WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #57 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
In the wake of Nightwing's shooting, Batman has tracked his ward's would-be assassin across the globe to a remote region of Russia. The hired killer, as one might expect given the terrain, is none other than The Beast, better known as KGBeast, a perpetual thorn in the Dark Knight's side who has proven to be one of his deadliest foes.
Of course, the showdown in Batman #57 is far from their first, and the outcome has some similarities to fights the pair have engaged in before. In almost every time, Batman has acted uncharacteristically, seemingly breaking his "one rule"and leaving KGBeast for dead... after shooting him with a gun (of sorts).
Tom King and Tony S. Daniel's Batman #57 largely features the two longtime foes duking it out in a frozen wasteland. It's a brutal battle, but ultimately Batman gets the upper hand. With The Beast ready to deliver an otherwise fatal blow to the Dark Knight, Batman makes a decisive and crippling move, firing his grappling gun at close range and hitting The Beast point-blank in the face. The impact snaps his neck.
Now crippled and facing certain death in the cold, The Beast makes Batman an offer. In exchange for saving his life, Beast promises to reveal who hired him to shoot Nightwing. Coldly professing that he's the world's greatest detective, Batman confidently tells The Beast that he'll solve the mystery on his own. He then begins his lengthy journey back home, leaving his enemy to die. But is the Dark Knight so dark that he would mercilessly let this villain -- even one who tried to kill his oldest partner -- simply freeze to death?
Well... yes. And in fact, this isn't the first time Batman has done this very thing to Knyazev. The last time wasn't even all that long ago.