Sorry if we seem out of sorts today. We’re all still recovering from Batman #93’s shocking conclusion. For anyone who missed it, let’s go through the list.

Designer—dead and a literal puppet of the Joker’s
Harley Quinn—tossed in the sewer after getting her throat cut by Punchline
Catwoman—seemingly shot by Punchline (Joker’s new assistant does NOT mess around)
Batman—penniless, and with a giant knife through his leg care of Deathstroke
The Joker—now in possession of Bruce’s entire multi-billion dollar fortune
The citizens of Gotham—pretty much %*$#ed

Yeah, things aren’t looking great. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how they could look much worse, especially considering that Alfred’s dead and the rest of the Bat-Family is nowhere to be seen. If we know anything about Gotham’s greatest hero, it’s that you should never count him out. But it’s hard to imagine how Batman will come out on top when his single greatest adversary now has his billions at his disposal. Just imagine the sheer carnage and chaos the Joker’s now capable of, and Bruce is only one man.

Though, as readers know, while Bruce may just be a man, he’s far from an ordinary one. That’s something we’re reminded of in this week’s Batman #94, in which a moment from the Dark Knight’s past sheds intriguing new light on today’s events. Who is Cassander Wycliffe Baker? And why was a pre-Batman Bruce so desperate to meet him? You’ll have to read this crucial “Joker War” prologue for answers, but you can get your first hints in this exclusive first look.

Batman #94 by James Tynion IV, Rafael Albuquerque, Guillem March and David Baron is in stores and available digitally on Tuesday, July 7.