“Shaman Book Two” by Dennis O’Neil: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/batman-legends-of-the-dark-knight-1989-2/786c207c-bda5-4f12-96f3-d8d490a97909
Six months have passed since Book One. A man in a bird costume (the previously-mentioned Chubala) prepares to stab a guy who is splayed out like a human tent. As he brings the blade down, a bunch of people in robes give an approving smirk (except for one woman in the front row, who appears awestruck). Meanwhile, Gotham cops Al Kelly and Jimmy Wong debate on whether they heard a scream or the wind coming from the nearby deserted tenement. Al wants to go in without backup because he’s looking for a detective promotion. The duo burst in to find the cult gathering, and Al shoots Chubala. The cult leader doesn’t go down that easily, and Al ends up burnt and heartless by the end of the night. Jimmy takes a knife to the back, but he manages to escape the building.
Later on, Jim Gordon is investigating the crime scene when Bruce Wayne shows up (having heard about the incident from the police band in his limo) and expects Gordon to let him hang around like this is 1939. As the police captain starts telling the boy billionaire the details of the case(!), the thief-turned-reverend Tobias Micah appears and insists that a demon is behind it all. Bruce mentions that he used to hear about hope in Sunday School, but we already know from issue #1 that he isn’t having any of that nowadays. Alfred gives Bruce some shade about leading a deceptive life once he gets back in his limo, but he’s already back in Batman mode because of Gordon’s reference to Chubala.
Too bad Bruce has to attend one of those blasted social gatherings at the Gotham Arms Hotel, date in tow. He is far more interested in speaking to Dr. Madison Spurlock, that anthropologist he’d learned about previously. We learned that Bruce totally betrayed the tribe’s trust and told Spurlock about their bat myth. Spurlock shows off some tribal masks that he bought while in Alaska, including the bat-themed shaman healing mask. Bruce’s date, socialite Theodora Hackley, interrupts the conversation with some dismissive comments about superstitions, while grad student Bennet Young (who went with Spurlock to Alaska) introduces himself to Bruce, much to Spurlock’s disapproval. (The professor is just envious because he’s bald, while his student has the most glorious of Jheri curls.) Bruce pretends that he’s leaving early to make it with his date, but Gordon isn’t buying it, and Theodora is disappointed as Bruce leaves her at her doorstep.
Batman goes to Jimmy’s hospital room to hear him muttering about Chubala, and then he discovers some goons on the roof, assumes that they must be planning a hit on the wounded police officer, and begins assaulting them, as you do. When one of the men decides that he’s better off jumping to his death than facing the wrath of the cult, Batman grabs him by his ponytail as he’s going over the edge and then knocks him out. Batman leaves the criminals tied to a lamppost, again forgetting which age of comics we’re currently in here. He discovers an ID card on one of them with the same last name as the woman who killed herself in the last issue (it’s her brother). He also finds some heroin, which he tests in his makeshift lab in Wayne Manor, much to Alfred’s displeasure. The butler makes a crack about watching Jack LaLanne, so this issue is certainly not set in the year of its release. Bruce instead watches Spurlock give a TV interview, and he gets pissy when the anthropologist claims that he heard the bat myth from the tribe instead of the local playboy.
Chubala bails the trio of criminals from jail, but he kills Ponytail Guy (aka Pregnant Woman’s brother) for failing in his mission. (So much for your promise to protect him, Bats.) Meanwhile, Bruce and Alfred are exploring the cave underneath the manor as a potential future HQ, and Bruce makes sure to reference O’Neil’s recent story “The Man Who Falls,” which itself had referenced “Shaman Book One.” When Bruce talks about the series of events that seemingly “were conspiring” to shape him into Batman, Alfred says that it “defies logic,” and Bruce quickly corrects him because Batman isn’t about to start believing in that fate nonsense. (You brought it up, you jerk!)
Bruce then disguises himself as an old bootblack to get more info from Gordon, making sure to reference the ending of Year One so that Jim will know he’s Batman. Gordon tells him that the sacrifice victims are from “dope capital” Santa Prisca (previously introduced by O’Neil in The Question, and soon to be the home of a certain steroid-doping villain), as were the three criminals from the hospital rooftop. He then makes Gordon pay for the shoe shine! Leaving the police station, Bruce goes to the Gotham Arms Hotel because Bennet had called him at home and asked him to come over. Because he took his sweet time getting there (too busy swindling Jim out of $5), Bruce is too late, and he finds the grad student stabbed through the chest. Bennet lives just long enough to mutter, “BAAT… MAN…” To be continued.
Issue 2 is interesting in how it tries to incorporate some of the old tropes from classic Batman stories into the rebooted, realistic world that Frank Miller had introduced in Year One.