Re: Gotham City...crime free
In the beginning of Morrison's run (Batman & Son) Tim Drake points out that Batman and his allies have finally put an end to super crime in Gotham City. To the point where the only people they have left over to chase after are amateur z-list criminals in funny bird costumes. Basically Batman had pacified the GC streets to the point that they didn't really need him for some time. Of course this later changes with the emergence of The Black Glove.
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