Before Bane ever came along the first man to break the Bat (mentally at least) was a man named Deacon Blackfire, a Ras Al Ghul wannabe who took baths in Blood and had a police record spanning decades with a proclaimed history of centuries.
At the start of the Comic Batman/Bruce Wayne awakens from a nightmare into a nightmarish reality where he has been captured by a cult who are in the process of making him one of their own. Keeping him hungry and drugged he soon crumbles under much strain and out of his mind he starts to work for the cult.
The art work and style of the story is a little reminiscent to that of Frank Millers “The Dark Knight Returns” but the antagonist is a rather poor one who only beats Batman while he is at his weakest. The true threat is the cult and the power that they command over the city of Gotham. It reaches a point that even Batman fears. A threat that he realizes he must stop at any cost, even if it means letting innocent bystanders killed by the cult members.
The story is alright. It doesn’t add much to the Batman mythos so it’s not a must read. What is interesting is seeing Batman taken down to a new low that he has to fight back from.