Synopsis for "The Ransom"
This story is reprinted from Batman #608.
Batman sneaks through an FBI perimeter at the Gotham City Shipyard, using acid to burn the lock off a door despite it being unpredictable, although faster than picking it. Successfully getting into the Shipyard, he takes down the crew guarding the area the four members being, Nails Nathan, Tommy Harper, Carlos Valdez, and Spider Hancock.
After defeating the hired crew with the utmost ease, he discovers Edward Lamont IV, the sole heir to the Lamont Chemical fortune, who had been kidnapped walking home from school two days ago. While attempting to escape with the boy, Killer Croc arrives and attacks Batman, as Bruce had calculated that he would have had two minutes before Croc returned and discovered the boy was missing, being off by exactly eleven seconds.
While fighting him, Batman silently questions the reasons behind Croc's actions as his Modus Operandi was never kidnapping and when it came down to it, Croc wasn't smart enough to pull off an operation as well planned as the one it seemed he had. Batman notes Croc's mutated body, and wonders why he needed the ten million dollar ransom that everyone, including the President of the United States had been willing to pay to get Edward back. After subduing the villain with hypersonics, the F.B.I. arrives to arrest to Killer Croc. One of the officers tells him - despite not being how they would have handled it,- Batman gets results, the boy being in one piece, and soon then discovering money they had given Croc was nowhere to be found.
Batman assumes that someone must have taken it during their fight, despite the FBI officer protesting that no one could have gotten past their perimeter, though Batman retorts they he had.
Using his heat sensors, Batman spots Catwoman leaving the scene and begins to chase after her. He internally argues as to why Catwoman would take the money, as ripping off someone elses' take had never been her style, and also her recent actions as of late attempting to make a go on the right side of the law. During midswing, Batman's rope was cut, sending him soaring downwards, breaking his shoulder in the process and landing in an alley occupied by homeless ruffians.
Meanwhile, Catwoman makes her way to the Gotham Tower Apartments, presenting the money to Poison Ivy as, -No man or woman could resist her-, not even Catwoman herself being able to fight off Ivy's mind control.
Appearing in "The Ransom"
- Carlos Valdez (Single appearance)
- Killer Croc
- Poison Ivy
- Nails Nathan (Single appearance)
- Spider Hancock (Single appearance)
- Tommy Harper (Single appearance)
- Edward Lamont IV
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
Synopsis for "The Friend"
This story is reprinted from Batman #609.
The thugs that witnesses the dark knight's fall surround him and try to take off his mask and when they're unable to do so, they try to kill the man. Oracle asks for any member of the Gotham vigilantes to reach Batman's location since he started an emergency signal on his Utility Belt and he is not responding to her. Huntress screeches to a halt with her motorcycle in the middle of Park Row. Deploying her battle staff, she launches into the thugs surrounding Batman's body. While beating her opponents back, she maintains radio communication with Oracle, who in turn uses remote control to bring the Batmobile to their location. Huntress loads Batman's unconscious body into the empty vehicle, whereupon it returns to the Batcave. The scene is witnessed by a mysterious man whose head is covered in bandages.
Elsewhere, Poison Ivy takes the money-filled attaché case that she received from Catwoman and gives it to a shadowy figure at an undisclosed location.
At the Batcave, Alfred Pennyworth labors around the clock to save Bruce's life, but there is little even his impressive skills can accomplish. Bruce is suffering from a severe skull fracture. Though barely conscious, Bruce manages to tap out the name "Thomas Elliot" in Morse code. Thomas Elliot is a brilliant neurosurgeon and a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne.
Alfred takes Bruce to Gotham City Hospital and Dr. Elliot manages to save his life. During the operation, Bruce dreams of his childhood. He recalls playing games of strategy with young Tommy Elliot, and remarking at Tommy's keen analytical mind.
Alfred has Nightwing wreck one of Bruce's sports cars, and stages the story that Bruce injured himself while racing throughout the neighborhood of Bristol. The operation proves successful, and Bruce is released.
Appearing in "The Friend"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
- Thomas Elliot (First appearance)(Flashback and main story)
- Jimmy Olsen (Cameo)
- Lois Lane (Cameo)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Oracle (Behind the scenes)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Shondra Kinsolving
- Gotham City