The Bottom Line:
I NEED MORE OF THIS, ASAP. That is all.