"Death in a Bottle": Batgirl and Batman patrol Gotham City together. Batman asks if Batgirl enjoyed her vacation, and she says that she missed "this." Batman says "good." They bust a Russian mafia operation run by arms dealer Viktor
- I don't know what's wrong with you lately, Batgirl. Your concentration's slipping. You're distracted. Unfocused. Unreliable... If you've got better things to do than being Batgirl, Cass, just say so. No one's forcing you to do this.
- -- Batman
Appearing in "Death in a Bottle"
- Russian mafia
- Viktor Kulshenko
- Doctor Death (Behind the scenes)
- All-American League of White Supremacists (Single appearance)
- Dick Grayson (In a photograph only)
- Holy Guru Samraniovita (Mentioned only)
- Republic of Saifan (Single appearance)
- Tarakstani (Mentioned only)
- Thugee Cult of Rajistan (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Death in a Bottle"
Batgirl and Batman patrol Gotham City together. Batman asks if Batgirl enjoyed her vacation, and she says that she missed "this." Batman says "good." They bust a Russian mafia operation run by arms dealer Viktor Kulshenko. Batman gives him an hour to leave Gotham. Kulshenko is in possession of a soda bottle labeled "Doctor Death." Alfred tests the bottle and determines that it is a poison lethal enough to kill the entire city if opened. Oracle helps them track down the distributor. Oracle is furious at Batman for turning Batgirl's recent vacation into a mission. Batman insists that Batgirl never wanted a vacation, it was Oracle's idea. Oracle suggests that Batman is afraid to let Batgirl be happy because he's worried that she might turn away from her life of crime-fighting. They scour the city for traces of Doctor Death.
Batgirl finds a label that says Doctor Death is holding an auction and gives the address. In the Gotham Clock Tower, Batgirl asks Oracle if she likes boys. Oracle explains her complicated relationship with Nightwing when Batgirl asks if Oracle loves the boy in one of her pictures. Batgirl reveals that the person she is talking about is Superboy. Oracle does a spit-take, and mentions that Batman would kill her if he found out. Batman enters unannounced and says they have work to do. Later, Batman approaches Superman and tells him that Superboy needs to back off. Superman says that Batgirl and Superboy are old enough to choose their own friends, but Batman insists that he pass on the message.
There is a massive auction held by Doctor Death in an abandoned warehouse. Doctor Death stands on stage in a gas mask, and the crowd is filled with terrorists and homicidal maniacs. The bidding reaches ten million dollars and the winner is a Tarakstani gentleman. Batman drops a bottle of Doctor Death into the middle of the crowd and it shatters. Batgirl is on crowd control as the villains flee, and Batman takes down the man on stage. The bottle is harmless Diet Cola, but it causes the crowd to panic and flee. It's revealed that the man on stage was not the real Doctor Death, just a proxy Doctor Death hired. Doctor Death escapes the building with his high bidder, and Batgirl is responsible for letting him get away. Batman blames Batgirl for this, and tells her that she's been slipping lately. Batman says that she can stop being Batgirl if she doesn't care about it, and Batgirl is devastated hearing this. Batman tells her to go home and get some sleep. He also tells her not to take any more trips to Kansas.
- This book was first published on July 23, 2003.
- This issue has not been reprinted in a collected edition.
- No trivia.
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