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How Did Batman Heal His Broken Back in the Comics?

This is "Never Gonna Be the Same Again," a feature where I look at how bold, seemingly "permanent" changes were ultimately reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, as obviously things are always going to eventually return to "normal." That's just how superhero comic books work. It's just fun to see how some of these rather major changes are reversed. This is differentiated from "Abandoned Love," which is when a new writer comes in and drops the plot of the previous writer. Here, we're talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same one who resolved the change. This is also differentiated from "Death is Not the End," which is about how "dead" characters came back to life, since this is about stuff other than death.

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Today, we look at how Batman got over that whole "getting his back broken by Bane" deal.

As you likely know by now, Batman was involved in a major crossover of Batman and Detective Comics called Knightfall. The concept of the crossover was that a new villain, Bane, decides that he will destroy Batman. First, though, he releases all of Batman's enemies from Arkham Asylum so that Batman must spend a whole lot of time re-capturing all of those villains. A now completely exhausted Batman is then a perfect target for Bane to attack.

He breaks into the Bat Cave and then, well, you know, breaks the Batman...

Luckily, in Detective Comics #664 (by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna), Alfred is able to get a hold of Batman and treat him as best as he can...

In the next issue, however, Bruce goes to visit his girlfriend, Shondra Kinsolving, and sees her get kidnapped along with her boss, Jack Drake!

So Bruce decides to head to the Carribean to rescue Shondra and Jack (who happens to also be the dad of Tim Drake AKA Robin). We see them arrive in Justice League Task Force #5 (by David Michelinie, Sal Velluto and Jeff Albrecht), where he meets some of the superheroes who will help him on the mission...

Jack is eventually saved, but Shondra is captured by her step-brother, who knows that Shondra has powers. She can heal, but her powers can also be used to KILL, as seen in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #60 (by Denny O'Neil and Eduardo Barreto)...

Bruce is tracking them dressed as a British guy (Alfred has left him, feeling that he is pushing him too much). He finds them and Shondra, by this time, has been tortured by her brother so much that her mind is barely there...

She ends up killing her brother to save Bruce from him. Bruce is badly beaten, though, so on top of his original injuries, he is in bad shape. Shondra uses her healing powers to fix him, but her mind is completely gone (I will be doing a future column on just how messed up the Shondra stuff is, trust me)...

And so that is how Bruce Wayne got healed after having his back broken.

Okay, folks, there are tons of examples of major changes being made to characters, seemingly "forever," that were then reversed, so feel to write in with suggestions for future editions of this column to brianc@cbr.com!

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