Francis Gray breaks into a chemical lab to steal a canister. However, he messes up and the guard quickly captures him. Gray concentrates for a second and… time resets to the point just before he screwed up. Only Gray is aware of the alteration in time. This time he avoids the screw up, gets the canister, and easily escapes based on what he saw the guard do the first time.
It’s a few days before New Year’s Eve and Barbara is at Wayne Manor with Bruce and Dick. They get word of another theft at a chemical company and go to investigate. Batman fights Gray and defeats him… until Gray rewinds time again and again until he knows everything Batman is going to do and can avoid it to make his escape.
A frustrated Batman goes over the security tapes and wonders how Gray knew everything he was going to do before he did it. Meanwhile, Gray is putting the stolen chemicals together into some kind of device that he plans to use to take revenge on the city. He remembers how he was a clock repairman and had to steal a watch to get the money to cover his bills. He was chased by a policeman and subsequently set off a chain of events that set his apartment on fire. Gray ended up in prison while his wife left with their child.
Studying the tape further, Batman identifies Gray as a convicted criminal and realizes there’s a time discrepancy on the tapes. He also determines that the stolen chemicals can be used to make a poison gas but one more component is necessary. Batman and the others go to the warehouse where it’s stored and confront Gray. The Caped Crusader has a sense of what Gray is doing, and the thief reveals that while he was in prison serving “time,” he meditated until he gained the ability to rewind time up to 20 seconds and only he remembers what originally happened. The Bat trio comes after him but he is easily able to defeat them then escape in a car, always one step ahead of them from having erased all of the times they defeated him.
Batman locates Gray’s son Matthew and he and Robin go to the clock tower at the center of the city. Batgirl leaves on a separate mission. As anticipated, Gray is planning to release the poison at the stroke of midnight, where it is hidden inside the ball that drops. Gray is still able to out maneuver them although Batman through sheer willpower starts to get a sense of what happened in the previous rewinds. Robin tries to halt the falling ball while Gray defeats Batman and then Batgirl as she arrives. However, she brought Matthew with her. The ball slips away from Robin and releases the gas. Gray has a mask but he’s forced to look on as his son dies from the poison. Concentrating, he reverses time further and further back, beyond just 20 seconds and back to the point where he stole the watch. Gray changes his own history by refusing to take the watch the second time.
At the manor a few days before New Year’s Eve, Bruce, Dick, and Barbara are relaxing and preparing for the coming holiday. Gray arrives at the manor… but this time he and his son Matthew have built their own clock-repair business and are happily employed and together as a family.
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